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03 April 2011


Irina Viner, the head coach of Russian national team and consultant of the Azerbaijani national team in rhythmic gymnastics, told about a real state of affairs on the world gymnastics floor at the Grand Prix series held in Moscow at the end of February.

“Irina Aleksandrovna, this “Grand Prix series has been held in accordance with new regulations. Could you please tell us about fundamental changes made to it?”

“The main change concerns to a number of competitors. Unlike the World Cup, where only three gymnasts from a country can participate and to this number the World’s All-Around Champion or Olympic Champion has also to be included, the teams’ composition can be extended at the Grand Prix.”

“In your opinion, have all the strong gymnasts taken part in the tournament?”

“Yes, all the strong gymnasts from Belarus, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. The Italian national team in group exercises has made a great progress for the last two years. Thus, competitiveness is growing, but, for the time being, it is not so tangible, as I wished it to be.

“As a consultant of the Azerbaijani national team, what can you say about the prospects of development of rhythmic gymnastics in this country?”

“I think the future of the Azerbaijani rhythmic gymnastics development is to be in the list of the first three places at the Olympic Games. Aliya Garayeva works very well, she has great prospects. And the national team’s group exercises are very successful as well. The girls have reached a great development. It was mentioned by the President of International Gymnastics Federation Bruno Grandi who praised the Azerbaijani team in his letter.”

“Azerbaijan supports its gymnasts very much. Does it have an influence on the sportswomen’s successes?”

“The country’s leadership takes care of them. You know, my grandmother baked tasty pies. When I asked her how she baked such delicious things, she always used to say: you get what you put in. A lot is put into Azerbaijan gymnastics, and a worthy return is received. 7-8 years ago, the team was an outsider, but, now the girls have been the bronze medalists of the World Championships three times, have participated in the Olympic Games with a group exercises… Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, the President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, does everything in order that the girls do not think of any other problems but sports.”

 “Which weak and strong aspects has the Azerbaijani team now?”

“I cannot say that the team has any weak aspects but I would like to see its reserve for future as Gurbanova and Garayeva are grown up girls. Who will take their place? Yes, a promising gymnast Samira Mustafayeva appeared, Zeynab Javadli has returned to the “ranks”. She had been training in Moscow, then she had break for some time, and, now, she performs again. But I would also like to see young girls, born in 1995, who will replace present gymnasts.”

“Irina Aleksandrovna, you look gorgeous, and, to all appearances, you are ready to work and discover new talents for the next coming years. Can you disclose your personal secret?”

“The secret lies in children. In my opinion, people who work with adults are unlucky. Even if children can be malicious and offensive sometimes but they are always fair.”

“Ekho planeti” weekly