2nd half of January
Photos © copyright Wessel Oosthuizen Yelena went to Johannesburg (South Africa) for eight days after being invited by the local Russian gymnastics school to give some exhibition performances. She went there with her friend Ekaterina Lobazniouk and Tatiana Silchenko, one of Russia's foremost acro gymnastics choreographers.

Here is a small summary of an interview she had there:
"I am aiming for my third Olympics (2008 Beijing) and would love to compete in South Africa again, but no one has invited me since 1996. The last time was eight years ago when I won the SA Cup in Cape Town. I couldn't wait to get back to visit Sun City and Durban again. My dream has come true. For one week I can again visit the places that I fell in love with, go to the golden "Sun City" again and admire the amazing nature of Africa."
Photo © Wessel Oosthuizen

March 2005 - National Championships - Moscow, Russia
(reports by Tara Kennaway and Mary Clare, photos by Tara Kennaway)

This was Yelena’s 10th National Championships!
Following the retirement of Svetlana Khorkina, Yelena is now the oldest gymnast on the Women’s national team and indeed the oldest who competed at this competition. Yelena is now one of the most experienced gymnasts in the world, later this years marks the 10th anniversary of her international debut (1995 Junior European Team Championship).
Perhaps in the run up to the 2008 Olympics, Yelena will become the leader of her team. This was an important competitor for Yelena, with Mr. Leonid Arkayev gone and new gymnasts around, she will have to impress the new Federation Head, Mr Yuriy Titov, the new Program Director, Mr Andrei Rodionenko and the new head coach for the women, Mr Viktor Gavrichenkov.

She wore the new shiny turquoise leotard of team Moscow.
This also serves as the team event. Yelena was competing for the Moscow team, they won bronze medal as they have done in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Her team mates here are Lyudmila Yezhova, Nadezhda Ivanova, Svetlana Fyodorova, Nadezhda Chikhiryova and Alyona Sosnovtseva.
(1st Central 175.375, 2nd St Petersburg 170.175, 3rd Moscow 170.025).

Another photo from the team medal ceremony can be found on http://www.intlgymnast.com

Yelena had problems on vault and therefore for the first time did not qualify to vault finals. Her place as national #1 on vault has been very much taken by Anna Pavlova.
(Yurchenko 2/1 to her face, Tsuk 1/1)
Never her stongest piece and in fact, she fell off.
(usual mount, needed extra kip to get it under control, hop full went crooked, Tkatchev-Pak, missed foot on low bar and fell, full-in big lunge)
Not her highest of scores (8.8) but it was enough to qualify to the event final. She performed a "Zamolodchikova" mount. She has some unusual combinations such as 1-armed backflic to back layout sommersault and switch split leap to full turning backflic (Kotchetkova). She is one of the few in Russia to dismount with a triple twist. Although her characteristic flexed feet (!), it was very good and the rotations complete unlike her competitors. However, she left out her most difficult element, the Arabian salto.
(usual mount, switch leap-flip 1/1, 1-hand flip-layout, punch front, stuck double twist)
Tumbles were slightly disappointing but as usual, she entertained the crowd. Her highest score from qualification and a place in the final. A new springier floor is being used which makes things easier. She opened with a high double back with full twist (Mukhina) and went straight back across the floor mat with a whip back into triple twisting layout, completely around but untidy. Her famous moonwalk, which has been in and out of her routines since 1996, is back! For her third tumble she tumbled only a full twisting back layout. Her last tumble was a very clean double pike.

She finished in 5th place (8.85, 7.8, 8.8, 9.2, 34.65) behind Anna Pavlova, Yulia Lozhechko, Nadezhda Chikhiryova and Natalia Ziganshina.

Some girls have it all! In addition to being of the world’s best gymnasts, Yelena can also make her own leotards!! For this competition she wore an orange leotard which she made herself!!
Her routines were mostly the same as in qualifications, although she upgraded her third tumble on floor to a 2½ twisting back layout. This time she didn’t fall at all and got a very high score on vault (9.4), unfortunately too late to make it to finals. She finished 2nd behind 15-year-old Yulia Lozhechko.

much better than yesterday since she made it to her feet and not her face! Almost stuck. She was wearing a bright orange leotard that she made herself today.
much improved from yesterdays disaster but still its not at all pretty to watch. Her legs are all over the place. took out her usual mount, just did a kip on, giant full-hop full-Tkatchev-Pak, double pike.
only a double twist with shuffles off. Nothing spectaculat but reasonably steady
full in with little shuffles, she tries to be expressive which is refreshing since most gymnasts are so concentrated on floor! No big errors, so she earned herself a place in the medals

1st Lozhechko (Bryansk): 8.9, 9.375, 9.175, 8.95, 36.4
2nd Zamolodchikova (Moscow): 9.4, 8.4, 8.7, 9.175, 35.675

This has been her highest rank since 2001 and a very special achievement seeing as she is not really and all-around gymnast, more a specialist. This result will have impressed the new heads of Russian gymnastics, as there are important events, both Europeans and Worlds later this year.
However, Yelena was not picked as one of the 2 gymnasts to go to the Cottbus Cup in Germany, probably as part of Mr Rodionenko’s plan to give more gymnasts an opportunity to compete. This did of course deny Yelena an opportunity to prove herself against long-time rival Oksana Chusovitina and national rival, Anna Pavlova.

Yelena was only qualified to Beam and Floor.
She was not expected to get a beam medal and she finished in 6th place (8.075) behind Yulia Lozhechko, Alyona Zmeu, Anna Pavlova, Alyona Sosnovtseva and Lyudmila Yezhova.
On Floor she could have medalled quite easily and expectations were high. Unfortunately, the former Olympic Champion could only manage 4th place (8.313) behind Nadezhda Chikhiryova, Ksenia Anfanasyeva and Anna Pavlova.
Certainly for the two juniors (Chikhiryova and Anfanasyeva), it will be a big confidence boost to beat such a celebrated floor worker as Yelena Zamolodchikova. Perhaps they will follow in her footsteps to Olympic glory? Despite no longer being the best in Russia, Yelena continues to be a fan favourite and is a role model for the younger gymnasts. She has said that she wants to stay until 2008, so hopefully she stays injury-free and we have 3 more wonderful years of seeing her compete.

Good Luck in 2005 Yelena!!

Some videos from russian nationals 2005 can be found on http://www.intlgymnast.com

April 2005
We have recently recieved the news that Yelena's mother has passed away.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Yelena at this difficult time.
Rest in Peace Irina Zamolodchikova

19th May 2005
According to an interview Mr Yuriy Titov, the new russian Federation Head, made the 19th of May the 4 gymnasts that will rappresent the russian team at the next European Championships in Debrecen (Hun) will be:
Yulia Lozhechko, Anna Pavlova, Yelena Zamolodchikova, Alyona Zmeu (with Lejla Gruzdev as alternate).
So we can see again Yelena in an international event after almost 5 months of waiting. Last time was at the World Cup Final 2004 in Birmingham (England) December 11-12, 2004.

June 2nd-5th 2005 - 1st Individual European Championships - Debrecen (Hun)


Yelena competed only on her 2 stronger apparatus: Vault and Floor.
She qualified for both finals finishing 3rd on vault (score: 9.194) and 8th for floor (score: 8.837). Here are the scores for the girls who qualified for these 2 finals:

Pavlova Anna RUS 9.356
Benolli Francesca ITA 9.313
Zamolodchikova Elena RUS 9.194
Vanwalleghem Aagje BEL 9.194
Bayley Samantha GBR 9.106
Kaeslin Ariella SUI 9.075
Harmes Suzanne NED 9.044
Sherbatykh Olga UKR 8.969
Tweddle Elizabeth GBR 9.450
Severino Isabelle FRA 9.375
Lepennec Emilie RUS 9.194
Ponor Catalina ROM 9.212
Lozhecko Yulia RUS 9.150
Harmes Suzanne NED 9.075
Benolli Francesca ITA 9.050
Zamolodchikova Elena RUS 8.837


Sadly no medals for Yelena in these European Championships.
A mistake on her 2nd vault and a fall during her floor routine made her finish only 5th on Vault and 8th on floor.
Here are the scores of these 2 finals:

Benolli Francesca ITA 9.412 (9.487 - 9.337)
Pavlova Anna RUS 9.312 (9.300 - 9.325)
Vanwalleghem Aagje BEL 9.193 (9.312 - 9.075)
Kaeslin Ariella SUI 9.156 (9.150 - 9.162)
Zamolodchikova Elena RUS 9.131 (9.400 - 8.862)
Sherbatykh Olga UKR 9.125 (9.250 - 9.000)
Harmes Suzanne NED 9.106 (9.212 - 9.000)
Bayley Samantha GBR 8.650 (8.225 - 9.075)
Severino Isabelle FRA 9.575
Harmes Suzanne NED 9.375
Lepennec Emilie RUS 9.337
Ponor Catalina ROM 9.200
Benolli Francesca ITA 9.075
Lozhecko Yulia RUS 8.962
Pihan Marta POL 8.875
Zamolodchikova Elena RUS 8.475

Aug 11-21, 2005 - 23rd Summer Universiade - Izmir (Tur)

12th August - Qualifications and Team Final: Yelena qualifies for the All Around and Vault finals.
Her scores are: Vault 9.187, Asymmetric Bar 7.900, Beam 8.600 and Floor 8.875.
The russian team (Azarkevich Olga, Chibiskova Maria, Orlova Ekaterina, Zamolodchikova Yelena and Ziganchina Natalia) gets a bronze medal finishing behind China (110.258) and DPR Korea (105.272) with the score of 104.998.

14th August - All-Around Final: Yelena finishes 11th with the total score of 34.636
(VT: 8.687, UB: 8.587, BB: 8.187, FX: 9.175)

15th August - Vault Final: Yelena finishes 4th with the score of 9.131 (9.312 - 8.950).

September 26 - October 2, 2005 - 2005 Russian Cup - Bryansk (Rus)

Yelena reached the top position with the score of 36.350!
Her scores were: Vault 9.450, Asymmetric Bar 8.900, Beam 8.800 and Floor 9.200.

Anna Pavlova won the All-Around (score: 36.500), followed by Yuliya Lozhechko (score: 36.475). Yelena finished in 3rd position with the score of 36.450 and with a 0.1 deduction for putting a toe over the line in the floor exercise. Her scores were: Vault 9.325, Asymmetric Bar 8.800, Beam 9.025 and Floor 9.300.

Three medals for Yelena!
A bronze medal in the Beam final and 2 gold medals in the Vault and in the Floor finals!

Oct 14-16, 2005 - Massilia Gym Cup - Marseille (Fra)

15th October - Team and All-Around finals
The russian team (Yelena Zamolodchikova, Natalia Ziganshina and Olga Azarkevich) finished 4th in the team final and Yelena finished 9th in the All-Around final (score: 35.200) qualifying for Vault and Floor finals.
Her scores were: Vault 9.375, Asymmetric Bar 7.775, Beam 8.800 and Floor 9.250.

16th October - Event Finals
Yelena finished 6th in the floor final with the score of 8.438 and won the gold medal in the vault final with the score of 9.275 (9.475 - 9.075).

Nov 21-27, 2005 - 38th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships - Melbourne (Aus)

A very good start for Yelena who finished 6th in the all-around qualification (score: 36.662) qualifying for all-around, Vault and Floor finals.
Her scores were: Vault 9.375, Asymmetric Bar 9.075, Beam 8.800 and Floor 9.412.

25th November - ALL-AROUND FINAL
After a good start in the 1st rotation (she got 9.350 on vault finishing the 1st rotation in 2nd place) a fall on Asymmetric Bar in the 2nd rotation made her lose any chance to finish on the podium.
Yelena finished only 16th with the score of 34.662 (2 points less than in the qualifications!).
Her scores were: Vault 9.350, Asymmetric Bar 8.150, Beam 8.350 and Floor 8.812.

Even if she had a very high score (9.318), she finished 4th just out of the podium.
Her scores were 9.287 for the 1st vault and 9.350 for the 2nd.

27th November - BEAM and FLOOR FINALS
In the floor final we got the most discussed score of this worlds and unluckily this score was about Yelena's exercise. The judges lowered her start value to 9.7 and gave her the score of 9.162 making her finish only 4th behind Suzanne Harmes (score: 9.212).
As an example here is what the commentator from the eurosport said:
"A big surprise that Harmes managed to score over Zamolodchikova with that routine."

So no much luck for Yelena in these World Championships since she finished twice just out of the podium!

Dec 16-17, 2005 - 12th Voronin Cup - Moscow (Rus)

Last competition of the year for Yelena.
She won the All Around competition with the score of 35.750 and finished 3rd on vault final (score: 9.000) and 2nd on beam (score: 9.100) and floor (score: 9.000) finals.

But the best news of the meeting is an interview of Yelena's coach Nadezhda Maslennikova where she said that they will take a short rest, and begin serious training again in January for the American Cup and the Russian national championships in March. So the rumors about Yelena's retirement are just rumors.

Here is a part of her interview:
"After the year we had, it would be desirable to head into the New Year's holiday as a winner, so Lena gave all her best here just like she did at the worlds. Two fourth places at the world championships are not an occasion for pride, but on the other hand, I'm convinced that only judging mistakes deprived her of the silver medal on floor. And also it must be mentioned that we were plagued this season with serious injuries."

The interview was from http://www.intlgymnast.com

Dec 24th, 2005 - Moscow Gymnastics Festival - Moscow (Rus)

On Saturday, 24th December in the Moscow's Olympiski Stadium there was the Christmas eve Moscow Gymnastics Festival.
The main gymnasts who partecipated were Aleksei Bondarenko, Nikolai Kriukov, Aleksandr Safoshkin, Karina Myasnikova and Yelena Zamolodchikova who closed out the evening on floor with her famous "Prodigy" routine in a Snow Maiden costume that she was wearing just for this festival.

For more details about this festival, take a look at The All Around Gymnastics Magazine

Last Update: 24th Feb 17 
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