Birmingham (GBR), 10th December 2004

The double Olympic Champion 2000 in Sydney (Floor and Vault) still has the passion for high level gymnastics. We spoke with her after Friday's practice. In Birmimgham she will compete on Vault and on Floor.

How do you feel in Birmingham, at the end of the season?
It is difficult to train all year long and be competitive at the European Championships in Spring, the Olympic Games in August and now the World Cup Final. However, I had a nice break after the Olympics and now I feel pretty fresh.

What do you expect of your two finals?
I hope to perform as well as I can. On Vault, the 6 girls can win. This is not a competition uniquely between Monica Rosu (ROM) and me, like some people say. Every girl here will present vaults with 9.8 - 9.9 starting values and it will be a matter of execution. I am also really looking forward to my Floor routine. I like my music, my choreography, my acrobatics. I can express myself.

You have been double Olympic Champion in 2000, Vault World Champion in 1999 and 2002. You have contributed to many team medals for the Russian squad, but it seems that you have lost a little bit your supremacy on vault. At 22 years old, what keeps you going?
I just love gymnastics. This is all my life. I am also studying at the University of St-Petersburg to become a gymnastics coach. I am busy because I train in Moscow and study in St-Petersburg.

With Khorkina speaking about retirement, do you feel you must take the whole leadership of the Russian team?
Svetlana told me she would like to enjoy other things in life than gymnastics, but she also sometimes mentions she could be back in 2 or 3 years. I don't feel the pressure of the leadership at all. With Anna Pavlova, Natalia Ziganchina, Liudmila Ezhova and other gymnasts, we are all leaders !

Thank you and good luck!

By Didier Miéville from

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