Mariana Vasileva: "The most important thing is to move forward!"
The first Junior World Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics in history, held at the Palace of Gymnastics named after Irina Viner-Usmanova, has ended in Moscow. Head coach of the Azerbaijani national rhythmic gymnastics team, Mariana Vasileva, answered questions of Vestnik Kavkaza.
- Congratulations. Not everything went according to your plans, but your team did really great. Out of 62 countries, you ended up fifth in the overall standings.
- Yes, we were fifth. When we went to Moscow for this historical championship, we were already proud that we came with "full set" of Azerbaijani gymnasts, who were born and raised as gymnasts in Azerbaijan. The same applies to our coaches - all of them are local personnel. I'm very pleased, because out of six possible finals, we were in five of them, we became fifth team among 62 countries, we reached four individual finals, where Arzu Jalilova even received two medals. I also would like to note that Narmina Samedova performed very well, just like our group team.
But they all are children, psychologically, it was very difficult for them after the European Championships in Baku, where they made certain mistakes. They were afraid that something similar will happen again. But I told them: "The most important thing is to move forward!" If they think that this is their last chance in life, they may be upset. However, if they believe that they will fight and grow further, reach senior program, then they must draw right conclusions. I am very proud of them all. I think not everyone remembers juniors, everyone remembers seniors. I wish our team will have the same results at the World Championships in Baku this year and in the future.
- You raised not only children, but also parents who came here to support their children.
- That's the first time for us. I'm usually against communication between parents and children during big championships. For each parent, his child is the best, and everyone wants his child to perform very well. So I limit contacts during championships. But this time I advised parents to come, so that they could morally support their children. Italian, Spanish, Russian fans everywhere travel together with their athletes, support them, and we see this in many sports. It gives certain stimulus - you feel like you're at home.
- Azerbaijan is going to host even more serious competitions soon. Are preparations for them underway? Have you already selected girls that will perform there?
- Yes, Azerbaijan will be represented by four gymnasts in the individual competition and in the team competitions. Zohra Gamirova, who became silver medalist of the Universiade in all-around competitions, and Veronika Gudis will represent our country. They will perform in four types of competitions. Fatima Akperov, Elizaveta Luzan will compete in exercises with ribbon and clubs. Famous gymnasts will participate in the team competitions. Daria Sorokina took place of Siyana Vasileva, who was injured and wasn't able to recover yet. I hope that we will succeed. We have almost two months.