Yana Batyrshina: ”A gymnast must be smart"

Yana Batyrshina: ”A gymnast must be smart"

The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships continues in Baku. Today, on the sidelines of the event, an auction was held with only one lot presented - the ribbon of the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships ambassador, multiple world champion and silver medalist of the 1996 Olympics Yana Batyrshina. The athlete shared her impressions of the tournament with Vestnik Kavkaza.

- The head coach of the Azerbaijani national rhythmic gymnastics team, Mariana Vasileva, bought the ribbon. What are your impressions of the auction?

- Suddenly it ended. I did not expect that such a sum of money, 2500 euros, would be offered and that Mariana-Khanum would buy this item and then return it to me. (Mariana Vasileva gave the ribbon to Yana Batyrshina since it was dear to the heart of the Russian gymnast, ed.) I was not upset to part with the ribbon, that is why I brought it with me from Moscow - for the sake of the children, to charity. But Mariana thought that this victorious item should remain with me and I should take it back to Moscow. But I would rather leave the ribbon in Baku after the completion of the competition - just for good luck.

- A t-shirt with your image at the European Championship was auctioned with the ribbon. Mariana Vasileva gave this t-shirt to the next auction, and it went to one of the young fans. Was it you who decided to add the t-shirt to the main lot?

- Yes, it was me. I remembered that I have such a wonderful t-shirt with this ribbon. Now the young girl has it.

- How many of such items do you have?

- I still have my Olympic ball, one Olympic club (the second is broken), two hoops, a jumping rope, two ribbons ( for competition and training) and also my last clubs, non-Olympic.

- It is already the 3rd day of the championship. Aren’t you tired? 

- Let me give it to you straight, in the evenings, I get tired. But I fall asleep in anticipation of a new day, interesting events, exciting competitions, and serious struggle. I am eager to come to the arena! I was happy when I had an autograph session, master class, meetings with children with disabilities. Children are energizing me. They take autographs, and I see their eyes, how both embarrassed and happy they are. I try to ask them something, cheer up. This is, of course, a great time. I will miss this when the championship is over.

- Who did you come to Baku with?

- I came with my family - three children, mother-in-law, husband, my parents. For me, it means a lot to be the ambassador of the World Championships, so I said: "We all go to Baku, you must see it with your own eyes!"

- Did you conduct a master class for young Azerbaijani athletes yesterday?

- Time passed quickly. We worked for almost two hours without a break. I really liked the children: some came without uniforms, but rolled up jeans, tucked up their sleeves and worked at full strength. I wouldn’t raise my leg in jeans, but they performed just perfectly. Nobody wanted to leave. The girls said: "Can we train a little more? Show me how to do this! Help me with this! Teach us!” I liked when I made a remark, everyone reacted adequate, no one was offended. Gymnasts should be gifted not only physically, technically, should be beautiful, they also must be smart. Yesterday, all the girls were smart, despite their young age. Everyone used their heads. It is very nice.

- Would you coach career start in Azerbaijan?

- To be a coach? What could be more difficult! If you want to raise a champion, then you should spend a whole day at the arena - no personal life, no meetings. You must give everything for the victory. This is very hard work.

- Do the gymnasts from Azerbaijan have their special style?

-This is a mixture of the Bulgarian school and the Azerbaijani one. I always admired Bulgarian gymnasts. Maria Petrova is my idol. She was the World Championships Ambassador last year. I know all the exercises of Bulgarian girls and admire them. A mixture of the Bulgarian gymnastics school with the eastern one is a unique phenomenon. Here, the girls are very emotional. There is no need to say to them: "Come on, fire it up, smile!" They are always ready for a performance, eager for battle because they were born that way - smiling, courageous, bright. And their mastery, turns and balance are influenced by the Bulgarian school. At the recent Junior Championship in Moscow, Azerbaijani gymnasts won several medals, beating the strongest juniors. A great young generation is being raised! I think they are moving in the right direction.

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