Sergey Azaryan and Mikhail Melnik: Baku and National Gymnastics Arena almost like home to us
Baku and the National Gymnastics Arena are almost like home to best Russian trampolinists already, Russian athletes Sergey Azaryan and Mikhail Melnik, who took part in the World Cup in Trampoline and Tumbling in Baku, told the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza. They finished eights in the finals of the World Cup in Trampoline and Tumbling.
First of all, gymnasts noted that Baku has a great arena, and they are happy to arrive in Azerbaijan on the regular basis. "We have been arriving here for several years already. Conditions are important for us - the result depends on apparatus, platform and podium," Sergey Azaryan said.
"It's our fourth time in this hall, it is almost like home to us already. There can be no obstacles for performances here, everything is well done," Mikhail Melnik added.
The athletes also noted that this year there was very high competition for the Baku medals at the first World Cup. "Usually, some country does not come to one or another stage of the World Cup, for example, flying to Baku is far for the Chinese. But now all six World Cups were qualifying for the Olympic Games, so all came and there were many very strong athletes in one place. Any average result deprives you of a guarantee of getting into the final," Mikhail Melnik noted, adding that they presented the old program in sync.
The gymnasts noted that their best performance were in a pair with each other. "It's easier for me to perform in sync: responsibility is shared for two. Maybe due to the fact that your partner is nearby, you don’t worry so much," Mikhail Melnik said.
"I have the same situation. Another factor is that we have a slightly easier combination. And, as Mikhail said, the partner is near to help you if something happens. Considering the fact that we have been working together for more than 10 years, we do not train our synchronicity. The main thing is to be in good shape," Sergey Azaryan added.
The Russian athlete admitted that they are driven to defeat the Belarusian couple Vladislav Goncharov-Oleg Ryabtsev. "You always strive for the best result. We also take the previous result into account, seeking to improve it," Sergey Azaryan concluded.
The World Cup in Trampoline and Tumbling was held on February 16-17 at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. Some 200 gymnasts from 30 countries took part in the championship. Azerbaijan was represented by 5 athletes, Russia by 11 athletes. The winners from the playoffs got the chance to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.