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Interview with Liubov Charkashyna

The winner of the 8th Tournament “City of Udine”

Liubov Charkashyna is since some years among the group of the best rhythmic gymnasts of the world. She was fifteenth in the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, and she ranked 7th at the recent World Championship in Mie.

Udine, 9th october 2008

Who she is

Name: Liubov Charkashyna
Date of birth: 23/12/1987
Country: Bielorussia

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- When did you start Rhythmic Gymnastics?

I started RG when I was 9 years, but since I was 6 years old I did acrobatics and gymnastics. I was afraid of the beam and I understood immediately that the sport was not for me, so I decided to switch to rhythmic gymnastics from AG.

- How did you started Rhythmic Gymnastic? Did anyone suggest it?

My mother accidentally read an announcement of the selections in gym-school and since in that moment I stopped AG I decided to try Rhytmic.

- What do you love about rhythmic gymnastics?

I like the fact that RG turns not very physically beautiful girls in girls with good bearing (?); the sport also has a positive influence on the character.

- how many hours do you train

If we are preparing the world championship o other big competition, the trainings start at 89:30 with coreography till 13:00 and the secondo training starts at 16 or 16:30 and ends at 20-20:30.

- Which is your favourite apparatus?

Sometime ago I was able to understand it, because I was more good with an apparatus than with another one, but now I am old enoght to be able to put all the apparatus on the same level, so now I like them all.

- What country do you like most?

I like some countries for traditions. Maybe Italy could be my ideal destination for work because I've already been here many times and I think this place is very nice. Despite this I would never change my Belarus to Italy because i am linked to too many things thre, especially my family.

- Who is your best friend among gymnasts?

I can not say I have a best friend-gymnast, because in this sport there is a female collective, so there is often jealousy, someone will want to be better than you or I will have the opposite desire to be better than the others; for this reason there is never a very sincere dialogue. I think that my best friend is my sister.

- Who is your favourite gymnast?

I felle in love with RG watching a videotape given me by my coach, with the exhibition of Serebrianskaya during the Olympic Games in Atlanta. I was really impressed.

- And among the gymnasts of today who do you like?


- Who is your favorite junior??

This is a difficult question because I am truly amazed by the level of 8-9 years old girls: they are already able to do the difficulties of senior gymnasts and I can't understand who is the best.

- What kind of music do you like? You choose the music for your routines?

I take part in the choice of music for my routines but I don't know what kind of music I particularly like, it all depends on the mood I have: now I like something super busy tomorrow and I would also like the trumpet.

- Who create your routines?

We have our coaches that train us and build routines. My routines are assembled by the team coach, but often the gymnasts work together, sometimes we propose some interesting element, that is added after the approval of the coach. I also like to build routines, and I often do it for girls who train with us.

- Who is your coach?

I am from Brest, not from the capital of Belarus, I moved to Minsk when I was 13 years old. My first coach og rhythmic gymnastics was Ludmila Zaladnizkaia and she continues to work in Brest. Now I am trained by the coach of the national team of Belarus, Irina Lubarskaia.

- What is your routine you like most?

Maybe the hoop, because I perform t well in the last period.

- What competition was more impressive for you?

It's difficult to anser this question because I competed many many times! I will surely remember today's competition because we arrived here at 5 am because our young girls had to compete at 9 am.

- Have you ever been in a crisis? If so, how did you overcome?

I believe for every gymnast there are difficult moments. It's not easy every day to force you to go to the gym. And even if you love gymnastics, you have to fight with yourself every time, especially when you feel physical pain or when you have an injury. This is the reason why I am often in conflict with my coach. I often say "I'ts enough! I can't do anything more!" and I leave the gym, but the day after I return motivated.

- Do you study?

Yes, I do. After finishing school in Belarus I could choose between two faculties to become a coach. Last year has been a very difficult year for me because I trained so much and I could not study. This year I enrolled at university, at the faculty of science of motion.

- What do you think to do when you retire?

I will have children... No, come on. Maybe I'd even go for a few months in Italy to coach Italian children, for example, in Sardinia, since I have had a good relationship with them. Here I see thath the girls really want to learn rhythmic gymnastics and improve, and they are not convinced they already know everything; for this reason I like to help them.

- Thank you!

Alessandra Favarato - Oksana Burak

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