A New Rhythmic Star

By Valentina Nikiforova

Moscow News, #39, 1985   Marina Lobach, 15, a schoolgirl from Minsk, won the USSR Cup in rhythmic gymnastics for the first time.  The victory won her the right to go to Valladolid in Spain where the world championship will be held on October 10-13.

Only quite recently this graceful blonde gymnast dreamed of even a little resembling Dalia Kutkaite, one of the leaders of the national RSG team.  And now Marina was not only competing on a par with the experienced gymnast from Vilnius, but even managed to win.  She outdid Dalia by 0.05 of a point.  Firm concentration is needed to be able to compete so intensely.

Marina's hometown is Smolevichi, 120km from Minsk.  She grew up in this small town surrounded by forests.  She is very impressionable, fond of music and ballet, and also writes verses.  Probably, the sum total of these hobbies helps her in her art, without which RSG is unthinkable.

Marina is the third daughter in the family of carpenter Vikenty Lobach and his wife Faina, who is a pastry cook.  None of the elder daughters ever went in for sports.  But for Marina, who once chanced to come to the gym, sport has always remained a fete of music, elegance and beauty.  True, she admits that this fete immediately called for certain sacrifices -- after all, her mother is a pastry cook and cooks very well on the whole!

Marina's first coach was Irina Leparskaya, who introduced the girl to RSG in Smolevichi.  At that time, Marina was in the first grade at school.  In two years of work with Marina, Leparskaya discerned that the girl had the good makings for a gymnast, and asked Galina Krylenko, her acquaintance of long standing and twice world champion in group exercises, to coach Marina for a while.  At the same time, Galina was at the end of her sports career but not yet thinking about coaching.  But quite unexpectedly, Galina for some reason took the fragile girl who seemed to be made "merely of angles" and Galina abandoned her cozy study and went to work coaching.

It was practically impossible to live in Smolevichi and commute regularly to Minsk for training.  Marina made her first serious decision in life -- to move to Minsk, join the sports boarding school and train properly.  She continued her studies at school and trained intensively.  In about two years' time she overtook the other girls of her age and gradually started leaving them behind in techniques and performance.

At training sessions she is all attention.  She absorbs all the coach's remarks like a sponge.  Marina always strives to perform an element with utmost precision.  By the time Marina turned 15 she had made it among the leading gymnasts like Galina Beloglazova and Dalia Kutkaite.  The specialists noted the dynamics and the complexity of Marina's new program.

This page was created on April 20, 2002.
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