Turnen, 7/83

Q: In the last two years, you have won all the international AA titles. How do you compare them?

A: I found it hardest to win the 1981 World Championships in Moscow. At that time I was still unknown, and there were many other gymnasts who could have won. Since then, I've always been a favorite. Maybe I'm a bit more nervous than before, and that judges are still quite strict.

Q: When did you first believe in victory [at the 1983 European Championships]?

A: Since I competed in the first session in the afternoon, I could only hope that no one in the evenint session would score over 39.15 points. But when Natalia Yurchenko and then Ecaterina Szabo, who are my biggest opponents, fell from the apparatus, I was sure of my victory.

Q: Why did you perform in the first session?

A: My coach Boris Orlov and I felt that the sequence of events in the afternoon group would be best for me. I would start on the uneven bars and end with my two best events, floor and vault. Also, I believe the judges have been very objective, so there is no difference wether one competed in the first or second group.

Q: You've mentioned your favorite events. Were you happy with your other two events?

A: My vault was probably the most successful, as the flight phase of my piked Horide was very high and I could land securely. I'm also satisfied with my floor exercies. Here I tried to give an artistically pleasing performance juxtaposed with great difficulty, because just the latter is not enough in my opinion. I see this as my advantage over other gymnasts. On the beam and bars I had some trouble, so I'm still working towards the World Championships and hope to defent my title.

Q: Speaking of the World Championships, which gymnasts do you think we should watch?

A: Of course, those who were able to place on Goteborg. For me, the Romanians Ecaterina Szabo and Lavinia Agache, and the Bulgarian and East German girls, surprised me. Also, I think that Natalia Yurchenko will be much better by October. Also, the USA and Chinese gymnasts had some victories at the World Cup last year. And then I hope that Maxi Gnauck, whose injury here I very much regret, will be there. She was in fine form here [in training]..