Turnen, 8/83

Q: Did you expect to have such a successful showing at the European Championships?

A: I wanted to win a medal there. Two silver medals exceeded my expectations. I failed on floor, on my opening tumbling run, and I also can do better on rings. Two good vaults in event finals gave me the confidence to perform one of the best high bar exercises I've ever done.

Q: What do you think are the reasons that you have reached the GDR's top class on vault at the age of 23?

A: I was a candidate for the 1981 European Championships team, but I had problems in the all-around and I had a lot of back injuries. Last year I was finally able to train consistently for the first time. That paid off now.

Q: You're regarded as a very daring gymnast. What do you think about the ratio between risk and consistency?

A: The courage to perform elements of high difficulty pay off only if they are done cleanly and are technically perfect. Stability and risk always have to go together. For example, we worked hard on the Kovacs salto, and it only became consistent within the last six months. Incidentally, I performed this element half a dozen times in 1979, but it was removed from my routine because I was a weak all-arounder and this fact prevented me from competing internationally.

Q: In what respects do you see increasing opportunities?

A: I still have problems with pommel horse in particular. My score of 8.95 in Varna kept me from a higher placement in the all-around. On rings, I'd like to add more strength moves. There are even opportunities for me to gain more stability and technical perfection in my vaults.

Q: A word about the level of gymnastics in Varna?

A: The competitions were of a good standard, and the routines were performed well in spite of numerous difficulties. Alexander Pogorelov of the USSR impressed me in particular, both with his difficulty and his technical perfection. Without bad luck on high bar, he certainly would have won a medal in the all-around.

Q: What are your plans for the rest of 1983?

A: Of course, I plan to fight for a spot on our world team in Budapest. My performance in Varna has given me a good starting point for this. Yet, I still have to confirm the European Championships results in upcoming competitions, especially the GDR Championships in August..