Aliya Mustafina: Don’t call me the next Khorkina
(Credit goes to Senor Nico for Translation)
The main heroine of the World Championships in Rotterdam, as part of the Russian team, won five medals (two gold and three silver). In an interview to “All Sport”, she shared her impressions of the most important competition of her career to date.
-Did anything disappoint you at the World Championships?
-Yes, of course, the beam final. I fell on my Arabian salto and ended up in seventh place. On the other hand, I have nothing to complain about: five medals including two gold. This is a very good result.
-Do you think the judges made a mistake in giving your vault difficulty 5.7 instead of 6.1?
-I don’t know how to think of this. Maybe they made a mistake, or maybe they specifically did this. However, it’s not my place to discuss the judges’ assessment. I only blame myself; I jumped from the line, and so the judges deducted me.
-Anton Golotsutskov, who on the silver medal on vault, said that the judges are prejudiced against Russian athletes.
-I repeat, athletes shouldn’t interfere with the judging. Our small matter is to compete. But in part I agree with Anton. To some extent I think the judges were against me.
-Probably. Not everyone likes that Russia has returned to the top position after a long break.
-I can’t say that we’re fully leaders yet. But yes, we were great as a team at the World Championships! But next to us are our strongest rivals: the Chinese, Americans, and Romanians.
-Which event was the easiest for you, and which was the hardest?
-The easiest to compete on are vault and floor exercise. The funny thing is beam is actually my favorite event. But as you know it’s quite unpredictable. One awkward move and you’re on the ground.
-Did you know that Russia hasn’t had a World All-Around Champion since 2003?
-Yes, of course the last time was Svetlana Khorkina 7 years ago in Anaheim. And I’m more than happy that I could bring the title back to Russia.
-What do you think about being called the next Khorkina?
-Nothing. It’s all the same to me. Svetlana was, of course, an amazing gymnast. But I have no idols and never have.
-What are you dreaming of now?
-Lying down to sleep. But now I can’t lie down because I’m running to a banquet. We’re walking regarding the end of the competitions.
-Did you buy yourself an evening dress in Rotterdam or brought one with you?
-I wasn’t able to go shopping here, not even for local, Holland gifts. I didn’t bring a dress because I prefer casual style. I’ll go to the banquet in jeans! The girls and I will go dancing for a bit at the club, and we’ll raise our glasses of juice to our victory. I can’t drink wine. I’m still a minor, you know. I’m only 16 years old.