International GYMNAST Magazine Online
IG News Archive: December 2000
Gymnasts Reap End of Year Awards // December 29, 2000
As 2001 comes to a close, newspapers, news agencies, and journalist associations from around the world have begun to announce their lists of top athletes, teams, and coaches of both the year and the century. Following are names of some of the gymnasts and gymnastics coaches who have been honored so far:


Szilveszter Csollany (HUN): "Athlete of the Year" by Hungarian Olympic Committee
Alexei Nemov (RUS): "Runner-Up Russian Athlete of the Year" by ITAR-TASS News Agency and Sport-Express and among "Top Ten Athletes of the Year" (unranked) by Federation of Russian Sports Journalists
Yulia Raskina(BLR): "Runner-Up Female Athlete of the Year" by BelaPAN News Agency, "Fourth Best Athlete of the Year" by Belarus Telegraph Agency BELTA and "Sixth Best Female Athlete" by Belarus Business Gazette
Marius Urzica (ROM): "Third Best Athlete of the Year" by Romanian Sports Press Association
Ivan Ivankov (BLR): "Eighth Best Male Athlete of the Year" by BelaPAN News Agency
Yelena Zamolodchikova (RUS): "Eighth Best Athlete of the Year" by Sport-Express among "Top Ten Athletes of the Year" (unranked) by Federation of Russian Sports Journalists


Irina Leparskaya, Tatiana Nenasheva, Natalia Raskina, Natalia Stepanova (BLR rhythmic gymnastics): "Fourth Best Coaches of The Year" by Belarus Business Gazette
Leonid Arkayev and Nadezhda Maslennikova (artistic gymnastics, RUS) and Irina Viner (rhythmic gymnastics, RUS): among "Top Ten Coaches of the Year" (unranked) by Federation of Russian Sports Journalists


Romanian Women's Olympic Team (Simona Amanar, Loredana Boboc, Andreea Isarescu, Maria Olaru, Claudia Presacan, Andreea Raducan): "Team of the Year" by Romanian Sports Press Association
Belarusian Rhythmic Group (Tatiana Ananko, Tatiana Belan, Anna Glazkova, Irina Ilenkova, Maria Lazuk, Olga Luzhevich): "Women's Team of the Year" by Belarus Business Gazette
Belarusian Men's Team (Ivan Ivankov, Alexander Kruzhilov, Ivan Pavlovsky, Vitaly Rudnitsky, Alexei Sinkevich, Alexander Shostak): "Third Best Team of the Year" by Belarus Business Gazette


Vitaly Scherbo (BLR): second place for men by Belarus Business Gazette
Svetlana Boginskaya (BLR): third place for women by Belarus Business Gazette
Olga Korbut (BLR): fourth place for women by Belarus Business Gazette
Larisa Latynina (UKR): Top Ten (unranked) by Komsomolskaya Pravda (Russia)

Latynina Turns 66 // December 27, 2000
Celebrating her 66th birthday today is Ukrainian gymnastics legend Larisa Latynina, the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

Born December 27, 1934 in Kherson, Ukraine, Latynina competed in three Olympiads and four world championships from '54-66. Remarkably, she won the '58 world championships while pregnant with her daughter, Tanya. Latynina's total of 18 Olympic medals is the highest total to date by any athlete in any sport.

Latynina's legacy inspired fellow Kherson native Tatiana Lysenko, winner of the 1990 World Cup and two gold medals at the '92 Olympics. "She was always one of my heroes," Lysenko told IG this week. "Growing up in Kherson, I remember that Latynina's name was mentioned frequently and her photos had a permanent spot on the walls of our gym school."

Lysenko added that the Kherson City Museum contains a section dedicated to great athletes, where Latynina is recognized as "our local hero and an inspiration for future generations."

Latynina, an inductee in the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame and a recipient of the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Order in silver, now lives in her country home in Kolyanino, outside Moscow. She told the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets that she plans to greet 2001 at her home with her husband Yuri Feldman; Feldman's son and daughter-in-law; her daughter Tanya and grandson Konstantin; and friends made during the past year.

Recognizing Latynina's birthday, Lysenko said Latynina remains an icon. "I remember the feelings of pride and honor of being a gymnast and following in the footsteps of one of the greatest champions and pioneers of our sport," Lysenko told IG. "It was a thrill meeting Ms. Latynina later in my life, and speaking with a woman whose achievements inspired me throughout my gymnastics career. I would like to wish her a happy birthday and continued health and happiness."

With this acknowledgement of Latynina's 66th birthday, IG Online announces the launch of Legends, a new area dedicated to gymnasts of different eras whose achievements remain significant and inspirational today. Legends will be regularly updated, so readers are encouraged to check back often. Click here to go to Legends.

Kabayeva Set For New Year // December 26, 2000
After losing the 2000 Olympic rhythmic gymnastics gold medal when she dropped her hoop in the all-around final, Russia's Alina Kabayeva is ready for 2001 and beyond, her coaching friend Alla Svirsky told IG today.

"She has already forgotten about the mistake," said Svirsky, director of the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics and a longtime friend of Kabayeva and her coach Irina Viner. "It was no big deal to her. After Sydney, she went to the World Cup in Glasgow and won three gold medals."

Svirsky, whose L.A. Lights International meet saw Kabayeva's American debut in 1996, said Kabayeva received no money prize from the Russian government for her Olympic bronze medal. Kabayeva's teammate Yulia Barsukova, who won the gold medal, received $100,000, according to Svirsky.

Svirsky added that she predicts Kabayeva will continue to fare well in the new Olympic cycle, based on her style and the new Code of Points that favors it. "I can see Alina's potential for the next Olympics, because she is unique," Svirsky told IG. "The new rules are made for her quality of gymnastics, and she really has an advantage."

Read more about Kabayeva in the April 2000 issue and December 2000 issue of International Gymnast Magazine.

Vihrovs Gets Early Christmas Present
// December 25, 2000
Three months after he won Latvia's first ever Olympic gold medal, Igors Vihrovs was finally awarded the prize money promised to him upon his victory in Sydney.

Vihrovs, who upset Russia's Alexei Nemov for the floor exercise gold at the 2000 Olympics, had been promised a substantial cash award by the Latvian Olympic Committee in September. Though Latvian nationalists had criticized Vihrovs (an ethnic Russian) for his inability to speak fluent Latvian and had called the award anti-patriotic, the government announced last month that Vihrovs would still receive the prize money. In an official ceremony on Thursday, Vihrovs, 22, was presented with a check for 100,000 latovs (approximately $165,000) by Latvian Prime Minister Andris Berzins. Vihrovs and Latvia's two other Sydney medallists then attended a reception hosted by President Vaira Vîke-Freiberga.

In additional news, the Latvian Cup was held last week. With Vihrovs not taking part, the men's all-around champion was Erik Revelinsh (54.050) over Denis Zbitskis (50.350). The women's competition was won by Yana Nosenko (34.007), with Anna Sushitska (33.974) finishing second.

Former Romanian Star Pities Raducan
// December 23, 2000
1980s Romanian star Lavinia Agache says she respects the International Olympic Committee's decision to strip countrywoman Andreea Raducan of her 2000 Olympic all-around gold medal after testing positive for a banned substance, but feels sorry for Raducan. "I don't think there is any drug that can make you do better gymnastics," Agache told IG on Thursday.

Agache, a member of Romania's gold medal-winning team at the '84 Games, said she has "mixed feelings" about the IOC's decision against Raducan. At the Sydney Games, the 17-year-old Raducan tested positive for pseudoephedrine, a banned substance found in her cold medication. Romanian team physician Ioachim Oana had administered the medication to Racucan.

"The doctor made a big, big mistake," said Agache, now 32 and a coach at Everglades Gymnastics in Davie, Florida. "Maybe it was carelessness, but I feel badly for the girl. All her life, people will ask her, 'How did it feel to have the medal taken away?,' and not remember that she was the winner."

Agache was a mainstay on the Romanian team in the 1980s. Although reports have varied regarding her actual birthdate, Agache confirmed with IG that she was born February 11, 1968. She tied for seventh all-around at the '81 world championships, and placed sixth all-around at the '83 world championships, where she also won three medals in the individual event finals.

At the '84 Olympics, Agache led the field after compulsories but dropped out of contention with errors in the optional round. Ironically, Agache's performances at the Los Angeles Games suffered because a legal medication she was given to overcome jetlag made her lethargic and disoriented.

"I think the IOC did the right thing, though," Agache told IG of the Raducan controversy. "There are rules, and all athletes should be treated the same way if they are found to be using a medication that is on the banned list."

Read more about Agache in an upcoming issue as well as the October 1993 issue of International Gymnast Magazine; and more about Raducan in the February 2000 and January 2001 issues of International Gymnast Magazine.

Bilozerchev Turns 34 // December 22, 2000
Russia's Dmitry Bilozerchev, who at age 16 became the youngest male world champion in history, celebrates his 34th birthday today. "I look at things differently now, and not as a young boy," Bilozerchev told IG this week.

Born December 22, 1966 in Moscow, Bilozerchev won the '83 and '87 world all-around titles. Although his '83 victory was phenomenal (he averaged 9.975 in the all-around final), his '87 conquest was perhaps more impressive. Two years prior, he had shattered his leg in 42 places in an auto accident in Moscow.

Bilozerchev then finished third all-around at the '88 Olympics, a competition he might have won were it not for a mistake on high bar in the preliminaries. (The "new life" rule was not in effect then, and preliminary averages carried over into the all-around final.)

Bilozerchev, who for the past three years has been coaching at Creative Gymnastics in Beaverton, Oregon, told IG this week that he is satisfied with his life since his retirement from competition. "Everything is going smoothly in my life, and my work is very enjoyable," he said. "I have a good family, a good job, a nice house and money. Everything is working out for me, and I have no problems."

He is working with all levels of the Creative girl's team, as well as with his gymnast son Alexei, 10. Bilozerchev's wife, former rhythmic gymnast Olga Dubrovskaya, is a choreographer at the club. Their three-year-old daughter Alisa is just starting to experiment with gymnastics, according to Bilozerchev.

"Our Level 5 and 6 gymnasts did very well this year, and our Level 10 season begins in January," Bilozerchev reported this week. "I hope some of them make it to Nationals." Next summer, Bilozerchev said he plans to take 50 of his gymnasts to train at the Dinamo club in Moscow.

Following his retirement from amateur competition, Bilozerchev took part in a few professional events in the U.S. Now, he said he is finished with any kind of competition but is still fit. "Nobody competes forever, but I did enjoy it," he told IG of his post-Olympic performances. "I can still show my gymnasts things, and even though I'm 34, I can still do some high-level tricks."

Bilozerchev said he doesn't often hear from former Soviet teammates. "Everyone has his own life, and not many of them are here (in the U.S.)," he explained. "I count on myself, and my wife and kids really help me a lot."

He said he is still close, however, with U.S.-based compatriots Artur Akopian ('83 world champion on vault, and his former roommate at the Russian national training center of Krugloye); '88 Olympic teammate Vladimir Novikov; and '89 world championship team member Vitaly Marinich.

Bilozerchev also keeps in touch with his coach Alexander Alexandrov, who is working in Texas. "I get a lot of coaching tips from him, because he is so experienced," Bilozerchev said of his mentor.

Reminded that at age 34 he is still considered a gymnastics icon, Bilozerchev said he is surprised and flattered that fans maintain their interest in his life. "When I was a gymnast, I was really thankful that I had fans who were there for me in good times and bad," he told IG, "but I don't know many I have left. I am really thankful that people should remember me. I'm very pleased to hear that."

Read more about Bilozerchev in an upcoming issue and in the April 1997 issue of International Gymnast Magazine.

Canadian Coach Hopeful // December 21, 2000
In spite of the absence of most of Canada's 2000 Olympic team at the recent Elite Canada competition, leading Canadian coach Carol-Angela Orchard told IG yesterday that the country's team is getting back in shape as 2001 approaches.

Orchard, who trains Olympian Michelle Conway at the Sport Seneca club in Ontario, commented favorably on Ashley Peckett, who won the Elite Canada event held earlier this month in Winnipeg. Peckett was not a member of the Olympic team.

"Ashley is a beautiful gymnast - very elegant, deceivingly powerful and with a lovely line," Orchard said.

Peckett trains at Gymnastics Mississauga in Ontario, where Alex Bard, Svetlana Degteva and Craig Smith coach her.

Past Gymnastics Mississauga standouts include Stella Umeh, who placed 17th all-around at the '91 world championships, 16th at the '92 Olympics and 15th at the '93 world championships; Stacey Galloway, who placed 21st at the '93 world championships; Theresa Wolf and Lena Degteva, who competed at the '94 and '95 world championships; and Shanyn Maceachern, a '96 Olympian.

Kate Richardson, Canada's top all-arounder at the Sydney Olympics, competed on only two events at Elite Canada "because her coach, David Kenwright, didn't want to push her to prepare full routines now," according to Orchard. "(Kenwright) would rather work the new code without the pressure of full routines. Kate did compete vault, and she did a world class beam routine that would take your breath away - simply gorgeous, 9.95."

Orchard told IG that Conway is recovering from knee surgery, following an injury sustained during training in Sydney. "At the Olympics, they thought she had torn her meniscus; when they finally went in to do the surgery, they found she had torn it twice," Orchard said today. Conway, who traveled to Elite Canada host city Winnipeg to speak about her Olympic experience at local schools and gym clubs there, is training again. "She is still the spark plug of our gym at Sport Seneca," Orchard said. "She has been an absolute inspiration to all of our other athletes as an Olympic athlete and as a 'coach' during her rehab time."

According to Orchard, Olympian Crystal Gilmore did not compete at Elite Canada due to a wrist injury, and Emilie Fournier is "still healing" from the leg injury that she sustained in pre-Olympic training in Sydney. "She is back in the gym training," Orchard said of Fournier.

The other three members of Canada's 2000 Olympic team have retired from international gymnastics competition: Yvonne Tousek is attending UCLA, Lise Leveille is attending Stanford University, and Julie Beaulieu has taken up diving.

Read more about the Canadian team in the upcoming January 2001 issue of International Gymnast Magazine; and more about Conway and Orchard in the June/July 1999 issue of International Gymnast Magazine.

St. Petersburg Wins Russian RSG Group Championships // December 20, 2000
A team from St. Petersburg took first place at Russia's National Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Group Exercises, held in the town of Penza from December 15-19. St. Petersburg, the defending champions, topped the group from Nizhny Novgorod for the combined title. Host city Penza finished third, as it had in '99, and also fielded the top junior group. Irina Belova from Nizhny Novgorod and Natalia Lavrova from Penza were members of Russia's gold medal-winning group at the '00 Olympics.

10 groups took part in the senior competition and 15 groups took part in the junior competition.

Russian National Rhythmic Group Championships
Penza, Russia

Combined Final, Master of Sport Level

  1. St. Petersburg
  2. Nizhny Novgorod
  3. Penza

Five Clubs Final

  1. St. Petersburg
  2. Penza
  3. Nizhny Novgorod

Two Ribbons/Three Clubs Final

  1. Nizhny Novgorod
  2. St. Petersburg
  3. Penza

Combined Final, Candidate Master of Sport Level

  1. Penza
  2. Moscow
  3. Moscow II
Mills Settles In San Diego // December 18, 2000
Phoebe Mills, whose bronze medal on the balance beam was the only U.S. gymnastics medal earned at the 1988 Olympics, says life in her new San Diego, California location is agreeable and promising. "So far, so good," Mills told IG today.

A native of Illinois, Mills trained for six years under coach Bela Karolyi in Texas. In 1988, she won the U.S. all-around title; at the Seoul Olympics that year, she qualified for three event finals (tying for third on balance beam) and placed 15th all-around. Mills retired from gymnastics in '89, then competed in diving for the University of Miami. Following graduation from college, Mills began snowboarding and became a snowboarding coach at a resort in Vermont.

She and good friend Tatiana Lysenko ('92 Olympic balance beam champion) made a cross-country trip together in late October, when Mills officially relocated. The 28-year-old Mills is now coaching at the Aztec Gymnastics Club on the campus of San Diego State University. She is also conducting gymnastics clinics, as she had prior to her move.

"California is a lot different from the East Coast," Mills told IG today. "I am trying to decide which is more laid back - California or Vermont. But the weather and scenery here are beautiful." She said she particularly enjoys the proximity of her apartment to the beach - one block.

When IG met with Mills in October, she said she was looking forward to taking up a new sport: surfing. "I've got the wet suit, and now I just have to get a board," she advised today.

Mills, who has a degree in environmental science, said she is still interested in finding work in that field; she may also apply to law school in February 2001. Mills will accompany the U.S. team to the World Junior Snowboarding championships, to be held in March 2001 in Italy.

She joked about spending the upcoming holidays in the sunny southwest. "My family is going to Lake Placid (New York), where it is freezing now," Mills said today, "so when I talk to them, I am really rubbing this warm weather in."

Read more about Mills, past and present, in the January 2001 issue of International Gymnast Magazine.

Gymnastics Fans Rally Online // December 18, 2000
With less than one month to go until the 2000 World Sports Awards, gymnastics' Alexei Nemov (RUS) and Simona Amanar (ROM) are each holding nearly half the online vote in the men's and women's athletics categories, respectively.

Sydney's three Olympic all-around champions in gymnastics, Nemov, Amanar, and Russian rhythmic gymnast Yulia Barsukova were each individually nominated for the title "Athlete of the Year" for the 2nd Annual World Sports Awards, to be held in London on January 16th. The awards jury is composed of athletes, sports officials and journalists, with consideration being given to the results of online voting.

Though Nemov was once ranked second in the online total behind American cycling hero Lance Armstrong, the Russian gymnast is currently holding nearly half the votes in the "Men's Athletics" category with 49.87%. In the "Women's Athletics" category, Amanar currently holds 46.62% and Barsukova holds 7.05% of the vote.

To vote for your favorite gymnast, go to

Several Stars Hit Zenith In Paris
// December 17, 2000
Five different gymnasts claimed the men's events, and Ukraine's Olga Roschupkina was the only multiple champion among the women, at today's Zenith Tournament in France. (Vault was not contested for either men or women.)

The competition also featured a farewell tribute to French rhythmic star Eva Serrano, who is retiring. The 22-year-old Serrano placed fifth all-around at the '00 Olympics, and sixth in '96. Ukrainian Yelena Vitrichenko, who officially retired after the Alfred Vogel Grand Prix a few months ago, also performed in France in salute to Serrano.

2000 Olympic floor champion Igors Vihrovs of Latvia won his specialty, having dropped to fourth at the recent World Cup final in Glasgow.

On pommel horse, France's Eric Poujade defeated Olympic winner Marius Urzica of Romania. (Poujade was second to Urzica at the '00 Olympics, and then Urzica took the World Cup title.)

Hungary's Szilveszter Csollany and Greece's Dimosthenis Tambakos finished first and second, respectively, on rings, as they had done at the '00 Olympics.

France's Yann Cucherat won parallel bars (on which he was sixth at the '00 Olympics), and countryman Florent Mar�e, the '98 Junior European champion, won high bar.

Roschupkina won gold on uneven bars and balance beam. On the former event, she had placed sixth at the '00 Olympics and fifth at the World Cup final; on the latter, she was eighth at the World Cup final.

Faltering to third place on bars was two-time Olympic event champion Svetlana Khorkina of Russia, who had just finished a two-month tour of the U.S.

Russia's Yelena Zamolodchikova placed first on floor, one of two events she won at the '00 Olympics. Zamolodchikova placed second on floor at the World Cup final.

Also returning to post-tour competition was Khorkina's male teammate Alexei Nemov, who was fifth on both floor exercise and high bar.

Zenith Tournament
Paris, France

Men's Floor Exercise

  1. Igors Vihrovs (LAT) 9.725
  2. Jordan Jovtchev (BUL) 9.700
  3. Dmitry Karbanenko (FRA) 9.600
  4. Florent Mar�e (FRA) 9.500
  5. Alexei Nemov (RUS) 9.000

Pommel Horse

  1. Eric Poujade (FRA) 9.875
  2. Marius Urzica (ROM) 9.400
  3. Florent Mar�e (FRA) 9.300
  4. Jordan Jovtchev (BUL) 9.300
  5. Yevgeny Podgorny (RUS) 8.450


  1. Szilveszter Csollany (HUN) 9.825
  2. Dimosthenis Tambakos (GRE) 9.750
  3. Jordan Jovtchev (BUL) 9.750
  4. Yann Cucherat (FRA) 9.550
  5. Yevgeny Podgorny (RUS) 8.000

Parallel Bars

  1. Yann Cucherat (FRA) 9.700
  2. Dmitry Karbanenko (FRA) 9.550
  3. Marius Urzica (ROM) 8.750
  4. Yevgeny Podgorny (RUS) 8.000

High Bar

  1. Florent Mar�e (FRA) 9.350
  2. Jordan Jovtchev (BUL) 9.225
  3. Benjamin Varonian (FRA) 9.050
  4. Yann Cucherat (FRA) 9.000
  5. Alexei Nemov (RUS) 8.800

Uneven Bars

  1. Olga Roshchupkina (UKR) 9.700
  2. Yelena Zamolodchikova (RUS) 9.675
  3. Svetlana Khorkina (RUS) 9.350
  4. Alexandra Soler (FRA) 8.350
  5. Elvire Teza (FRA) 8.100

Balance Beam

  1. Olga Roshchupkina (UKR) 9.325
  2. Delphine Regease (FRA) 9.225
  3. Viktoria Karpenko (UKR) 9.125
  4. Ludivine Furnon (FRA) 9.125
  5. Yekaterina Lobaznyuk (RUS) 9.100

Women's Floor Exercise

  1. Yelena Zamolodchikova (RUS) 9.775
  2. Viktoria Karpenko (UKR) 9.725
  3. Svetlana Khorkina (RUS) 9.525
  4. Nelly Ramassamy (FRA) 9.475
  5. Anne-Sophie Endeler (FRA) 9.275

Rhythmic Ball

      1.   Yelena Vitrichenko (UKR) 19.800
      1.   Eva Serrano (FRA) 19.800
      3.   Aur�lie Lacour (FRA) 19.000

Rhythmic Ribbon or Rope (choice of either)

  1. Eva Serrano/ribbon (FRA) 19.800
  2. Yelena Vitrichenko/ribbon (UKR) 19.700
  3. Aur�lie Lacour/rope (FRA) 18.800

Rhythmic Hoop

  1. Eva Serrano (FRA) 19.800
  2. Yelena Vitrichenko (UKR) 19.650
  3. Aur�lie Lacour (FRA) 18.900
Kalinina Turns 27 // December 16, 2000
Celebrating her 27th birthday today is 1990 Goodwill Games all-around champion Natalia Kalinina. "I am very happy to meet my 27th birthday after a year in America," the Ukrainian native told IG.

Kalinina, who with her husband Mikhail Tsitsilin moved to Northern California a year ago, said she has learned much since then. "Now I am not as 'fresh' as I was a year ago," Kalinina told IG today. "At work, everything is good. With time, I know English better, and this helps in both work and life. I am very happy that I ended up in America, because I can work, earn a living and not worry about the future."

Born in Kherson, Ukraine, Kalinina emerged as an international star in 1990. That year, she won the all-around silver medal at the European championships, the Soviet all-around title, and four gold medals (including the all-around) at the Goodwill Games. Kalinina nevertheless played a leadoff role for her victorious team at the '91 world championships, and a year later was left off the Unified (former USSR) Olympic squad.

Kalinina competed in the '93 and '95 World University Games, and graduated from college in '96. She then joined a circus in Moscow, where she met Tsitsilin. The couple now coach at Peninsula Gymnastics in San Mateo, Calif.

Kalinina has simple plans for her birthday festivities. "I will work to prepare dinner, and at night will throw a party for our coworkers," she told IG.

She maintains close ties with former Ukrainian teammates who are also working in the U.S. Kalinina says she speaks "once or twice a month" with U.S.-based Tatiana Lysenko ('92 Olympic beam champion), Lyudmila Stovbchataya ('92 Olympic team alternate), and Yelena Shapornaya ('96 Olympian). "We talk about our friends from the team, the latest gymnastics news, life in America, and relatives who are still in Russia and Ukraine," Kalinina said.

Kalinina added that while she has no specific plans for the next year, she does have a long-term ambition. "I have a general dream in life - to have children and a good family," she told IG. "Therefore, every year I try to do something for this purpose. Now, for example, I am working on getting a green card."

In acknowledging her 27th birthday, Kalinina also acknowledges admirers who still recall her gymnastics accomplishments. "I would like to say thank you to my fans, and to wish them health and happiness," Kalinina said. "Their remembrance gives me the feeling that what I did and do is useful to someone, and brings joy to someone. This is very nice to know."

Read more about Kalinina in the October 2000 issue of International GYMNAST Magazine.

Slovenian Gymnastics On The Rise
// December 15, 2000
Although Slovenia's male gymnasts Aljaz Pegan and Mitja Petkov�ek won three medals at the recent World Cup Final, a leading Slovenian coach told IG yesterday that the country's female gymnasts are also on the path to success.

"Slovenian gymnastics is in the phase of 'change of generations' because younger gymnasts, mostly juniors, are dominant on the national team," Slovenian coach Mitja Samardzija told IG.

Samardzija coaches Maja Hribar, the all-around winner at last weekend's Slovenia/Czech Republic dual meet. (The dual meet between the Slovenian and Czech women is an annual affair that alternates the host country every year, according to Samardzija). This year's meet was held in Ljubljana, and the home team topped the Czech Republic by over five points, 105.888 to 100.763. Hribar also won three events, ceding vault only to Czech Nela Kuncova.

Two points behind Hribar (36.950) was teammate Julija Kamnar (34.950). The Czech Republic's top finisher was Lucie Gellertova in third with 34.700.

Read more about the Slovenian team in an upcoming issue of International GYMNAST Magazine.

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