Vera Shtelbaums: Many People Don’t Like The Hegemony of The Russians in Rhythmic Gymnastics

Maria Titova-GP Moscow 2014-159
Original article link:
English translated by Alyona (Many Many Thanks!!!)

Vera Shtelbaums, the Coach of the two-time Olympic Champion Evgenia Kanaeva, tells about her favorite student soon becoming a mother and about the hegemony of the Russians in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

The first yearly Grand Prix in Rhythmic Gymnastics has started in Moscow and collected the strongest representatives of this sport. As usual, at the first start of the season, the girls are trying their new routines. The Honored Coach of Russia Vera Shtelbaums, personal coach of a silver medalist of Athens Irina Chaschina and the only two-time Olympic Champion Evgenia Kanaeva, shares her impressions on the traditional spring competitions.

– You were smiling while watching the performance of the girl from South Africa. Are the horizons of the Rhythmic Gymnastics expanded?
– Of course! And it is very nice that every year new faces appear and more and more countries become a part of Rhythmic World. What concerns this particular girl, she has been performing for quite a long time and as I remember she participated in the World Championship in Kiev.

– Yes, she was in Kiev in last September.
– I like her very much. She is very emotional and very original. She doesn’t resemble any other gymnast.

– Last year the rules changed drastically. Are any changes expected this year?
– So far not, but the changes may be.

– Usually, they change rules every two years…
– I have heard that there are new offers to the World Championship. If they are confirmed the changes will occur before the World Championship.

– As far as I know World Championships will be held each year.
-That’s true. Now we are looking for the tournament in September and this time we are heading for Turkey.

– Do you think it was the right decision to increase the number of World Championships?
– Absolutely! The more tournaments the better! Especially such competition as Worlds.

– Who do you train nowadays?
– Now I train Masha Titova.

– Tell us few words about her new routines. Who choreographed them? As usually Irına Zenovka?
– You’ve seen them all! Some parts were created by Irina Zenovka, some in assistance with Lucy Dimitrova, our choreographer from Bulgaria. We usually create the routines and then Irina Viner can change everything; she really likes to do so.

– What do you think about Irina Viner’s decision to dismiss the Russian Team in group exercises after the Worlds in Kiev? How the new members of the group were chosen?
– They invited girls born in 1998 from the whole Russia and chose the best ones. They have combined two groups. They were chosen out of 40 or even 50 gymnasts.

– Do you think it was a right decision?
– I don’t know. Irina Viner is the Head Coach, she knows better. But obviously it is difficult for the girls to start performing in a group from the very beginning. Nastya Maksimova is the only person who stayed from the former group. If I were to make a decision I would put the girls to the team gradually, one by one. Because it is very difficult for such young girls to cope with all the difficulties. But in fact they manage to put up with the pressure and responsibility. They do good fob!

– I have heard that Olga Ilyina, the champion of the Youth Olympics in Singapore, is worried about the whole situation. She missed London and now again she is out of the team…
– Viner has made Olga an assistant. She helps to train both teams. I also know that she deals with the organizational issues. So now she is quite busy.

– From this year on the Olympic program in figure skating includes team competitions. Now a sportsman can get two medals during the tournament. When will Rhythmic Gymnastics have anything like that?
– We’ve been speaking a lot about it.

– What about the FIG? Do they speak about it?
– I don’t know. We have such a president… I don’t want to say anything bad. This issue is not for the mass media.

– Some people think that the amount of medals is not increased because of the hegemony of the Russians.
– Yes, many people don’t like that. Compare, in artistic gymnastics they have 12 Olympic medals and we only two.

– At the opening ceremony in Sochi Alina Kabaeva bringing the Olympic Fire was the best way to promote Rhythmic. Is it true that she learned about her participation just one hour before the ceremony?
– I don’t know. I haven’t seen Alina and we never talked about it.

– How is Evgenia Kanaeva doing? What is she busy with? I bet you keep in touch.
– Zhenya is expecting a baby. She is getting ready to become mother. It will happen in the end of March, about 20th. She and her husband expect a boy. Zhenya’s mom and her grandma were here at the Grand Prix, but Zhenya was watching the competitions on the TV.

And in this article Vera Shtelbaums talked about Zhenya and Masha
just translated Zhenya and Masha’s part, many thanks catts!!!

“Zhenya, despite the fact that she did not come, watched all the performances on TV,’ said the trainer. ‘She has already written me an emotional SMS about how she liked Masha. I, as a trainer, will be more reserved in the assessment: with Masha we still have work to do.”

Also in this article Vera Shtelbaums talked about Masha and her routines
again just translated Masha’s part, many thanks catts!!!

“According to the trainers, the many competitions in March would help them understand both the strengths of the routines of her students, as well as their weaknesses. Vera Shtelbaums, trainer of Maria Titova, at the moment does not believe the performance of her student was flawless: “Not everything happened as intended. But, in principle , Masha has tested her new routines. Now, let’s see what to do next . At the moment the most questionable routine is hoop . I think we should even think about the music. Masha is a hardworking and attentive athlete. I think all will continue to go well. After the Grand Prix we have started to prepare for the next, which will be in Thiais.”

Note by Zoe: If they change Masha’s hoop music again I will be very happy!!! Don’t like this “cats” cut, it doesn’t suit Masha’s style.   

3 thoughts on “Vera Shtelbaums: Many People Don’t Like The Hegemony of The Russians in Rhythmic Gymnastics

  1. Yeah I had read that quote, and I hop it doesn’t put more pressure on Maria. I trust Vera, she has the pedigree, I just don’t want the head coach to undermine what the coach does. Maria is definitely improving under Vera and she can improve even more.

  2. @M, about Irina Viner’s attitude toward Masha, according to Yana Batyrshina “It is not a secret for anyone that Masha Titova is Irina Viner’s favourite…” read here, but Masha’s personal coach now is Vera Shtelbaums, and Shtelbaums said “I, as a trainer, will be more reserved in the assessment: with Masha we still have work to do.” So I think we could have faith on Vera Shtelbaums 😉

  3. Interesting article . I don’t like that Irina can change everything that they choreograph, at least leave some of it, lol. Either way, lets hope Maria continues to improve at each event this year.

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