Rodionenko: The championship in Penza will be a stage of selection for the Olympics
Penza, 5 March 2019. PenzaNews. The Russian Artistic Gymnastics Championship, which will be held in Penza on March 6-10, will be a stage of selection of candidates for the national team to participate in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. This was announced by chief coach of the Russian national teams in gymnastics Andrey Rodionenko.
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"What is this year's championship? To begin with, it is the first competition after 2018, which was important in terms of selection for the Olympic Games. [...] We have an opportunity to see performance of more athletes to expand the number of candidates for training, in fact, for the Olympic Games and for the World Championship this year. This is the task," he said to journalists at an open training session of two-time Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina and other participants of the upcoming competitions at the Palace of sports Burtasy in Penza on Tuesday, March 5.
Andrey Rodionenko added that it was also important to select athletes for the European championship, where medal events would be held in the individual competition, the all-round and individual events.
"This means that we have to select at least two or even three more athletes for the all-around and choose two best ones – for each individual event of the all-around. In figures it can be expressed the following way: in men's programmes there should be six athletes – [...] two well-prepared all-rounders and four athletes to compete in individual events. The girls' team has a four-people format and the number of participants depends on the number of apparatuses And for this reason, two and two would also be good," the coach said.
He noted that in Penza it was important to identify four gymnasts that will represent the country in the all-around at the Olympic Games in 2020.
"These four all-rounders are born at these competitions. [ ... ] Let's be honest with ourselves – it is impossible to make a well-trained all-rounder within a year from scratch. The performance of the best athletes in Penza can be improved. [...] We need to decide who will compete in European and world championships, and whose skills should be hidden from the eyes of the audience so that they cause a sensation in 2020," Andrey Rodionenko explained.
According to him, the coaching staff will focus not on names, but only on the results of gymnasts' performances.
"This year's Russian championship is multifaceted, because it shows what we have today, what we can have tomorrow and, ultimately, what we really need to prepare for the Olympic Games," Andrey Rodionenko summed up.