Some Yulia Lozhechko support

Russian Yulia Lozhechko on her best event.

Suspended from the National team or not, I still think Yulia Lozhechko is one of the best gymnasts in Russia — and the world.

The 2007 European balance beam champion ha swonderful precision on both beam and floor exercise. Like American Nastia Liukin, Lozhechko is a taller, long-legged gymnast, but she demonstrates a durability and a precision on her signature events that Liukin sometimes lacks. There’s also a bit of Khorkina-like steel mixed with that Russian grace. I’m especially taken with the dainty front somie that she lands on one foot in a scale.

Lozhechko on beam, 2007 World Championships, All-Around:

And Floor in Prelims (look Ma! No back handsprings!):

According to Russian head coach Andrei Rodionenko’s statements to the media, Lozhechko was dropped from the Russian team for the remainder of 2007 after the World Championships for disobeying her coaches and throwing a Patterson (a double Arabian) off balance beam during the team preliminaries.

Lozhechko struggling with the Patterson dismount during podium training:

Rodionenko claimed that Lozhechko didn’t water back because she was focusing on qualifying for event finals and instead ended up costing the team points, International Gymnast Magazine reported.

Even if in her heart Lozhechko was really competing for herself alone up there on beam, her goal was still to get the highest score possible. It’s one of the nice things about gymnastics — gymnasts benefit themselves and their teams at the same time. If she had disobeyed her coaches and landed the dismount successfully, made it into event finals and medaled, would she still have been penalized? Doubtful. Rather, she probably would have been proclaimed the new Khorkina; Sveta certainly went her own way and was Russia’s beloved “diva” for three Olympiads.

Lozhechko’s situation brings up another important question: In any situation, does a gymnast have to follow his or her coach’s instructions? I’m not suggesting anarchy; it’s one thing when, as in the case of Maxim Deviatovsky, a gymnast is disobedient simply because he had a couple of poor routines. It’s quite another when a gymnast makes a judgement decision. After all, they’re the ones that are performing.

I hope Lozhechko weathers this controversy and returns stronger than ever in 2008. With a more difficult vault, she could be an all-around contender, and regardless of which beam dismount she throws, if she hits it and the rest of her routine, she could find herself a contender for a gold medal in any competition.

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3 Responses to “Some Yulia Lozhechko support”

  1. blogomment Says:

    I thought what happened was that they wanted her to throw the double tuck but she tried the Patterson instead and fell.

  2. ali Says:

    wow , i rly do love her gymnastics she looks so good on the balance beam,so steady. I found svets did not often look steady u were always afraid she would either split in half, or fall off.

  3. Gymnastics Coaching » Blog Archive » Russian Gymnastics Championships Says:

    […] is previously suspended Lozhechko is on beam (15.550) in 2007 with the Patterson dismount. And some big […]

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