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At the European Championships, the sisters won six gold medals for two.
Author: Alexey Rokotov City Journalist
At the May European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Budapest, twins from the city of Zavolzhye, Nizhny Novgorod region Arina and Dina Averina won six gold medals. Arina became the best in the exercises with the ball and clubs, Dina was the first with a hoop and ribbon. In addition, the sisters brought the Russian team success in all-around. After that deafening success, the fans are waiting for Dina and Arina at the World Championships in Italy, which will be held in Pesaro at the end of August this year. Sisters themselves also dream together to be at the championship of the planet and again together to rise to the first step of the pedestal.
And in a short break between training and competitions, Arina and Dina found time to talk with the “Open Lower” and told who was their example in childhood, whether there is a rivalry between twins and how they are confused by judges and distinguished by Irina Viner-Usmanova.
– Your speech at the European Championships even the strict head coach of the Russian team Irina Viner-Usmanova called a benefit. Are the sisters of Averina happy with everything?
Dina Averina : On the first day of the competition, I made a mistake in the exercises with the hoop, though, then corrected in the final. And on the second day, she did not do very cleanly with the ribbon exercises (in both disciplines, Dina eventually became the winner – the author’s note). But in the exercises with the clubs I liked everything, but I became only the second, losing to my sister (laughs). Here is a woman’s logic: where I won, I’m unhappy, and where I lost – on the contrary.
Arina Averina : But I am more satisfied with my performance than my sister (smiles). There were, of course, moments on which we should work in training, but in general everything worked out.
– By the way, how did you share the objects with which you spoke?
DA : Irina Alexandrovna (Viner-Usmanova – author’s comment) gave us the right to determine who will perform in what exercises. Arisha chose the ball and clubs, and I – maces and hoop. And the tape was decided to be entrusted to me, because Arisha had a minor injury, and she said that it would be difficult for her to perform this exercise.
– In the internal discussion of exercises with clubs Arina Averina bypassed her sister, taking “gold.” But Dina later said in an interview that her sister’s victory was even more welcome. Competition between you does not exist?
A.A. : Dina and I are not competitors. For us the main thing is that in the first place of the pedestal there was an athlete who acts under the Russian flag and with the name of Averina.
DA : In fact, now we have stopped competing, and when we were children, we competed only with each other! And all the time I took offense at my sister, if she did something better (smiles). But it also helped – we constantly dragged along one another. And now there really is no rivalry between us, and I’m happy for Arisha more than for myself, as she is for me.
– Personally, I find you very difficult to distinguish. I am sure that both the fans and, probably, the judges at the competitions perceive you as a whole. Many twins are annoyed by this attitude. And how do you feel about this?
AA : And we always liked ourselves that we are perceived as one. And in my childhood, when we were particularly alike, we were confused by everyone except the closest ones, but we never took offense. Now my sister and I have become different, and we are distinguished by many. In the Russian team, everyone knows exactly who Dina is, and who is Arina.
DA : We have a very different style of speaking, so if, for example, Irina Aleksandrovna suddenly does not distinguish us in person, she will immediately understand who is who by the movements on the carpet. But the judges confuse us so far, but we do not use this and do not speak for each other. And then, after all, two years of disqualification can be obtained (smiling).
– You seem to have different characters too. Dina smiles, laughs, but her sister is serious all the time. Or are you, Arina, just reacting to unfamiliar guys like that?
AA : You know, my sister and I are not strong with the guys (smiles). And it’s not that we like the same things, and Dina and I do not want to get into an embarrassing situation. We simply do not have time for anything, except training and competition.
– Always surprised gymnast endurance. Quite young girls who do not think about anything, except the case. In your childhood, did you understand the sacrifices you are making when choosing professional sports?
AA : Of course, we understood, because we had before us the example of the elder sister Polina. She also did rhythmic gymnastics, but then she chose to study. Polina is a very smart girl, she graduated from school with a gold medal. And Dina and I did not study so well to give up the sport (laughs).
DA : And you know, we liked training since childhood! We fell asleep and woke up with thoughts about how to go in for gymnastics. Arisha and I dreamed of championships in Europe, the world, the Olympic Games and always set ourselves up for hard work.
A.A. : And we were very lucky with the coaches. In the Trans-Volga region, we trained with Larisa Viktorovna Belova (mother and first coach of the 2000 Olympic champion Irina Belova – author’s note). She taught us a lot. And when they moved to Novogorsk and began to train in the Russian national team, they very quickly found a common language with Vera Nikolaevna Shatalina, under whose guidance we train now.
DA : And, of course, the work with Irina Alexandrovna Viner-Usmanova gave us a lot. It looks serious and strict on TV, and in communication with sportsmen she is ready to explain and show everything a thousand times. She is very wise. But it is better not to argue with her (laughs).
– Now your childhood dreams come true. The European Championship was triumphant, in the queue – the World Championhips in Italy, where the fans are waiting for the sisters of the Averins. But Irina Viner-Usmanova immediately after the continental championship said that you have not yet guaranteed your performance at the world forum, which will be held in August. Is she too strict?
AA : Before the World Championships is still a long time, and most importantly – a lot of starts. Grand Prix in Israel, the World Cup in Berlin and Kazan. My sister and I will have to prove that we are the best. And we have a serious competitor in the person of Sasha Soldatova (two-time world champion – author’s note). Three Grandmasters will compete at the Grand Prix and the World Cups, but only two will go to the World Championshps. And Dina and I want madly together to be in Italy at the end of August.
DA : My sister and I do not like to part. When we are not together, we are bored and very unusual. Even if we are bored with each other, we should still be around!
Photo from the site of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics, as well as from personal archives of athletes.
Dina is more cheerful looking, Arina is always more serious. Kinda prefer Dina’s performances more.