A unique achievement for the former Russian gymnast. She won a European medal at 28 years old.
Angelina Nikolaeva May 22, 2023 at 14:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Ekaterina Vedeneeva brought a medal to Slovenia. At this age, they practically do not perform in rhythmic gymnastics.
Former Russian gymnast Ekaterina Vedeneeva won her first medal at the European Championships at the age of 28. At the tournament, which was held in Baku, Vedeneeva became a bronze medalist in the exercise with maces. For Ekaterina, as well as for the Slovenian team, this is the first medal at the European Championships.
“Long liver” in rhythmic gymnastics
Vedeneeva is a unique athlete who continues to not only perform, but also win at the age of 28. At a high level, gymnasts at this age no longer compete. For comparison, Dina Averina won the first prize at the European Championships at the age of 18, the Olympic champion Margarita Mamun at 17. And in general, personal general gymnasts usually perform at a high level for a Olympic cycle, that is, up to about 22 years.
Alina Kabaeva, who represented Russia at two Olympic Games, retired at the age of 24. Two-time Olympic champion Evgenia Kanaeva retired from the sport at the age of 22.
Vedeneeva was born in Irkutsk, in 2011 she entered the Russian national team, then she represented the country at the Universiade. In 2018, her Ekaterina changed her citizenship and received a Slovenian passport.
This girl did not want to leave. Why are Russian gymnasts increasingly leaving the country?
She became the first Slovenian gymnast to compete in the Olympic Games and also won the first ever World Championships medal for Slovenia. In 2022, Ekaterina took third place in the exercise on the ribbon. She has now brought to her country the first medal of the European Championship. For her, these awards were also the first in her career.
Perhaps if Vedeneeva had not decided to change her citizenship, she would have finished her career long ago.
“I want to defend classical gymnastics”
Since the age of 14, Vedeneeva has been training under the guidance of Elena Drozhanova. And even now, representing Slovenia, the gymnast continues to work with the Russian coach.
Vedeneeva herself admits that during the period of elimination of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions, she seeks to defend classical gymnastics:
“Now, when Russia and Belarus are not in the competitions, schools that carry classical gymnastics, I want to defend it more than ever. I am, as some say, like a monstrosity. It is difficult to convey to people that sometimes reaching out and standing on the middle finger is much more difficult than throwing the ball and catching it with your feet, ”RIA Novosti quotes Vedeneyeva.
Ekaterina admits that she can perform at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. At the time of the Games, the athlete will be 30 years old.
“The Olympiad is given from above. If it’s meant to be, then it will be. To say that I will go through sweat and blood and definitely get there, I don’t have that approach. If I just do my thing, do what’s right, everything will work out. If it does not work, it means that she did not do something somewhere, ”said Ekaterina.
“I wasn’t interested.” The talented Russian gymnast-artist changed her citizenship.
By the way, at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships – 2023, another former Russian gymnast, Daria Varfolomeev, now representing Germany, won gold in the ribbon exercise.