jeudi 13 avril 2017

Interview - Nina Derwael : "I hope to qualify for the uneven bars final at Euros"

In the April issue of FfG's Mouv' Magazine (that you can find here), Nina Derwael talks about her upgrades, how was it like for her to comeback after the Olympics, and what are her expectations at the upcoming European Championships. 

Credit: Spotlight Gymnastics
FfG : How is it going for you lately, Nina ?
Nina Derwael: For now, we are preparing for the European Championships. We are training our new routines with our new skills and we try to make them as clean and steady as possible.

FfG: You had a pretty good Olympic experience. Were you expecting such good results for your first Olympics?
Nina: We were mostly there to do our thing, we were well prepared. I think we just wanted to do our best in qualifications and everything that happened after that was just a bonus.

FfG: Did you get more attention afterwards, from the media, the fans? How did you managed this aspect of the Olympic Games?
Nina: After the Games, it’s true that gymnastics received a bit more attention than usual, for quite some time, but everything’s back to normal now. It’s true that we never see gymnastics on TV or in the media so it was nice to see press articles about the sport and to see that people were interested in gymnastics.

FfG: Was it difficult for you to come back to the gym after the Games?
Nina: I think that because I had good results in Rio, it wasn’t too difficult for me to come back and work for what comes next and to have other good experiences and results.

FfG: With Gaelle Mys and Julie Croket’s retirements, we can now say that you are one of the leader of the team. Does it change something for you in the gym? Are the younger ones coming to you for advice?
Nina: Before the Games, I was already there to help the younger ones. But, for example, when I was preparing the competition in Barcelona (last November), the little ones had an internal competition in Ghent. It was their first one and they weren’t use to it, so they were coming to me to ask me some advice, to help them with the stress. And during the test, I was giving them advice too, like when to put your jacket on to not get cold and stay warm, or that kind of things.

FfG: You recently competed a new bars routine. Can you tell us more about it? How did you put it together? Was it a routine you planned with your coach, Marjorie Heuls?
Nina: It’s a routine Marjorie wanted me to try. It’s been a year, a year and a half that I’m working on it, but I didn’t have that much time before the Olympic Games. So when I had a little more time, like once a week, I was working on it, but I really started to train it seriously after Rio. It’s a routine that allows me to add more difficulty to my start value. The routine I competed at the Top 12 in France isn’t the definitive version of the routine, I’m still changing some things, but it’ll basically remain the same.

FfG: What about the other events? Are you working on upgrades?
Nina: On floor, I’m now doing a tucked full-in. I’ll also maybe change the last pass. Before, I was doing a two and a half twist but I might change it to a double back somersault because it’s cleaner. On vault, we are training the Yurchenko one and a half and the double twisting Yurchenko, and it’s going well. And on beam, we mostly work on the combinations and I’ll also change the mount.

FfG: What are your goals at the upcoming European Championships?
Nina: I’d like to have a great result in the all-around. I’d like to make the top 10 and I hope to qualify for the uneven bars final.

FfG: And maybe win a medal?
Nina: If I make it to the final, then yes, I’d go there to try and win a medal (laughs).

The Dutch version of the interview is available here

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