27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

Merkulova said that she fought only for gold in exercises with ball

The Russian gymnast Alexandra Merkulova said that her goal was only the gold medal in the finals with a ball at the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan.

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Universiade. Day 11. Rhythmic gymnastics © RIA Novosti/Ilya Pitalev

On Tuesday, Merkulova collected 18.233 points and won the competition. The silver went to Son Yeon Jae of South Korea (18.000), and bronze to Ukrainian Ganna Rizatdinova (17.800). Another Russian Margarita Mamun (17.000) took eighth place.

“I think I have mostly succeeded in everything. The ball is not my best event, but circumstances turned out that way, when Rita’s performance went a bit sour, and it was clear that if I did not perform really well, Russia would be left without the gold medal. For Russia, for my country, I went and I did it. I can make things happen, when it is necessary,” Merkulova told journalists from R-Sport. The gymnast, who was also second in the individual all-around event and in exercises with tape, said she is happy with all medals she has earned at the Universiade. “I am very happy to have had a chance to perform at these competitions, happy to have won, happy that I also have silver. My main goal was to get to the Universiade, because in Russia, the competition was tough, and when I came here, I had to adequately demonstrate the work that we had done with my trainer, to perform well, and to win medals,” she added. Before the Olympic Games in London, Merkulova was replaced by Daria Dmitrieva, due to an earlier injury. The gymnast took a long time to recover and managed to get out of shape, which made the head coach of the Russian team, Irina Viner, unhappy. “Irina is now happy with my weight, she set me a goal, and in one month in Croatia I dropped four kilograms. For the World Cup I will still lose weight, to be 100% in the best shape,” she promised.

R-Sport, July 16