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The Last Ukrainian All Around European Champion

Alina Kozich who was born in late 1987, is the last gymnast from Ukraine to win an all around gold medal at one of the top major intern...

Alina Kozich who was born in late 1987, is the last gymnast from Ukraine to win an all around gold medal at one of the top major international competitions.

Kozich's win came at the pre Olympic European championships in 2004. There, she was competing against three time World all around champion Svetlana Khorkina and World all around bronze medalist Elena Zamoloditchkova of Russia.

Kozich had the third highest score on vault, a 9.250. She performed a one and a half twisting Yurchenko.

The other scorers:
1- Elena Zamoloditchikova RUS 9.437
2-Daniela Sofronie ROU 9.300
4-Loes Linders NED 9.237

On bars, she does endo, eno (E), straddled Jaeger, Tkatchev, Pak salto and a full twisting back tuck.

She scored third highest score, a 9.475.

The other scorers:
1- Irina Yarotska UKR 9.562
2- Svetlana Khorkina RUS, Elizabeth Tweddle GBR 9.537
4- Daniela Sofronie ROU 9.425
7-Elena Zamoloditchkova 9.125

On beam which she had the highest sixth score (9.075), she does L turn to front aerial, side somi, front tuck, Onodi, straddle switch leap, full twisting back handspring, switch leap to full twisting Korbut, full tuck jump and double back tuck dismount.

Other scorers:
1- Svetlana Khorkina RUS 9.387
2-Stefani Bismpikou GRE 9.225
3- Daniela Sofronie ROU 9.212
4- Zuzana Sekerova SVK  9.162
5-Elena Zamolodchikova RUS 9.125

On floor, she did two unusual tumbling passes, like a double front and double twisting forward layout to full twisting forward tuck, and dismounted with a triple full. She had the second highest score on the apparatus, a 9.462.

She used her competitor Elena Zamo's floor music from the Sydney Olympics.

Other scorers
1- Elena Gomez ESP 9.600
3- Elena Zamo RUS 9.437
4-Daniela Sofronie ROU 9.287
5-Maria Teresa Gargano ITA 9.262
6-Svetlana Khorkina RUS 9.262

The silver and bronze went to Zamo and Sofronie respectively, while Khorkina finished in fourth place.

Kozich also won silver in the team competition and placed fifth in beam final. 

Three years later, she won another European all around medal, a bronze, and another bronze on floor exercise. At 2008 Europeans, she won silver on balance beam.

It is worth to mention that the 2004 and 2007 Europeans were held in Netherlands for which she calls "City of Luck".

Kozich was not as fortunate at Worlds and Olympics as she was at Europeans. She had a potential to win individual medals in Athens but falls stood in her way,while she struggled in Beijing and did not advance to any final.

At Worlds, she placed 8th in the all around in 2003 and failed to make any finals in 2005.

She competed for Uzbekistan after the 2008 Olympics but announced her retirement in 2009.

Kozich, Lilia Podkopayeva (1996) and Tatiana Gutsu (1992) are the only Ukrianian gymnasts who won European gold in the all around.

Viktoria Karpenko and Alena Kvasha won bronze in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

Written by Gigi Khazback Farid 

Photo by Sing Lo

See also Alina Kozich “People Were Killing Me Psychologically”.

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