Ad Code

Sensational bronze medal of Vasilina Khandoshka at the World Cup 2024

The medal of the Belarusian synchronized skater at the World Cup-2024 was declared as a challenge to the new system of evaluating the performance of aquatic "figure skaters".

Let's start with the fact that it was the first great success of the 22-year-old from Minsk on the international arena. Previously, she had already declared herself as a strong synchronized skater when she was among the top 10 strongest in the world at the past World and European Championships. These were mostly solo performances, but there was a lot to remember in the duet as well. In particular, at the Olympic Games in Tokyo Vasilina Khondoshko and Daria Kulagina took 11th place.

From this data it becomes clear that solo performances are not part of the Olympic program, which for synchronized athletes has saved only duet and team competitions. However, Belarusian prospects in synchronized swimming World Aquatics has limited only the solo event in a neutral status, prohibiting performances in the team format. So the sensational bronze medal won at the 2024 World Championships in Doha is not transformed into a pass to the Olympic Games under the current rules.

How did the bronze medal of the World Championships become possible for the athlete who had never come close to such a pedestal before? Although the Belarusian athlete showed her readiness for the tournament at once, when she took the fourth place according to the results of the technical program, only half a point short of the bronze position. In the preliminary round of the free program Vasilina showed the fifth result, with which she made it to the final. But it was these scores that angered her coach-consultant Elena Voronova to the core.

The Russian mentor, with whom Hondoshko has been working with since 2015, did not apply to World Aquatics for neutral status, nor did the entire Russian team. Therefore, Voronova was not in Doha, and she and Hondoshko interacted remotely.

The excellent, in Voronova's opinion, performance of the Belarusian brought her only fifth place in the qualification of the free program. "We prepared a cool solo program, very beautiful, which in the preliminary competition was awarded only a fifth grade. "Singing legs, musicality, super beautiful hands, but nobody looks at that now. They're looking at whether or not we can or can't do the difficulty elements. We decided that since no one needs our beautiful solos, we will, pardon the slang, twirl our ass!", - admitted Voronova in an interview with Match TV.

According to the new rules, the main emphasis in evaluating the performance is placed on the elements of complexity to the detriment of artistry, musical form and organicism of the performance. No beauty, aesthetics of movements can outweigh the points awarded for complexity. Therefore, Voronova and Khondoshko decided to make a "horse's play" by remotely changing the entire (!) free skating program.


"It was a kind of stereotype of the new system of rules and judging. We showed seven identical bunches, they were absolutely identical, the only difference was the toe bend to one side or the other. I hope that this story of such a concrete stereotype will make people think about the fact that with a beautiful solo program you are in fifth place, and with "ah, two, three, four" - in the prizewinners. That's what synchronized swimming is going towards right now.

We wanted to draw attention to the fact that in solo programs people want to see not only stamped movements. But the factoring is calculated in such a way: whatever you do in terms of artistry, it still won't outweigh the elements of complexity in the bunches. I had to use some ingenuity. With my help, Vasilina redid the entire solo in two days," Voronova admitted on Match TV.

From this point of view, the performance of the Belarusian in the final among 12 contestants was perfect. Yes, the artistry was cut to the root and actually thrown out of the program. Vasilina received the lowest marks in the final for it. But in the elements of difficulty Khondoshko was awarded the second mark of the day.

That together formed a bronze medal performance. Only world champion Jacqueline Simoneau from Canada and silver medalist Evangelia Platanioti from Greece performed the free skating program better than our synchronized athlete.   

Post a Comment


Ad Code