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Pihan-Kulesza Empowered by Solid Worlds Results
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After she and husband performed well at last week's world championships in Rotterdam, Marta Pihan-Kulesza of Poland told IG the couple is satisfied but eager to upgrade their routines for better results ahead.

Marta Pihan-Kulesza (Poland)

"My performance was more stable and I felt stronger than in previous years," she said.

Pihan-Kulesza said her 20th-place in the all-around final in Rotterdam compared well to her 18th place at the 2005 Worlds in Melbourne.

"It wasn't my first time in the world all-around final," she said. "But, OK, I can say it is my first time making the final using the new Code of Points, because five years ago the highest score possible was 10."

In Rotterdam, Pihan-Kulesza came close to making the apparatus final on balance beam, where her score of 14.400 made her third reserve for the eight-gymnast final. A score better than 14.533 would have qualified her for the final.

Pihan-Kulesza said a steadier performance on balance beam in qualifications could have earned her a spot in that final.

"I would have needed to eliminate some shaky moments and clean up some elements," she said. "I also missed two connections."

Pihan-Kulesza said competing among the top 24 gymnasts in the world in Rotterdam showed her the areas in which she needs to improve.

"I have to raise my D (difficulty) score on vault, change my routine on bars, and clean up beam and floor," she said.

Pihan-Kulesza said she also sees areas of improvement for her husband, Roman Kulesza, who was the Polish men's top all-arounder in Rotterdam. Roman Kulesza placed 38th all-around in qualifications, less than 0.700 away from advancing to the all-around final. He finished 17th on high bar, his best event, in qualifications.

"Roman will need a higher D score, especially on pommel horse and rings, and clean up on floor," Pihan-Kulesza told IG. "I know that he could have done more difficult routines in Rotterdam on parallel bars and high bar, but he had to do clean and stable routines for the team."

Pihan-Kulesza said she was glad to offer her husband words of encouragement in Rotterdam.

"I especially told him, 'You are the best and you are amazing,' Pihan-Kulesza said. "Nothing more. And some screaming words during his competition, like 'Come on!' or 'Stick it!'"

Read "Parallel Lives," a profile on Marta Pihan-Kulesza and Roman Kulesza, in the April 2010 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, click here.

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