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Latest Win Sets Up Sotnikova For New Season
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Belarusian gymnast Alina Sotnikova told IG that her gold medal-winning performance at the recent Alexander Dityatin Cup in St. Petersburg bodes well for her potential in future competitions.

Alina Sotnikova (Belarus)

"When I competed there, I didn't have a full program," said Sotnikova, who placed first on vault, and fourth on balance beam and floor exercise, at the Dityatin Cup. "I simply did everything without mistakes and was calm toward the performances."

The 12th annual competition was held in honor of Dityatin, a St. Petersburg native who won eight medals (including three golds) at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

Born March 7, 1993, in Vitebsk, Sotnikova competed at the last three world championships. She placed third on vault and seventh on floor exercise at the FIG Challenger Cup in Ghent earlier this year.

Sotnikova has achieved her best international results on vault, the apparatus she most prefers. She was 16th on vault at the 2010 Worlds in Rotterdam, 17th on vault at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo, and 10th on vault at the 2012 European Championships in Brussels.

"Vault is not a terribly difficult apparatus for me, and it turns out best for me," said Sotnikova, who is coached by Dmitry Kukhtov.

Anastasia Marachkovskaya was the Belarusian women's only qualifier for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, but Sotnikova hopes to compete at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"It's necessary to deserve it," she said of Olympic qualification. "This time (2012) it didn't turn out, but I will try to earn the ticket next time."

Sotnikova, a second-year student at Masherov State University in Vitebsk, is looking ahead to life in and out of the gym.

"At long as I'm healthy, I will train," she told IG. "I don't want to work as a coach. Training – yes! But to work as a coach is very difficult."

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
"Anastasia Marachkovskaya: Still setting the standard for Belarus" – profile (May 2012)
2004 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame induction report – features Dityatin (June/July 2004)

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