Mykola, now Nikolai Kuksenkov

Mykola Kuksenkov … 2012 Summer Olympics …

The Ukrainian team, consisting of Mykola, Igor Radivilov, Vitalii Nakonechnyi, Oleg Stepko and Oleg Verniaiev finished in 4th place in the team final. They were initially awarded 3rd position although a successful appeal from the Japanese team over one of their athletes scores resulted in Japan being promoted from 4th to 2nd place, displacing Ukraine from the medals. In the individual final Mykola also finished in 4th position, again just missing out on a medal …

Was Mykola pissed?

– What did you feel when you heard that the bronze medal was going to the Japanese team?

– You never forget this kind of thing. Injustice! I think I was in a kind of fog. We finished the competition in third position and the bronze medal. TV showed a table, where the Ukraine was third. Once the competition finished, the Japanese, decided, without respecting the rules, that the Ukrainian team had to fall off the podium.

The Japanese submitted their protest when the delay was over. Had the protest been submitted by any other country, it wouldn’t have been filed. A Japanese gymnast fell, hit his head on the pommel horse, yet that dismount counted for him. It’s ridiculous. Everyone who understands gymnastics was sincerely sorry for us. …

I agree that Ukraine should have been third
, the appeal for Uchimura denied.

But you can’t blame Japan. If you feel the decision was wrong, blame the FIG MTC who overturned the decision of the Pommel Judging panel.

An outspoken interview with Sovietski Sport was translated by Lupita for Rewriting Russian Gymnastics. The interviewer is JOURNALIST IRINA KUKSENKOVA, his sister. A former gymnast.

He’s left Ukraine, now training with Igor Kalabushkin, in Vladimir, Russia. Putin’s government is fast tracking his citizenship. Mykola — now using the more Russian first name Nikolai — hopes to represent Russia in the European Championships this April.


photo from IG


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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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