Sikulova Seeks All-Around Success at Worlds
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After tying for the gold medal on uneven bars at the World Cup of Ostrava this past weekend, Czech gymnast Jana Sikulova told IG she is confident in her all-around chances at this month's world championships in Rotterdam.

Jana Sikulova (Czech Republic)/span>

"I haven't got a specific target, but I would like to try my new routine on bars," said the 22-year-old Sikulova. "Bars are still my best event, but now I want to try to improve on other events. I think I have more of a chance in the all-around than on individual events."

Sikulova said her sweep of the Czech national championships last month gave her extra confidence heading into Rotterdam.

"I managed to win all the events and it makes me very happy," Sikulova said. "I had some problems with my back for a long time so I didn't have a lot of trainings. I was concerned about my starting at this competition, and in the end it was for me two successful days! Now I'm feeling better and I'm preparing for Rotterdam."

Also named to the Czech team for Rotterdam were 2008 Olympian Kristyna Palesova, Nicole Pechancova (who competes as Nicole Pechanec at Stanford University in the U.S.), Alice Janova, Marcela Molackova and Klara Hadrbolcova.

Sikulova, who won one gold medal and two bronze medals at the World Cup of Maribor earlier this year, said she is not optimistic that her team can finish among the top 24 in Rotterdam.

"It is a difficult question," she said. "In the Czech Republic there is unfortunately a big crisis now, and it is very sad. We have three new, inexperienced gymnasts on our team. A place in the top 24 is unattainable for us."

The top 24 teams in Rotterdam will advance to the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo, from which eight teams will advance to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Four other teams will earn Olympic berths at a competition in early 2012.

Sikulova said she does not feel extra pressure to lead the Czechs in Rotterdam, considering that Palesova, the team's only Olympian, is recovering from knee surgery.

"I wish for Kristyna to recover," Sikulova told IG. "Now I'm trying to improve my routines on my all events. For me, the most important thing is Tokyo next year. There I am putting all of my expectations."

International Gymnast magazine related features:
"On the Upswing" Sikulova profile (July/August 2006)
"Connecting for the Czechs" - Pechanec-Pechancova profile (July/August 2007)

To order back issues or subscribe to IG Magazine, click here.

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