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Pavlova: 'I Felt Like A Phoenix Risen From The Ashes'
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2014 European vault silver medalist Anna Pavlova told IG that her all-around victory at the recent Gym Festival Trnava in Slovakia marked a significant improvement in her confidence since last month’s European Championships in Sofia.

Anna Pavlova in Trnava

"I felt like a phoenix risen from the ashes," she said of her victory in Trnava.

Pavlova said she was nervous in Sofia, where she finished second in the vault final and 13th overall in qualifications among the gymnasts who competed on all four apparatuses. (No formal all-around competition took place in Sofia.)

"I think the anxiety was connected with a big break and the seriousness of the start," she said. "Especially the responsibility after a break."

Pavlova’s reference to a break relates to her transition from representing her native Russia to her recent debut for Azerbaijan. A two-time Russian Olympian, Pavlova officially changed allegiances last fall. She had not competed for Russia at a major event since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

"I had no stimulation before," Pavlova said. "It is boring to work only for the sake of those starts at which it’s possible for me to compete."

Pavlova said a lack of recent competitive experience contributed to her uncharacteristic fall from balance beam in qualifications in Sofia.

"For an instant I lost control, but on the beam there is no mercy," Pavlova said. "It was probably from shortage of serious starts recently."

Pavlova acknowledged that low difficulty notes on three apparatuses, including floor exercise, limited her scoring potential in Sofia.

"I did not have enough time to prepare, and problems with my legs have affected me," she said of her exquisite but technically moderate floor routine at Europeans. "I will soon change my routine and am already working on my acrobatics." Pavlova, who trains in Moscow and occasionally visits her hometown of Orekhovo Zuevo, said she looks forward to bonding soon with her new teammates in the Azerbaijani capital.

"With the whole team in the near future we will go to train in Baku," Pavlova said. "Up to this moment there was no possibility. And in the future, it remains to be seen where we will train."

Pavlova said she is preparing for this fall’s world championships in Nanning, although she has not set an agenda for the competition.

"We haven’t spoken about goals yet," she told IG.

Anna Pavlova is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:

"Still a Stunner" – Pavlova profile (December 2012)
"Back to Beijing" photo gallery, including Pavlova (November 2008)
2008 Olympic Games special issue (October 2008)
2005 European Championships coverage (August/September 2005)
"Athens Confidential" Olympic profiles including Pavlova (November 2004)
2004 Olympic Games special issue (October 2004)
Pavlova on cover photo collage (August/September 2003)
Pavlova two-page center poster (April 2003)
Pavlova on cover photo collage, 2002 European Championships coverage (June/July 2002)
"High Five" – Pavlova and Russian junior team interview (April 2001)
Pavlova cover photo (March 2001)

To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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