Gymnastic legend Oksana Chusovitin eyes her seventh Olympics in Rio

Former Olympic champion and gymnastic legend Oksana Chusovitin said Wednesday that she hopes to compete in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 in what would be her seventh Olympic Games.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 25, 2014, 10:40 AM IST
Gymnastic legend Oksana Chusovitin eyes her seventh Olympics in Rio

Incheon: Former Olympic champion and gymnastic legend Oksana Chusovitin said Wednesday that she hopes to compete in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 in what would be her seventh Olympic Games.

The 39-year-old Uzbek gymnast, who in the past has also competed for the erstwhile Soviet Union and Germany, said seven is her favourite number and that's why she wants to qualify for the Rio Games, which would also be her seventh Olympics, reports Xinhua.

Oksana first participated in the 1992 Barcelona Games and won the gold medal for the Unified Team and picked up her second Olympic medal, a silver in the 2008 Beijing Games, where she represented Germany.

"I hope to make my seventh Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and seven is my favourite number," said the 39-year-old, who won a vault silver medal here at the Asian Games.

"I feel good but tired after today's competition," she said. "But I am happy with the result."

Struggling with a foot injury that she sustained during training, Oksana failed to beat North Korea's Hong Un-jong. The bronze medal went to Vietnam's Phan Thi Ha Thanh.

"Age is just a number and I keep doing it not for a living but because I love the sport. When I come to the podium I feel like a fish in the water," she said.

Asked about her long term ambition after Olympics, she said it is difficult to say at the moment.

Oksana made her international debut in 1987 for the Soviet Union, before many of her current rivals were even born. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, she represented the Commonwealth of Independent States at the 1992 Olympic Games and later began competing for Uzbekistan.

In 2002 her son Alisher was diagnosed with leukaemia, so her family moved to Germany where he could receive treatment. Oksana won a silver medal for Germany at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and returned to Uzbekistan in 2013.

"My son did gymnastics but he is afraid of height, so now he's a basketball player," she said, adding that she will attend October's World Championships in China's Nanning.