In 1991, synchronized swimming in Uzbekistan collapsed, like many other sports. Speaking about the individuals who have raised again and successfully developed synchronized swimming, I would name Likhtseer Tatyana Anatolyevna. Together with her, Krasnova Galina Mansurovna has consistently made a huge contribution, who has already discovered and developed synchronized swimming in many regions of our country, from where athletes were repeatedly selected for the national team of the Republic, and represented our country at the highest competitions such as the Asian Championship and the World Championship.
In the 2000s, the team consisted of:
Hikmatova Luiza Anvarovna - Deputy Olim Majlis, Director of SDYUSSHOR23 and SDYUSSH for the Air Force organized and set the process of work of her School so that not just big athletes began to grow, but World Champions of the country.
Piontkovskaya Alina Nikolaevna - a completely unique specialist, was able to raise our country to high results in the field of refereeing artistic (synchronized) swimming. Alina Nikolaevna is a judge of the international category-A from FINA and regularly judges in the World Series. She has brought up more than one generation of masters of sports of international class, prize winners of Asia and Champions of the Republic.
Adisman Ekaterina Konstantinovna is a highly qualified specialist in synchronized swimming, and the best team manager. Thanks to the accurate and efficient work of Ekaterina Konstantinovna, the national team feels reliable and confident in all organizational matters.
How I came to artistic (synchronized) swimming
From birth I was a very active child, and my parents decided that they would definitely send me to sports. The choice was between figure skating and synchronized swimming, because for a girl these are the most beautiful sports. One evening, a domestic channel broadcast a report from a synchronized swimming competition, and in an interview, the coach announced that a beginner's kit was open. Then we decided to sign up. Seeing with my own eyes, I was simply fascinated, it seemed to me that the girls seemed to be flying over the water. Then my sports career began. Initially, like all ordinary children, I came to sports to improve my health (posture) and learn to swim. I was 7 years old, and I wanted to be a synchronized swimmer so much that I hid my huge fear of water. Once, I almost drowned in training, not calculating my strength, but the coach quickly got me out of the water, and I decided for myself that, no matter what, I would learn to “fly on water”.
Directly being a “child” of the Independent Republic of Uzbekistan during the formation of our Republic - independent, strong and developed, our sport developed at a vigorous pace, where I can note so many outstanding athletes, I especially remember the Duet: Dilya Hamidova and Violeta Edgoryan. They had great technique, energy and charisma. As a child, I always taught their programs, tried to imitate them.
In synchronized swimming, during the transition from the Uzbek SSR to the formation of the Independent Republic of Uzbekistan, there was more than one wonderful generation of successful and talented synchronized swimmers. Incredibly talented Anastasia Ruzmetova, who represented our country at 5 World Championships, which is an absolute record in Uzbekistan, also holding the record for the number of victories. Yuldasheva Gulsanam, tender, sensual, has discovered a completely new style in synchronized swimming among soloists in our Republic. Tashkhuzhaeva Khonzodakhon is bold, bright and successful. In group programs, tops the list in our Republic who did the most difficult acrobatic elements. In addition, I would like to note that Valentina Popova is a purposeful athlete, patient and hardworking.
The path of an athlete is never easy, and my path was no exception .........
At the age of 10, I became a candidate for master of sports, which was not at all easy. In 2003, the International competition "Suv Parisi" was held in Tashkent. The strongest athletes from Russia, China, Kazakhstan came, and the strongest national team of the Republic of Uzbekistan had to defend the honor of the Republic. I passed the selection to form the composition of the team, which I and 3 other athletes successfully managed to get into. In our not full 10 years, we were listed in the reserve team. The rest of the team was 8-10 years older than us.
The national team consisted of 10 people, where group performances were prepared. The forces with the older girls on the team were not equal, and even then we realized that it would be necessary to defend the honor of the country with all our strength. It was difficult, but we managed and were able to take gold, and then we became Champions at the Republican Championship. It was an invaluable experience that gave, tempered us. Since then, the bar has been set - not to lose the title of Champion, which was not enough to become a candidate for Master of Sports! In this sport, in order to qualify for any title, norms and conditions are prescribed, which shows the programs in which you need to score a certain amount of points. To score ten points, you had to go through many competitions. By the age of 14, I managed to score the required amount of points for the title of Master of Sports.
As far as competitions are concerned, I cannot say that there are easy or difficult competitions. Each competition is difficult in its own way, because during the preparation process, various difficulties, injuries, events, etc. can arise. The only thing I can say for sure is that it is very difficult for a beginner athlete to compete in international competitions. I will only compare “my” Junior World Championships in the USA, 2010 and the World Championships in aquatic sports in South Korea, 2019. In both competitions I performed in the duet program.
In 2010, when we went to the start, the stands were in deathly silence, you could literally hear your heart beating with excitement. The program went smoothly and not bad enough. As I stepped onto the platform to listen to my assessments, fear was still present. In general, it seemed that we were not particularly welcome. But it turned out that they were just unfamiliar with us at the world level, and the competitive environment made itself felt.
Already in 2019, when at the World Arena I was already known as an athlete and a coach, going to the start, the stands literally “survived” our program with us and you could hear the hall “breathing” with us. At the end of the program, after going out to hear the results, we received pleasant feedback from the audience and fans. It was incredible, so many countries united and shared our joy - these are the most unforgettable emotions, and at such moments, with a smile, you remember the difficulties of preparing for the competition.
In 2015, the International Swimming Federation “FINA” approves the introduction of a new discipline in synchronized swimming, and subsequently an updated artistic swimming program MIKST Duet (Mixed pairs).
The development of this discipline became incredibly interesting to me, since I believe that this is an absolutely logical evolution of our sport. The spectacle and fullness of stories that we can tell about in the water has become many times more. Men are responsible for strength, and Women for beauty.
So already in 2017, I created the first Mixed Duet in Uzbekistan. We reached the stage of the World Series in the shortest possible time, having won a bronze medal. In 2018, for the sake of improving the results of our country in this discipline, I return to sports, in the status of an athlete and a coach in one person, and in the same year we manage to improve our result, having won silver and gold at the stage of the World Series in artistic swimming. In 2019, we entered the top 10 best athletes in the World among Mixed Doubles and took 9th place at the World Championships in Gwangju.
From 2008 to the present, I have been conducting my coaching activities from the miniature pool of the sports and recreation complex "Zolotaya Dolina". There I tried my first performances, looking for elements that could be introduced into a new style. In 2010, I joined the Chekhov sport clubs network, where I recruited my first team of young athletes, and we began to grow together. Today, these children are worthy pupils of the Tashkent Air Force Sports School and are already part of the National Team, which has become multiple Champions of our country, even having won Bronze at the age-old Asian Championship in India in 2019.
To achieve success in our sport, you need not only to be a good specialist / coach / teacher, but also to be a creative person, since our performances all consist of compositions filled with different images and stories according to the chosen musical accompaniment. I began to study choreography and modern dances, new trends in electronic music and ways of high-quality editing through DJing. She studied art through cultural centers of representations of different countries in our capital, as well as theater.
In general, I try to discover something new in synchronized swimming in our country. In my opinion, this helped me advance as a coach of a new generation.
Artistic (Synchronized) Swimming in Uzbekistan
Many steps have been taken in our country to raise sports, frankly, from scratch. International competitions, stages of the FINA World Series were held, an excellent team was assembled, and not bad results were shown in the world ranking. But I think what still needs to be done is to create a large personnel reserve and resume international competitions on the territory of our Republic.
When we set a goal, we will definitely achieve it by joint efforts!
I would like the number of athletes in artistic swimming to be many times greater, so that our young talents can show their results, be an example for their peers, comprehend the basics of the profession and pass on their knowledge further. After all, our sport is very versatile, we have not only physical data that affect the result, but also mental, because our sport is difficult-coordinating, we need to understand how to work with the density of water, be able to calculate our strength for the entire length of the program, and have an excellent sense of rhythm, team spirit. Well-coordinated teamwork is the basis for success, because in everyday life any athlete from our sport adapts in virtually any area. And all why ?! Because we work not only with the body, but also with the head.
We are strong and Independent! We build our own happiness! And this is wonderful!
The most valuable lesson learned during the years of Independence is to Be Independent of public opinion! You can be a Young Country, but Believe in your strength and go to success. We are changing before our eyes, our country is flourishing together with its citizens. Even though we do not always have advanced technologies and the best conditions according to all World standards, we see how our republic is developing and the state is working, and is striving to improve the quality of life step by step. In sports We know how to work and believe in the best. And so it turns out, step by step we are getting better and each next generation is many times better than us, and the conditions will be better!
A big role in this, I believe, was played by the team of the Swimming Federation of Uzbekistan, headed by Secretary General Ganiev Alisher Abdumazhitovich. Thanks to his work, for the first time, the national team of the Republic of Uzbekistan was represented at the FINA World Championship and World Series with excellent results. And I am sure that the selection for the upcoming Olympic Games will be successful, and we are preparing to cheer and share the joyful event from the Olympic Games, while simultaneously “nurturing” our Young Generation, setting new goals and new programs.
FAQ and Tips
What is the hardest thing in our sport? - catch everything! Develop flexibility, be strong enough, create an unforgettable story that everyone will love. Find spectacular acrobatic elements, etc.
What makes you happy? Oh, I'm the happiest person! I witnessed by personal example how your dream can come true at an unexpected time for you! So that. Dream and do not forget to think over every detail, because Dreams will definitely come true!
What are your goals? I set a goal for myself to participate in the Olympic Games, because this is the main thing for a professional athlete and coach. I believe I can.
Why did you become a coach? Becoming a coach was my childhood dream. And the love and care of my coach, who raised me, strengthened this desire in me! When my children-athletes appeared in my life, I realized that this is my life's work!
How to Become a Successful Athlete? To become a successful athlete, you must not be afraid to work hard and sacrifice your time. And talent is not needed at all, only labor and more labor.
How to Become a Successful Trainer? To become a successful coach, you need to want to be a good Person. And mom and dad and friend rolled into one. After all, a coach is a sculpture of the athlete's soul and body, and then the result.
Is there any interesting story? There are a lot of interesting stories, I often try to shoot with the camera, so that later I can leave these happy moments. One of the stories, for example, how my pupils and I decided to try our hand at competitions in Cheer-sport. Imagine, 20 children unanimously decided to go for the experiment, and they pulled me in ?! Moreover, they won among the group programs with high difficulty. I love my children very much.
3 favorite things in synchronized swimming: Solo programs, Acrobatic lifts, musical getting into the image.
Dislikes: Gelatin, especially running, mandatory program, Cold water!
Idols: I have a lot of favorites in our sport: Bill May, Virginie Didie, Natalia Ischenko, Andrea Fuentos. In general, I don't like such questions. I admire a lot, a lot of people, whom I inspire, and especially among the coaches! After all, the coach is the sculptor of the athlete's soul and body.
The main advice I would like to give to novice athletes and coaches: Believe in your dream! Believe in yourself! The more unusual you are, the more likely you are to stand out from the crowd and become a new star! But remember Labor and only Labor!
I am sure there will be many more bright stars in our country!
Photo from the personal archive of D.S. Ibragimova and olamsport.uz