Dina Kochetkova

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Dina Kochetkova
Country represented  Russia
Born (1977-07-27) July 27, 1977 (age 39)
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Eponymous skills Balance Beam
Retired 1996

Dina Anatolyevna Kochetkova (Russian: Дина Анатольевна Кочеткова, born 27 July 1977 in Moscow, Russian SFSR) is a Russian gymnast who competed at the 1996 Olympics. Stylistically, she was considered by many[who?] to be the "last of the Soviets," performing difficult skills with elegant, clean technique. An element she pioneered, a full-twisting back handspring on beam, remains in the Code of Points as "the Kochetkova".


Kochetkova was a member of the Soviet national team from the early 1990s. She won four medals at the 1991 Junior European Championships, placing second on the floor exercise and third in the all-around, vault and balance beam. She continued to succeed in minor international meets; however, she would not come to prominence as a key member of the Russian team for several more years.

1994 was Kochetkova's breakthrough year. She won the Russian National Championships, the Goodwill Games all-around, and three individual medals at the World Gymnastics Championships in Brisbane: bronze in the all-around, behind Shannon Miller and Lavinia Miloșovici; gold on the floor exercise and another bronze on the uneven bars. Many[who?] people felt she was robbed of the 1994 World AA title due to a lack of reputation. Her rise escalated when she ended the two-year winning streak of Shannon Miller in AA competition by defeating her for the AA title at the 1994 Goodwill Games in Saint Petersbourgh. Kochetkova won three more medals (silver AA and team; bronze FX) at the European Championships and shared in the team bronze medal at the World Team Championships in Dortmund. However, by the Team World Championships she was suddenly finding herself outshone by rising teammate Svetlana Khorkina. Khorkina was even placed after her in the lineup on every event in Team Finals.

At the 1995 World Championships, Kochetkova and the Russian team finished off the podium in the team competition; while Kochetkova qualified for the all-around and two event finals, subpar performances and a low vault score kept her out of medal contention. At the 1996 World Championships she rallied with a high balance beam score of 9.887 to win the event; and at the 1996 Europeans she earned a bronze on floor.

Kochetkova was a member of the Russian team for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and was considered a viable medal contender on several events, including for the prestigious All Around event. Prior to the competition, the Russian team were considered the dark horse contender for a Team medal behind the defending two-time World Champion Romanians, fast rising Chinese, and home country Americans. After a strong showing in the compulsory exercise, the Russians had a narrow lead at the halfway stage and were clearly delighted as they left the arena. Only the Americans stayed within striking distance going into the crucial Optionals. However while the team stars were generally solid, errors from several of the lower rank Russian gymnasts, combined with nerves from the high pressure event and the noise from the mostly-American crowd, dropped them to 2nd place in the finals. Kochetkova, as one of the most experienced team members, showed strong performances and seemed one of the least affected by the high octane atmosphere, but it was not enough to rescue her team from silver.

Kochetkova qualified in third place to the all-around competition, and was tied for the lead with Chinese star Mo Huilan after three rotations. However, she was to end on vault, by far her weakest apparatus. A decision to perform a difficult 1½ twisting Yurchenko vault in the final rotation proved to be unwise; Kochetkova could not perform the skill as cleanly as her simpler vaults. Her low vault score dropped her to sixth place for the individual competition—the highest of the Russians, but still shy of a medal. Had she managed anything above a 9.681 average (easily attainable for her with her 9.9 valued vault) she would have won the AA silver behind Lilia Podkopayeva of Ukraine. And while she placed into three separate Event Finals, she had no better fortune there, finishing fourth on the balance beam and fifth on uneven parallel bars and floor exercise, all three of which she was considered a potential medalist on. Had she duplicated her beam performance from any of the earlier rounds she would have managed at least the silver medal, as her previous lowest optional beam score was a 9.825.

Kochetkova was generally the quiet contender of the top gymnasts of the mid 90s. She was overshadowed even amongst the top Russian gymnasts as far as media attention and hype by Svetlana Khorkina, Roza Galieva, and even at times Elena Grosheva and Oksana Fabrichnova, although her individual achievements at that time were comparable to Khorkina, and far beyond any of the others. The Olympics were her last major competition.

Later life[edit]

Kochetkova underwent knee surgery in 1997 after her retirement. She lives in Moscow with her husband, working as a personal trainer.

Competitive history[edit]

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
1992 European Championships 12th
1994 European Championships 2nd 2nd 3rd
Goodwill Games 1st 1st
World Championships 3rd 3rd 6th 3rd 1st
1995 World Championships 4th 8th 6th 6th
1996 European Championships 2nd 5th 4th 8th 7th 3rd
World Championships 1st
Olympic Games 2nd 6th 5th 4th 5th
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta Team 2 388.404
All-Around 6 38.980 3 77.986
Vault 13 19.399
Uneven Bars 5 9.787 4 19.625
Balance Beam 4 9.737 3 19.500
Floor Exercise 5 9.800 11 19.462
World Championships San Juan Uneven Bars (Semi−Final) 15 9.250
Uneven Bars (Qualification) 4 9.762
Balance Beam 1 9.887
Balance Beam (Semi−Final) 2 9.862
Balance Beam (Qualification) 1 9.875
Floor Exercise (Semi−Final) 14 9.425
Floor Exercise (Qualification) 6 9.725
European Championships Birmingham Team 2 115.659
All-Around 5 38.730 2 38.961
Vault 4 9.725 6 9.725
Uneven Bars 8 9.262 5 9.787
Balance Beam 7 9.000 3 9.687
Floor Exercise 3 9.800 3 9.762
1995 World Championships Sabae Team 4 384.689
All-Around 8 38.686 3 77.811
Vault 9 19.275
Uneven Bars 6 9.737 4 19.525
Balance Beam 6 9.725 3 19.524
Floor Exercise 12 19.487
1994 World Championships Dortmund Team 3 194.546 4 385.515
Brisbane All-Around 3 39.125
Vault 6 9.699 7 9.662
Uneven Bars 3 9.850 3 9.812
Balance Beam 11 9.550
Floor Exercise 1 9.850 4 9.687
European Championships Stockholm Team 2 115.422
All-Around 2 39.224
Floor Exercise 3 9.850
  • Competitor for Russia
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
1992 European Championships Nantes All-Around 12 38.799
Vault 32 9.650
Uneven Bars 15 9.712
Balance Beam 10 9.825
Floor Exercise 28 9.612

Eponymous Skills[edit]

Apparatus Name Description Difficulty
Balance Beam Kochetkova Back handspring with full twist before hand support D
Balance Beam Kochetkova Back handspring with 1/2 twist to handstand C

See also[edit]

External links[edit]