Irina Tchachina

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Irina Tchachina
Chaschina Irina 7.jpg
Irina Tchachina
Personal information
Full nameIrina Viktorovna Tchachina
Alternative name(s)Irina Chashchina
Country represented Russia
Born (1982-04-24) 24 April 1982 (age 37)
Omsk, Soviet Union
Height166 cm (5 ft 5 in)
DisciplineRhythmic gymnastics
Head coach(es)Irina Viner
Assistant coach(es)Vera Shtelbaums
ChoreographerElena Arays
Eponymous skillsswitch leap with changing legs; reverse illusion turns

Irina Viktorovna Tchachina (also Chashchina or Tchashchina) (Russian: Ирина Викторовна Чащина; born 24 April 1982) is a retired Russian individual rhythmic gymnast. She is the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in all-around, a two-time (2003, 2005) World all-around bronze medalist, the 2004 European all-around bronze medalist and 2000 Grand Prix Final all-around silver medalist.

Personal life[edit]

Tchachina was born to a Russian family as the eldest of three children. She has a younger brother and sister. In late 2011, Tchachina married Russian businessman Evgeny Arkhipov.

Skills in rhythmic gymnastics[edit]

Tchachina was a technical gymnast, known for her expressive hands, high and big leaps, her switch leap with changing legs (almost similar to a Butterfly twist leap) was her signature leap. She has also executed reverse illusion turns.

Competitive career[edit]

Tchachina began training at the age of six in her hometown of Omsk (also the hometown of Galima Shugurova, Evgenia Kanaeva, Tatiana Druchinina, Ksenia Dudkina, Sofya Skomorokh). After she became impressed watching the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships on television, her grandfather, a devoted amateur sportsman, took her to a sports school. Her early days were filled with music lessons, swimming and rhythmic gymnastics. Faced with a choice at age 11, she chose gymnastics. She was coached by Vera Shtelbaums and her daughter Elena Arais since the age of five. Her favourite gymnasts are Olena Vitrychenko and Yanina Batyrchina.

Tchachina's first victory was at age eight at the Omskaya oblast championship. By age 12 she was a member of Russia's national team and routinely travelled to Moscow to take part in training camps. As a junior, she placed first at the CIS Spatakiada, and won the Russian women's championships twice in a row.

In August 1999, Tchachina began training at the Olympic Preparatory School under the guidance of Irina Viner, and around the same time she won the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. In 2001, she won the gold in the hoop and silver in the individual all-around, ball, clubs and rope at the 2001 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Madrid, Spain, but Tchachina and her teammate Alina Kabaeva tested positive for a banned diuretic and were stripped of their medals. Irina Viner, the Russian head coach, who also served as the Vice President of the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Technical Committee at the time, said her gymnasts had been taking a food supplement called "Hyper" containing mild diuretics, which, according to Viner, the gymnasts were taking for pre-menstrual syndrome. When the supply ran out shortly before the Goodwill Games, the team physiotherapist restocked at a local pharmacy. According to Viner, the supplement sold there was fake and contained furosemide. The commission requested the Goodwill Games organizing committee nullify Kabaeva and Tchachina's results.

Tchachina stretching during training

In 2003, Tchachina sustained an ankle injury, and dealt with it for two years. The same year she and Kabaeva made their return to competitive gymnastics following their ban. Tchachina won the all-around bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships, silver in clubs and bronze in hoop event finals.

In 2004, Tchachina won the all-around bronze medal at the 2004 European Championships behind Ukraine's Anna Bessonova. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Tchachina won the silver medal in the all-around competition, scoring 107.325 points (Hoop 27.100, Ball 27.100, Clubs 26.825, Ribbon 26.300) – her teammate Alina Kabaeva took the gold with a score of 108.400.

After the Olympic season, Tchachina experienced a recurring ankle injury. Although no longer in top form, she was still able to win the bronze medal in all-around at the 2005 World Championships and a pair of bronze medals in clubs and rope finals. She retired from rhythmic gymnastics in early 2006.

Later career[edit]

After her retirement, Tchachina was invited to the Russian television project "Dances on Ice", partnering with Olympic bronze medalist ice dancer Ruslan Goncharov. She also appeared on the project "Circus with stars" along with other athletes, including Svetlana Khorkina. Tchachina then starred as the lead heroine in the Russian film "The Way" (2009 film) with Artem Mikhalkov. Tchachina wrote an autobiography titled Irina Tchachina: Being Yourself. Commenting on her sport, she said: "Besides your body, you should train your mind too. Intelligence is crucial to rhythmic gymnastics."[citation needed]

On 4 December 2012 at the conference of the Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics in Novogorsk, Tchachina was elected vice-president of The Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation (RRGF) along with 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion Evgenia Kanaeva. Tchachina was recommended by Irina Viner for the position of President of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation (RRGF) but she declined.[1]

On May 2013, Tchachina opened up her rhythmic gymnastics school named after her in Barnaul, Altai Krai. The Opening Ceremony was attended by other rhythmic gymnasts Liubov Charkashyna, Natalia Godunko and Olga Kapranova.[2]

On February 15, 2015, a star-studded gala was held in Russia for the 80th founding anniversary of Rhythmic Gymnastics. The venue was held in the historical Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Among those who performed at the gala were Russian former Olympic champions, Olympic medalists and World champions including: Tchachina, Evgenia Kanaeva, Yulia Barsukova, Daria Dmitrieva, and Yana Batyrshina.[3]

Routine music information[edit]

Year Apparatus Music title [4]
2005 Ball Exercises in Free Love from The Freddie Mercury Album by Freddie Mercury
Rope (second) Bora Bora, Bora Bora (Bollywood Cafe Mix) by Arash
Rope (first) Rise by Safri Duo
Clubs Chateau / Teahouse from The Matrix Reloaded by Rob D / Don Davis
Ribbon (second) Microneseren by Bobby Hughes Combination
Ribbon (first) Ulichnie strasti by Didulya
2004 Hoop Pirates of the Caribbean by Klaus Badelt
Ball Harem by Sarah Brightman
Clubs Laissez moi me griser by Maurice El Medioni
Ribbon Malagueña Salerosa ( Remix )
2003 Hoop Melagholia Mou by Giorgos Alkaios
Ball Mystic Moon by Bowfire
Clubs The Mall Chase / The Army Arrives from Evolution by John Powell
Ribbon (second) Dai mi go dai by Azis
Ribbon (first) Gypsy Potion by Guido Luciani
2002 Hoop Iridian / Big Drum Small World by Dhol Foundation
Rope Heat of the Day by Pat Metheny
Clubs The Mall Chase / The Army Arrives from Evolution by John Powell
Ball Mystic Moon by Bowfire
2001 Hoop Supersonic (Brainbug Remix) by Music Instructor
Rope Jumpin' Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Clubs Gypsy Potion by Guido Luciani
Ball Prologue, Marco Polo by Loreena McKennitt
2000 Hoop Walpurgis Night (Danse de Phryne) from Faust by Charles Gounod
Rope Danza de la molinera from El sombrero de tres picos by Manuel de Falla
Ball Caravan
Ribbon Besame mucho by Consuelo Velazques
1999 Hoop Main Theme from The Saint by Graeme Revell
Rope ?
Ball Caravan
Ribbon Andaluza by Granados
1998 Hoop Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Clubs Spartacus by Aram Khatchaturian
Rope ?
Ribbon Espana Cani by Narro Pascual Marquina
1997 Hoop ?
Clubs Spartacus by Aram Khatchaturian
Rope Hanky Panky by Madonna
Ribbon Espana Cani by Narro Pascual Marquina

Detailed Olympic results[edit]

Year Competition Description Location Music Apparatus Score-Final Score-Qualifying
2004 Olympics Athens All-around 107.325 105.675
Malagueña Salerosa ( Remix ) Ribbon 26.300 26.725
Harem by Sarah Brightman Ball 27.100 26.700
Pirates of the Caribbean by Klaus Badelt Hoop 27.100 26.450
Laissez moi me griser by Maurice El Medioni Clubs 26.825 25.800


  1. ^ "Kanaeva announces Official retirement". Zhenya Kanaeva Gymnasium. 4 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Tchachina opens RG School in Altai". 12 May 2013.
  3. ^ "As Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics turns 80, legends to celebrate in style in St. Petersburg". International Federation of Gymnastics. 17 February 2015..
  4. ^ "Tchachina RG music list". rgforum.

External links[edit]