Yelena Sergeyevna Produnova
, also known as Elena
, (; born February 15, 1980) is a female Russian gymnast
, living in Rostov-on-Don
, Rostov Oblast
, Russia.Her senior international career lasted from 1995 to 2000, and earned her multiple world and Olympic medals, though gold always eluded her. She is known for her innovative and powerful skills on the vault
and floor exercise
Produnova's first major senior competition was the 1995 world championships in Sabae, Fukui
, Japan where the Russians finished fourth. Inexperienced, Produnova made little impact on the international scene. A heel injury hampered her chances of being chosen for the 1996 Summer Olympics
, and she stayed at home.
By 1997, these problems had been overcome. She wowed the crowd with her power at the 1997 world championships in Lausanne
—the tumbles in her floor routine drew gasps of admiration. However, perhas the first inkling of her inconsistency came when she was unable to control her incredible power (Produnova kept taking large steps back to control her last tumbling pass). Still, Russia took team silver behind Romania, and Produnova claimed a pair of bronzes in the all-around and floor exercise.
In 1998, Produnova overcame an ankle injury. That year she also qualified 1st at the 1998 Russian Nationals
and finished 5th in the All-Around
and 3rd on the vault
. During the 1998 Cottbus, Produnova finished 2nd on the vault, 1st on the balance beam, and 2nd on the... Read More