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The most titled trampolinist in history, Alexander Moskalenko (RUS) announces his retirement.
Moutier : 21 Decembre 2004. After having dominated the international trampoline scene for almost 15 years, Alexander ”Sasha” Moskalenko, 5 times World Champion and the 2000 Olympic Champion, has announced his retirement from competitive trampolining.
He won the 1990 and 1992 World Championships and then decided to retire, unable to find ”the right motivation”. However, as the 1994 Worlds approached, Sasha decided to have another go at the title and teamed up with his long-time coach Vitaly Doubko to prepare for his come-back. Once again he proved unbeatable and won his third consecutive World title.
Once more Moskalenko, already then considered a legend in his sport, withdrew from competing.
At this stage, not many thought that even the great Moskalenko could once again beat the other top performers of the world, some of which were 10 years younger than him.
In Sydney the year after, at the Olympic debut for trampolining, many ”experts” still doubted that the then almost 31 year old Russian would stand a chance. But again he proved the doubters wrong. In fact, no-one was even close to beating him. In the final, he beat the silver medalists by an astonishing 2.40 points! Moskalenko, the Pelé, Nadia Comaneci, Carl Lewis or Muhammad Ali of trampoline gymnastics, finally had captured the only title he didn’t have, the finest one -the Olympic Title!
He continued to dominate the international scene for some more time and outclassed everyone at the 2001 World Championships, and also won the 2002 European title. In 2003, aged 33, only the tie-breaking rules decided that he lost the World Championships title to the young German Henrik Stehlik (they had the same score in the final).
In this year’s Olympic Games in Athens he looked more determined than in many years and frightened most of his younger rivals during training. He performed excellent routines in the competition and was very close to reaching his second Olympic title, but the small inaccuracies caused him to lose to Ukrainian Yuri Nikitin with a mere 0.30 points and finished runner-up and got a well-deserved silver medal.
Horst Kunze, President of the Technical Committee since 1990 has the following comments:
The FIG and the world of trampoline gymnastics hereby sends it’s warmest thanks and best wishes for the future to Sasha, the most successful and one of the most influential trampolinist of all times. The King of Trampoline has abdicated and he will be missed.