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Ludmila Ezhova

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Ludmila Ezhova
Russia's Liudmila Ezhova performs on the balance beam
Ezhova at the 2004 Olympic Games

Country represented

Flag of Russia Russia

Born

March 4 1982 (1982-03-04) (age 35)
Krasnogorsk, Moscow Oblast, Russian SFSR, USSR

Height

4 ft. 10 in.

Years on National Team

2002-2008

Coach(es)

Leonid Arkaev

Current status

Retired

Ludmila Ezhova Grebenkova, Russian: Людмила Ежова Гребенкова (Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova), born 4 March 1982, is a Russian gymnast of Olympic calibre. She was particularly noted for her work on balance beam where she was a four (4) time world and European medalist, including being champion once. Her balance beam routines were characterized by a wide array of difficult acrobatic skills connected in immediate, unusual sequencing.

Career

A mainstay of the Russian team from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s, she made her senior debut on home-soil in Saint Petersburg in 1998 at the European Championships, where she was part of the team that won silver. Individually she won a bronze medal on beam; an apparatus where she would excel in the following years.

Despite her strong debut at Europeans, Ezhova disappeared off the radar for the rest of the year, and during 1999 and 2000. It was not until 2001 that Ludmila reappeared – at 19 she was barely starting to make a name for herself.

At the 2001 World Championships in Ghent, Belgium, she earned a silver medal on the beam. She went on to win gold, both with the team and on beam at the European Championships in 2002.

Later that year at the World Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, she won bronze on bars – her second strong apparatus. She has a skill, a transfer between the bars, named after her in the code of points: the Ezhova consists of a swing backward release with a one and a half turn in flight between the high and low bar.

In 2003 at the World Championships in Anaheim, California, she won a bronze medal on beam. She followed that at the Athens Olympics in 2004 by contributing to her team score, competing on her two strongest apparatus, bars and beam, gaining a 9.437 on both. The Russian team had struggled during the qualification round; however, during the final the Russians were strong and finished in bronze medal position, Ezhova was one of the team members in tears of joy after this result.

After the Olympics she took time off and when she reappeared in 2006 she had a new surname – Grebenkova, as she had married Russian gymnast Georgy Grebenkov. During the 2006-2008 period she was active on the World Cup circuit winning medals on beam, notably gold in Glasgow in 2007 and bronze in Doha in 2008. These results plus strong showings in domestic competitions earned her a second Olympic berth. She was taken to Beijing to do only one apparatus: beam.

Unfortunately, Beijing was not a good competition for her as she struggled both during the qualification round and during the team final. Her fall during the team competition caused a chain of reaction in the worst way; mistake after mistake meant that the Russian team sunk itself into fourth place and off the team podium for the first time in its history.

She retired after Beijing. In 2009 she became mother to a baby girl and in 2011 she gave birth to a son. She and her husband currently live in the United States.

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Featured Gymnast for May 2016

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
1997Moscow Stars1st3rd
1998Saint Petersburg European Championships2nd3rd
2001Ghent World Championships2nd2nd
Chunichi Cup2nd
Moscow Stars3rd1st
2002Debrecen World Championships3rd
Patras European Championships1st
2003Anaheim World Championships63rd
2004Athens Olympic Games3rd
2007Glasgow World Cup1st
Stuttgart World Cup3rd
2008Doha World Cup3rd
Beijing Olympic Games4


European Balance Beam Champions
Larisa LatyninaVěra ČáslavskáPolina Astakhova • Eva Rydell • Věra ČáslavskáKarin JanzTamara LazakovichLudmilla TourischevaNadia ComăneciElena MukhinaNatalia ShaposhnikovaMaxi GnauckLavinia AgacheOksana OmelianchikDaniela SilivaşGabriela Potorac | Olesya DudnikSvetlana BoginskayaGina GogeanRoza GaliyevaYevgeniya KuznetsovaSvetlana KhorkinaLudmila EzhovaCătălina PonorYulia LozhechkoKsenia SemenovaYana DemyanchukAmelia RaceaAnna DementyevaCătălina PonorLarisa IordacheMaria KharenkovaAndreea MunteanuAliya MustafinaCătălina Ponor

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