Despite lockdown causing almost all gymnastics events through 2020 to be postponed, for some of Britain’s senior gymnasts, that has provided an opportunity to reflect and build additional difficulty into their routines.
Pavel Karnejenko is one of those gymnasts, and he’s used the time since March wisely, building strength, setting himself targets to hit and training some new skills.
We caught up with Pavel during the latest training camp at Lilleshall National Sports Centre to find out how he found lockdown and what he’s been working on since being back in the gym;
"In terms of lockdown, I didn’t find it too hard. I just kept busy and kept fit. I tried to set myself little targets to hit, I was running quite a lot, doing plenty of strength and conditioning exercises, and just trying to get stronger, to make sure that I was in the best position when I came back. That has helped me a lot. I had a sore knee when we went into lockdown too, and so I was able to use that time to do my rehab, to strengthen out my leg, so I was ready to get back.
"In a sense it was hard (being out of the gym), but at the same time it was great because I was with my family in Scotland. As I normally train in England, I don’t get to see them a lot so it was really nice to see them, so I actually really enjoyed that time away from the gym and the chance to take a break.
"I did expect it to be harder than it was coming back to the gym, but I didn’t find it too bad because I’d put the work in when we were away so I felt fresh. In certain areas I’ve felt stronger than before, so I was just excited to be back training and enjoying my time with the rest of the boys.
"I’ve been working on my triple back on floor, so that’s a big skill, and I’ve just been taking it slowly, taking my time. Apart from that, I’ve been trying to get the new elements I’ve worked on into my routines for next year.
"With the hard skills I’ve been training, this time has given me the chance to consolidate them and put them in my routines. That will help to make my routines hard enough to be at a high senior level when we do get back to competing. I need to use this time I’ve got just to build those hard, solid routines, then hopefully we can get back to competition next year and I’ll be in a really positive position."