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Finland's Urvikko Not Yet Finished At World Level
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Finnish Olympian Annika Urvikko told IG that her confident all-around performance at this summer's University Games in Kazan gave her a solid head start for this fall's world championships in Antwerp.

Annika Urvikko

"The competition had good conditions and a great feeling, and that's why it was a good preparation for Antwerp," said Urvikko, who placed 20th in the all-around final in Kazan.

Born Nov. 17, 1990, in Tampere, Urvikko is a veteran of several world and European championships. She achieved her top worlds all-around ranking (41st in qualifications) at the 2009 Worlds in London, and her top Europeans all-around ranking (30th in qualifications) at the 2008 Europeans in Clermont-Ferrand.

Urvikko's success in World Cup meets includes bronze medals on uneven bars and floor exercise at the 2007 World Cup of Ostrava, Czech Republic; the bronze medal on vault at the 2008 World Cup of Szombathely, Hungary; and the bronze medal on vault at the 2009 World Cup of Maribor, Slovenia.

Although Urvikko placed only 37th all-around in qualifications at this spring's Europeans in Moscow, she hopes to improve her ranking in the future.

"I would like to develop as a gymnast and reach the all-around final at the European Championships," she said.

Urvikko, who placed 55th all-around in qualifications at last summer's Olympic Games in London, is cautiously optimistic about her chances to perform in Antwerp.

"I'm still not sure I can participate in the competition, because I have small fracture on my leg," said Urvikko, who trains under coach Igor Cherepov at the Tampereen Voimistelijat club.

Urvikko said she has faith in the future of Finnish women's gymnastics.

"The team has been able to raise the level of difficulty, but success in competition has yet to be developed," she said. "It would also be good to have more high-level gymnasts."

Urvikko, who is majoring in coaching at the University of Jyväskylä, says she would like to eventually transfer her competitive experience and academic knowledge to upcoming Finnish gymnasts.

"I would like to work in sport and be able to help athletes in their future careers," she told IG.

International Gymnast Magazine's coverage of Finnish gymnastics includes:
"Hope in Helsinki" – feature on IG's visit to Finnish men's gymnastics club (January/February 2013)
"Fearless Finn" – Tomi Tuuha interview/photo feature (December 2012)
"10 Questions with Jani Tanskanen" – interview with FIG Athletes' Commission president (October 2010)
"Flight of Faith" – Annamari Maaranen profile (November 2007)
"Second Youth" – Jani Tanskanen profile (January/February 2007)

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