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Spanish gymnast Cid looking to make Beijing move to her rhythm
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Spanish rhythmic gymnast Almudena Cid was keeping her feet firmly on the ground as she prepared to fly to Beijing on Wednesday.

As a "grand old lady" of the Spanish rhythmic gymnastic squad, Cid, aged 28, is on the point of competing in her fourth Olympics. And as she told Diario AS, that has its good and bad points.

"As the years have passed, I have improved my control over the various apparatus and I feel a lot more secure," she told the paper.

However, she admitted that all of the years of competing and training at the top level had taken the toll.

"My feet suffer, a chiropodist told me that I have the feet of a 60-year-old woman. I have constant bruises and problems with my ligaments."

"I will have to retire soon, my feet are destroyed and my back hurts a lot. The demands of the new codes are very high," said Cid.

And she knows what the new codes mean. "They have changed the code several times in the past few years. It is almost as if they raised the net a further 10 centimeters in tennis or as if they changed the size of the court," she said.

"The technical changes have been brutal. They now favor contortionism over other creative aspects," Cid said.

"I can' bend over past certain limits because I'd get injured. Now they favor the use of the body over the use of apparatus," she added.

With her physical problems, Cid admitted that she was trying to be realistic about her ambitions in Beijing.

"My objective is to qualify for the final. I am not going to talk about winning a medal because I really only have a chance in the general individual event and the competition is very tough. Simona Peycheva, Irina Risensen and Liubov Charkashynam are favorites, but it is very open," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2008)

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