In our first edition of our Junior Introductions feature, we want you to meet Tatiana Levchuk, a 14-year-old from Belarus who competed at both the European Youth Olympic Festival and Junior World Championships in 2019.
Tatiana made her international debut when she was just 12, at the Baborka Cup in Poland at the end of 2017. She competed only on beam there, showing promise when she finished fourth on the event. In 2018, she competed at the J.O. level at the Svetlana Boguinskaia Invitational, and then in 2019, after a strong showing at the European Games Test Event, she made both the junior worlds and EYOF teams, with EYOF being an especially strong meet for her, as she made the all-around and uneven bars finals, finishing 18th and 8th, respectively.
Tatiana only vaults a Yurchenko layout, though she’s been training an FTY into the pit, and her skills on beam and floor are pretty standard for the junior level…a couple aerials and a back handspring layout stepout series on beam, where she dismounts with a front layout, and on floor, she opens with a double pike, which she follows up with a double tuck and a front full.
Bars is where her biggest difficulty comes in. She has inbars, a Maloney to Pak, a van Leeuwen, and a straddle Jaeger, and she’s been working on cleaning this all up over the past few months, as well as upgrading her dismount (last year, she generally competed a double pike).
This year, Tatiana is likely to lead the junior Euros team for Belarus, and in the future, her bars and floor will be key on the senior Euros and worlds teams. Last year, a hit bars routine could bring in about a 13+, so a bit more work there could obviously go a long way, but she’ll also be incredibly useful on floor, where most current seniors struggle to surpass a 12, though as a junior, Tatiana’s routines here have all been in the low- to mid-12 range. It’s not a hugely difficult routine, but she’s super clean and consistent there, and a few small upgrades will help her become an even bigger threat. If she can get that FTY upgrade as well, she’ll make pretty much any team she wants.
Why We Love Her
She’s a hard worker with tons of potential, and I love watching her Instagram Stories, where she often shares training videos that give us glimpses into the progress she’s made. I also love any junior who can make inbars seem so casual, and I look forward to seeing her improve more there…she’s at a great start already, but a little more attention to detail in her rhythm and form will get her to a really high level here as a senior.
What to Watch
I was going to include a video of Tatiana’s bars, which is her strongest event in terms of her skill level and how it scores, but instead, I decided to share her floor from junior world championships last year. Again, she doesn’t have the biggest tumbling or dance elements, but if you watch this relative to other Belarusian floor routines over the past couple of years, Tatiana is a step above and still has time to add even more.