Translation of Tatjana Flade’s interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. About preparation for Cup of China and change of program.
Liza, if you compare this Grand Prix with your previous competitions this season, what can you say?
– These competitions were one of the best I have in this season. Short program turned out not so well, as I could have skated it, but I’m very happy with my free program. Even the fact that I doubled the lutz in the second half of the program didn’t upset me. We went back to the old program, skated for the first time after a break, and I have a fairly difficult set of jumps in the second half. It was important for me to understand how everything will turn out. Especially because before this Grand Prix I got ill. We didn’t manage to check and practice everything. Naturally, in such a situation there were no questions about triple axel. I barely managed to get all the elements together. Our task at these competitions was to go out and check whether I’m able to skate this program. Can I do it? How does it look? How does the new dress look? Before competition we didn’t have time for these. So, performance in China has become a kind of revelation for me. I have very positive emotions after this competition. Maybe we will make some changes in the short program. In the free programs it remains only to restore the triple axel, there won’t be any significant changes.
Why did you decide to go back to the old program?
– I really like “Cleopatra”, not the music itself, but the image, the idea. I like Cleopatra as a historic figure. I read a lot about her. I liked to skate this program. But it’s a complicated music. It was hard for the judges and audience to understand it. It’s also not so winning as “Peer Gynt”. Maybe, If I had skate “Cleopatra” clean from the beginning of the season it would have been a different picture.
Now we have decided that if for the last 4 competition there was no clean skate, then many have the impression that the program is average, not winning, and have a feeling that it was underperformed. Therefore, it was better to go back to “Peer Gynt”. Maybe, it was bound to happen. I had to take the 4th place in Canada, to came to this decision. I don’t know. It was really hard to say goodbye to “Cleopatra.” But I don’t regret about this decision now. It was absolutely wise decision.
Who was the first to suggest a return to the “Peer Gynt”? You or Alexei Mishin?
– Alexei Nikolaevich (Mishin). I came to practice, he and Tatiana Prokofieva just told me to do this. Of course, I could argue, but I trust my coaches. First, of course, this news shocked me, but then I agreed.
During the previous Grand Prix you came to Moscow to work with Stephane Lambiel.
– After Canada we returned to St. Petersburg, I was at practice when Alexei Nikolaevich called and said: ‘Take tickets and come to Moscow.’ I’ve arrived. We had a very productive work with Stefan and Alexei Nikolaevich. We have made the whole program in two lessons. Put those components that I can skate with jumps. We didn’t changed the program completely, but added some pieces to make it clear that Stephane worked on this program.
What did Stephane say?
– We were mainly discussing the arms movements, that we were going to add. Of course, he was glad that we went back to “Peer Gynt”, since we didn’t have time last season to show this program in all its glory because of my injury. It seems to me that he really wants to show in this program, how he can do a program and how beautifully I can skate.
Did you get ill right after the Canadian Grand Prix?
– In Canada, I felt that the immune system is weakened. I was thinking not to go to Moscow because of it, but it had to be done, I had to polish the program. I understand why Alexei Nikolaevitch insisted that I came from St. Petersburg. But apparently, the load, a lot of people, a lot of communication, emotions played a role. In Moscow, I felt fatigue, but thought it’s temporary. When I returned home, it turned out that it’s not just a fatigue. I said, I need two days of rest, because my throat hurted, I had a runny nose, coughing, unpleasant temperature 37. I understand that if I don’t take a break I’ll have worse consequences before the competition in Beijing. As a result, we had only three days to do and check at least something.
Well done, in such a condition you performed so well in Beijing.
– I’m very surprised that had such skating and wasn’t tired much. I thought that because of a cold there will be problems, but apparently emotions helped. I tested myself, even in such state I can perform well. It’s important.
Now you will have a break, you said that before the Russian Nationals you will go to another tournament in Zagreb.
– Yes, in two weeks. Someone will skate at the Grand Prix Final and someone in Zagreb. Carolina Kostner and my friends will perform there. Such a testing competition before Russian National Championships.
Are you going to try a triple axel in Zagreb?
– If everything goes well, I’ll try it. Of course, I want it. I do axel when I’m in good shape. We need to do this element. Everyone wait for it. I need to please the audience. We’ll work on it. But the main thing is not to press on me. When I start to press on myself, it turns worse. It’s hard when everyone expects it from you.
But your axel turns out easily, not like some of the boys who have this long intros. If all will go well, will you try it in both programs?
– While only in the free program. Maybe other coaches have other ideas. But I need to try it in the free program, because the whole program is set for it. If we want to include it into a short program, we’ll have to do a lot of work with music and other elements to readjust the program. It’s not an easy task. But it’s psychologically difficult to do a triple axel in both programs. Although, I can’t say for sure what plan we will have in Zagreb.
If you’re not going to add the triple axel into the short program maybe you should try a lutz-toe loop compination?
– I did this combination at trainings, but I don’t have such consistancy as on toe loop -toe loop combination. I remember the pre-Olympic season, when we put Lutz – toe loop and a loop, I haven’t done it clean at single competition. I jump lutz in height and I do need speed on a landing to do a triple toe loop. I have to pick up the feeling how to land the Lutz successfully and to have the strength and speed to do the triple toe loop. So, I think, it’s better to restore the triple axel.
The main start is Russian Nationals?
– So far the main competition is Russian Nationals. I would like to perform successfully. We will prepare mentally, psychologically, physically. Will work. I hope that in the end I’ll cope with triple axel.