Ilinykh / Zhiganshin: we’ll continue to work with Antonio Najarro

season 2016-2017

Short interview with Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin. About work with Igor Shpilband, life in Novi and future programs.

Guys, your current coach Igor Shpilband already made a comment that you will continue working with him. Why did you choose to train in America?

Elena: The decision was taken in together with the sponsor of our pair. We decided to stay and try to continue developing in another training system.

Has the fact that in Moscow you were the strongest pair in the group, and in the United States you will train next to experienced foreign rivals affected your decision?

Ruslan: No, it hasn’t affected our decision. But, of course, a strong sparring will be very useful for our pair.

What is the difference in training with Shpilband?

Elena: It’s just a different system, a different approach. And it’s impossible to compare training systems in Russia and in America. They are different, and both allow you to achieve good results.

Who, in addition to Igor, works with your pair?

Ruslan: We work with all experts, the whole team of trainers from Novi. In addition to Igor, famous French dancer Fabian Bourzat pays us a lot of attention.

How did you settle down, where do you live?

Elena: We live 10 minutes away from the skating rink, rent the small apartment. Most importantly – we have a comfortable bed, so that after training you can just fall until the next morning.

Are there any ideas for new programs, and whether you will continue cooperation with Antonio Najarro, who for two seasons has been making a bright programs for your pair?

Elena: The layouts of the programs are made, the music is selected, the elements are putted. Before leaving to Moscow we’ve managed to do two skates of the short dance. On June 5, we’re going to Madrid for a week in order to continue work with Antonio Najarro. From there, will return to United States, where tough schedule of preparation for the season is waiting for us.

What in your opinion, didn’t work out last season, how do you assess it?

Ruslan: I wouldn’t want to give any estimates. We don’t want to look back. We need to look forward. Most importantly, we know on what to work, what to do and have a training plan.

What would you like to change in your skating, maybe in yourself?

Elena: Our pair just turned two years. Therefore, to talk about the changes in skating would be wrong. We just have to continue to develop, grow rapidly. We need to become reliable and stable, but we shouldn’t lose our face.

the source: fsrussia.ru


I would like to share my opinion about their decision to continue to work with Najarro. I think it’s a controversial decision. On the one hand, they have already worked with him, they know how he works, he knows them better, knows what to expect from this pair, what they’re able of. So, it sounds pretty safe and it can be good for them.

From the other hand…..I remeber Chock / Bates’ experience of cooperation with Najarro in free dance…..At the beginning of the season the only impressive things in this dance were great lifts….and music. How many changes Igor did in this dance during the season? How many things he removed? In which part of the season the dance started to make really huge impression? In which part of the season they started to be able to skate it powerfully and cleanly? I think quite the same was happening with Frida last year. But Chock and Bates at that moment were a first US pair and a World silver medalists, so they could afford to have some time for such “hesitations”. For Ilinykh and Zhiganshin it could be too late. They need to look impressive and solid already at Gran Prix.

But it’s only my first thoughts. Hard to predict something not knowing at least the music. The choice for SD is also extremely important. They need to have at least one 100% strong and reliable dance, without experiments.

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1 Comment on Ilinykh / Zhiganshin: we’ll continue to work with Antonio Najarro

  1. I wish Elena and Ruslan all the best in the new season! I really like this couple, I hope they will show all the power they have.

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