Here’s my translation of Tatjana Flade’s interview with Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro. About performance in Finland, difficulties they’ve faced during preparation for this season and decision to return to last year’s free dance.
How do you assess your performance in Espoo?
Jonathan: In general, it was good.
Tiffany: We are very pleased that at the first two competitions of this season we took third places. It’s good. We’ll have many ISU points. It’s important for us.
Jonathan: It’s nice. But the main task for us was to overcome ourselves, our inner state, problems; to prove to ourselves and coaches that we can; to prove our sporting qualities, because after test skates in Sochi the situation was quite complicated.
Jonathan: We went to the test skates not being quite ready due to many reasons. There we had to change a lot. After Sochi, we returned to the old free dance, worked on it for 9 training days, this also wasn’t easy. We had to prepare the program, plus we had some more changes in the short dance. Therefore, we were very pleased to be able to skate quite adequately in Bratislava. I can’t say that it was good, but taking into consideration all things it was worthy. After all, there we could have skated the free dance frankly bad, because before the competition we didn’t have any full run-through. However, at the competition we have shown that we can get together at the right time. By the way, before Finland also were difficulties.
Jonathan: Firstly, two competitions in a row with a two-day break between them. Also I got poisoning on Tuesday. Haven’t skated for two days. I went to practice when we’ve arrived in Espoo. Again, in this situation we were able to perform more or less well. Of course, there were small mistakes in the free program. The Technical Panel judged harsher than in Bratislava. But I must honestly say that in the free program we made more mistakes. However, competed at two tournaments, we are very proud of ourselves, that we coped, were able to prepare and perform.
Tiffany: We know that this is only the beginning of the season, that we can skate a lot better. Yes, it was good competitions for us. But we must continue to work and everything will turn out. I hope that at the «Cup of Russia», we will skate better.
Why did you decide to return the old program?
Jonathan: In an interview, which we gave in spring, we didn’t hide the fact, that we had problems with the choice of music. But the coach persuaded that it’s necessary to move in this direction with such programs. And to be honest our hearts weren’t in it. But we didn’t impugn coaching views, because Alexander Zhulin has more experience, his vision of figure skating. In short, we decided to trust him fully, agreed, although we understood that this is not completely for us. Perhaps, we could have coped with the new program, If we hadn’t had such a difficult offseason. Tiffany had health problems, one thing after another. She even got into the hospital. We lost a lot of time because of it. Maybe, if all had gone as planned, we would have coped and realized what our coaches wanted, even if it is not peculiar to us.
And you come back to the previous program …
Jonathan: We got back to it, but haven’t completely polished it. Last year before the Russian Nationals we did a lot of run-throughs of this program, “cleaned” hands, feet, worked on the floor. And now need to remind everything quickly. Because even if the program is old, it does not mean that you will skate it automaticly.
Tiffany: In the summer we worked not only on the programs, but also on some particular things, and it seems to me that I feel that I improved as a figure skater.
Jonathan: We worked on speed, sense of each other in positions, on other moments. And we really have improved. Another thing is that we are a new pair. Last season we competed only at one small tournament in Hungary. So, in fact these two competitions were the first for us at the international level – a certain starting point.
Tiffany: We listened very carefully to what judges and experts say to us. We’ll try to take into account their opinions and advices. We will work to improve our skating. Anyway, we do want it.