Benoit Richaud: “Senior events are where technically mature skaters shine, so I think that raising the age limit is a good thing.”

Posted on 2023-11-01 • No comments yet


Translation of Benoit Richaud’s comment about recent rule changes.

original source: dd. 30th Cotober 2023 by Junichi Shiratori

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Here’s a translation of Benoit Richaud’s comments about rule changes made in an interview with Japanese journalist and posted on Web Sportiva

Q: The scoring system has changed, reducing the number of components from five to three. What are your thoughts on this?

Benoit Richaud: I think these changes were made to make it easier to judge.

Every year, there are rule changes. Rather than being dissatisfied with them, I believe that we need to be flexible and respond to them. It’s more about anticipating how the latest rules can be applied and how choreography can earn as many points as possible for the skaters.

Q: In recent years, there has been a significant change in the age at which skaters can compete in senior events. This season (2023-24), it’s for skaters aged 16 and above, and it will eventually be raised to 17 and above. What are your thoughts on this?

Benoit Richaud: Senior events are where technically mature skaters shine, so I think that raising the age limit is a good thing. Unlike pairs, ice dance, or men’s singles, particularly in ladies’ singles, it’s no exaggeration to say that young skaters who can still be called ‘kids’ have often stood on the podium as senior champions.

In other sports like tennis, veteran and mature athletes like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic have been active for a long time. However, in women’s figure skating, there are no such athletes. This isn’t a favorable situation for the sport. So, I think raising the age limit has a positive impact, and I hope it leads the sport in a positive direction.

Q: Looking back at last season, have you noticed any changes due to the increase in the age of participation?

Benoit Richaud: At this point, I believe it’s a bit premature to answer this question as the age change for participation hasn’t been in effect for very long. However, what can be said with certainty at this point is that due to the raising of the senior age, junior athletes now have ‘more time to grow.’ Previously, they had to rush to transition to seniors at the age of 15, which may have led to somewhat rushed preparations. With this change, they can now take their time to practice and improve their skills, even in areas where they used to be somewhat ‘careless.'”


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