Rafael Arutyunyan: “It’s high time to include the quintuple jump in the register of elements. So that everyone knows its value. What if suddenly someone really jumps it in competitions?”

Posted on 2022-04-25 • No comments yet


Interview with Rafael Arutyunyan. About quintuple jumps, Trusova’s intention to try them and Malinin’s skating.

source: russian.rt.com dd. 23d April 2022 by Elena Vaitsekhovskaya

Are you ready to talk about figure skating on vacation?

Rafael Arutyunyan: Sure.

Then a purely technical question: now all the skating fans are discussing with might and main the intention of Alexandra Trusova to perform a quintuple jump. In this regard, I recall the words of the well-known specialist in special physical training Leonid Raitsin (he worked for many years with the USSR national team. – RT), who 12 years ago said literally the following: “If someone sets out to complete five rotations and will have certain qualities of strength that it is quite possible to develop, he will do it. Do you agree?

Rafael Arutyunyan: Let’s go step by step: let’s say Trusova wants to jump a quintuple. The question immediately arises: why?

Suppose she wants to become the first in the world to perform this element.

Rafael Arutyunyan: This is a sufficient argument. By the way, I agree with Raitsin. I think the quintuple jump is real. But the following must be taken into account: the danger of this jump is not in a certain psychological barrier that every skater faces. It’s in the landing. Five turns require a very fast rotation – after all, the time an athlete spends in the air is limited and only the speed of rotation can determine the number of turns. Do you agree?


Rafael Arutyunyan: So, because of the speed of rotation on landing, if, God forbid, a skater underrotates a quarter, he can twist his leg so that the knee ligaments will simply be torn out. It is certainly possible to learn such a jump. But this can also be a difficult process. In order to work on a harness, certain qualities are required.

This should be a tall enough person, who skates well, in order to keep up with the skater and not interfere with him. The quintuple jump requires a longer and more powerful take-off to create the correct angle of rotation, plus the taller assistent can use a harness more freely, keep it further away from him, and this plays a role. If the one who secures the athlete is too close, he immediately limits the amplitude of the skater.

In addition, a skater who intends to try a quintuple must have very good jumping technique. This is a prerequisite.

Many times you had the opportunity to watch Trusova in training, standing at the boards. In your opinion, does she have enough physical qualities to realize her plan?

Rafael Arutyunyan: She jumps quite high and spins fast in the air. She has very good lutz and toe loop. Both jumps are quite realistic to add a fifth rotation if you purposefully work on it. But there is a nuance. All coaches who work with girls know that today an athlete is jumping, but tomorrow she may not pull herself together. Girls in this regard are special.

As for the guys, when Nathan Chen was in good shape, I repeatedly saw attempts of a quadruple toe loop, which allowed him to add a fifth turn. Moreover, sometimes Nathan actually went for this jump. In other words, it is possible and necessary to work on this, but let’s return to the question that I asked at the very beginning of the conversation: why? A quintuple jump doesn’t even have an official base value.

I don’t think that the same Trusova, speaking of the quintuple, has the intention of including this jump into the program someday. But she clearly likes to be the first, it is not a coincidence that Alexandra entered the Guinness Book of Records several times.

Rafael Arutyunyan: I meant something else. It is high time to include the quintuple jump in the register of elements. So that everyone knows its value. What if suddenly someone really jumps it in competitions? Then what? What will the judges do?

Speaking of quadruple jumps, which one requires the longest run-up?

Rafael Arutyunyan: Lutz. For example, Nathan could jump toe loop from one stroke. For the lutz, he needed two or three so that he could reach the place from where it was most convenient to jump. Compared to your sport, it’s like jumping on a springboard (Elena Vaitsekhovskaya, the interviewer, is an Olympic champion in diving – ed.). The run-up increased, a double jump appeared – and the height of the jump immediately increased fundamentally. The same mechanisms work in figure skating.

Can Ilia Malinin, whom you have been training periodically for several years, become the first performer of the quintuple jump?

Rafael Arutyunyan: Yes. Another question is that it will be difficult for me to fully undertake his preparation. The format we are working with Ilia now also allows to lead an athlete to a jump. But much depends on what path he and his parents will choose. If Ilia continues to work mainly on jumps, as he worked before, he will definitely jump a quintuple. Although, in theory, he should jump the quadruple axel even earlier. After that, making a quintuple jump will no longer seem so difficult.

But personally, I would really like to develop him in terms of skating. I would say, to refine a bit. Malinin is a very interesting guy. In every way. And next to him there must be professional people who know how to show this interestingness. If the parents consider it necessary to continue working with me, we have specialists in the club who can complete this task, make Ilia’s skating exclusive.

Don’t you want at least to try to focus on working with Ilia in the same way you worked with Chen?

Rafael Arutyunyan: You can try, but then it will be extremely difficult to throw off this coaching burden.

Perhaps I should ask you this question when you return from vacation?

Rafael Arutyunyan: I won’t be back soon. I fly from Tbilisi to Istanbul, my wife Vera flies there from America, and my children from Moscow. Anya and Andrei are both historians, so they will take me around the city, show me everything, tell me about everything. For three days we will live in a hotel overlooking the Golden Horn. So I will feel like a sultan.


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