Alexander Samarin: Quad lutz and flip are no longer a crazy risk, it is a deliberate decision
Interview with Alexander Samarin about quad jumps and the result of the first half of the season.
by Anna Kozina for rg.ru dd. December 3d, 2019
Alexander, at the Grand Prix in Moscow, the Russians took the whole pedestal. This happened only once – 21 years ago, when Urmanov, Plushenko, Abt skated. Maybe this is the beginning of something more in our men’s skating?
– It was cool. I’m happy for myself and for the guys – Dmitri Aliev, Makar Ignatov. For our coaches, for the country. I think this is a very good achievement. Also it was a debut in the home competitions for me, and I won. Reporters said that it happened for the first time since Evgeni Plushenko’s victory in 2009. You also called the names of our great athletes – Urmanov, Yagudin. When I was little, I looked at them. They have achieved incredible results. We are still rising, growing, setting goals and going towards them. Everything is achievable. The main thing is to work.
At the European Championship 2019, you won silver and surprised everyone with your willingness to take risks jumping a quadruple lutz and a quadruple flip in one program…
– No one did this jump in Europe. I wanted to be the first.
At the Grand Prix in France, you became the first Russian to make these elements in a short program. But in a free you fell on a flip. In Moscow, this quadruple also did not work out. Is the risk still worth it?
– There is no risk now. I have these elements and they are prepared. I just make ridiculous mistakes, because of which I can’t show the program as planned. But this is no longer a crazy risk, it is a deliberate decision. And it’s worth it. With this content, I am able to compete with the leaders of men’s single skating.
Evgenia Medvedeva says that girls have a cult of quads. Is it just routine and necessity for you?
– When I began to learn quadruples, I understood that you can’t get nowhere without them. It is necessary to jump, and not just one or even two quads. And do it consistently so that the program looks harmonious. Yes, you are right, it is a necessity. And the fact that girls shows such performances only motivates. Anya Shcherbakova mastered lutz, which not all men jump although we have more strength. So we should jump more, better.
American Nathan Chen did six quadruples in a free program at the post-Olympic World championships. What is your limit of possibilities?
– I do not want to talk about my maximum. In a free program at the Grand Prix in Moscow, I jumped only a quadruple lutz in a combination with a triple toe loop. Although I planned to jump also a flip and a toe loop. So talking about my limit is discussions about nothing. It is necessary to go and do at competitions what is planned and what turns out in trainings.
Then what are the reasons of mistakes? Psychology? Since you claim that the jumps are prepared?
– No, these are technical issues. Still, training is one thing, and competitions is another. Maybe relaxed a little, didn’t completely control the situation, so the mistakes were stupid and ridiculous, which I don’t allow in the training process. I even have a some aftertaste from the victory in Moscow, because I was not a cut above the opponents, although I took gold in the fight, primarily with himself. I don’t want to talk much about working moments, but we continue to move forward with my team – coach Svetlana Sokolovskaya and choreographer Vitaly Butikov.
In addition to technique, you have to work on expressiveness. You are a very focused, restrained person. On the podium you smiled just a little bit.
– I’m working on this moment. With each competitions I reveal more and more on the ice. We try to make the program look cohesive, from competitions to competitions it turns out better to show the artistic image, to work with the audience. It is clear that technical content affects the situation, I am trying to have a maximum concentration on the elements. But in general, regardless of the complexity of the program, you need to be able not to show the viewer that it’s hard for you, that something is going wrong.
Does Ramil Mehdiev the soloist of the Igor Moiseyev Ensemble Ballet still help you?
– We have been working with him for over a year. It turns out productively. He is a master of his business. Our progress is also visible. I like to work with him. He believes in me and supports, shares his experience.
You are very different in character with your coach Svetlana Sokolovskaya. Does this prevent you from finding a common language?
– She also helps me to reveal on the ice and in life. It is not a problem to find a common language when there is a common goal.
– One goal is already clear. Every athlete has it. But I don’t like to speak in vain. When I reach it, I will say that I have achieved something.
Can the debut in the Grand Prix Finals be called an achievement?
– I am glad that for the first time in my senior career I managed to break into the top six best skaters. Good result for the first half of the season. This will be a new experience. I’m looking forward to it.
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