Alexei Zheleznyakov: “I don’t think that this was an offensive phrase towards Kostornaia. Gleikhengauz said the way it is”
Alexei Zheleznyakov, the choreographer of the Eteri Tutberidze’s group, summed up the results of the Italian Grand Prix, the proposal of the famous coach Alexander Zhulin to give extra points for the age and Alena Kostornaia’s post on Instagram with gratitude to the coaching staff, which was later criticized by Daniil Gleikhengauz.
source: sport-express.ru dd. 10th November by Daniil Aleshin
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I was a little confused when I saw Anya in the short program in Italy. Knowing what kind of fighter she is, I didn’t expect something like this to happen. Spectators and coaches always got used to the fact that athletes are stable fighters! And suddenly, if there is some kind of failure, then we all say at once: “Oh, how could that happened!” Nothing terrible happened, we are not robots or machines. Maybe the transitional age affected or something else. Maybe there was some kind of fear … I can’t get into her head, but I was at a loss. In the free program, she made it up. Everything goes according to plan and approaches the main competitions. I hope she will approach them in good shape.
The fact that she was able to perform such a strong free program after an unsuccessful short program, what does it tell about Anya?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: She proved her fighting character once again. This gentle girl, as I said, she’s a flint. If she hadn’t messed up in the short program, then maybe everything would have been worse in the free program. Maybe these mistakes in a short program even motivated her to fully concentrate and get together.
Is Maiia Khromykh progressing, judging by this Grand Prix?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Not only judging by this Grand Prix, but in general. In my class, Maiia is progressing a lot: not only in terms of sports, but also in terms of choreography, she also performs everything very consciously. If you watch my videos, you will see how mature choreography comes to her. This is completely different, not junior skating! I think she is progressing a lot. She is a hard worker.
Does she have a chance to get to the Olympics?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: This is a very dicey question! I’m always rooting for my students: all the girls are like my family… I have been with them for many years. I don’t want to jinx them. They all work and they all try.
Anya said after the free skate that this was not even her maximum. Do you agree with her?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Yes, I completely agree! She can improve even more. I think she will add. You need to carefully and wisely approach the main competitions.
Alexander Zhulin has recently suggested giving extra points for age. Do you support this?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: I heard about this interview, but did not read it completely. I took it as humor. If he said this in all seriousness, then … We, as fans, can give preference to Liza Tuktamysheva for being a fighter. I’m ready to bow at her feet for the fact that she has been fighting for so many years, does not burn out and does not leave sports. However, it looks completely silly to give higher scores just for it. Probably, this is even offensive for the athlete. An athlete who will receive a higher scores for age will feel like some kind of retired veteran, and even inferior next to younger athletes.
Let’s just introduce the “beautiful component skating” discipline and remove all the elements from there. You can propose to make a third program: short, free and something like gala, but include it in the competition. Then, of course, older athletes will show brighter and more emotional skating. They will win with experience.
Recently Alena Kostornaia has expressed her words of gratitude for Eteri Tutberidze, and then Daniil Gleikhengauz made it clear that this was unnecessary. Do such moments spoil the atmosphere within the team?
Alexei Zheleznyakov: Media and fans always take everything too close to their hearts. They inflate such things to some incredible scales! I don’t think that this was an offensive phrase towards Alena. Daniil said the way it is. Alena also has changed in some way, made conclusions. Girls are growing up now. You know what a transitional age is: they can be capricious, do something … And this is not only Alena. Children become more difficult. This does not spoil the atmosphere in the team at all. I don’t see that someone squabbling here, looking askance at each other… Here everyone is busy with business. What you asked me about is what fans come up with and media stirs it up to make the story brighter.
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