Elizaveta Tuktamysheva: I’m pleased that in the Grand Prix Final I’m the oldest athlete, It flatters me
Interview with Elizaveta Tuktamysheva at the Grand prix Final 2018.
by Elena Vaitsekhovskaya for rsport.ria.ru
Liza, you managed to do a triple axel in Vancouver, but both times with a small mistakes on landing. What prevented to make it perfect without losing points?
– When you’re about to start, you always think how to perform the program as well as possible. I skated a short program with a very good mood, focusing on the elements, I was ready to fight for each of them. But in the free … The triple axel was very powerful, and I could have done it much better. Probably just played safe. I was thinking how to land it beautifully more than how to stand on my feet.
Was it difficult to get your mind right before this competition?
– Especially before the short program. Free program is always easier for me. First, you understand that half of the work is over, you have time to adapt to the conditions, so there’s less anxiety. This makes it easier to focus on the elements.
In Vancouver, talking to journalists, you repeated several times that you consider participation in the Grand prix Final as an opportunity to prepare for the Russian Nationals. Does this mean that competitions in Saransk is more important for you?
– Of course. For me, this is a main competitions, there I would like to show everything I am capable of.
However, it has repeatedly happened in your career that you didn’t qualify for main competitions, and you probably should have learned not to be upset about this. Why suddenly the national championships has become so important for you?
– Probably because I’m quite well prepared now, I understand what I can do, I understand that I can fight, take high places. That’s why I want to take my chance. It will be very disappointing if I fail.
Did you felt despair over this several not the most successful years, when work didn’t bring results, but more and more young girls striving to take theirs appeared around?
– This invasion didn’t started now, moreover, it started with me and Adelina Sotnikova. There’s no point to talk whether this is good or bad. I just take the situation for granted and am not going to give up the pleasure to compete, the business of my whole life. On the contrary, I like that there is such high competition in women’s skating now and I can stand it. I’m pleased that in the Grand Prix final I’m the oldest athlete. It flatters me.
When we spoke at the beginning of the season, you said that the new rules were made primarily for those athletes whose advantage is mature and beautiful skating, not a lutz-loop at the end of the program. What do you think now, when you see that even with no mistakes performance you are still much inferior in the second mark to Alina Zagitova, Rika Kihira? Does this mark shows the reality?
– I’m used to it. I think that my figure skating is what it is. Probably, I can be called a representative of the old school, when I grew up and developed as an athlete, jumps were the cornerstone, then everything else. After all, I debuted at the senior level pretty early, I successfully performed there, so what I can do on the ice was always enough. Of course, we are trying to make my skating more component, but it is much more difficult for me to do this than for younger girls. I’m fully aware of this. Those who are just starting to skate at the senior level, they grew up in the new system. They began to skate perceiving very organically all the requirements for the program. They taught their jumps from difficult entries, they showed something that I never had to do. Therefore, it isn’t easy for me to compete with them in this.
At the same time, I know for sure that people like my skating, I also like it, by the way, judges assess it quite well generally. It’s just different. Perhaps more technical. I don’t think this is a disadvantage. Besides, as I have already said more than once, it would be naive to expect high PCS after I missed almost four years of performances. If I successfully perform at a couple of competitions, the PCS will probably start to rise.
The skaters of your coach Alexei Mishin tend to have a fairly deep understanding of jumping technique. Can you explain what is technically more difficult triple axel or quad? I know that in men’s single skating there are different opinions about this.
– For me, it’s easier to do a triple axel. It all depends on how you are taught, on technique. If a double axel is well-learned and convenient for an athlete, he will naturally prefer to begin the complication with this jump. If the jump is inconvenient, adding one more turn becomes a nightmare for a skater. I thought about it in relation to quadruple jumps. If suddenly I decide to work on quadruple, then with great probability it will be a lutz, not a toe loop. Because lutz is very convenient for me.
Do you somehow explain to yourself that triple axel was performed for the first time in women’s skating 35 years ago and several athletes including you successfully performed it, but for some reason, quad remains a stumbling block in women’s skating?
– First, it’s really difficult and scary, even psychologically. I’m scared even to think about this topic, although in very distant childhood I tried to jump quadruple toe loop. Moreover, if there was such a competition as we have now, I’m sure that I could have learned this jump. Just then it wasn’t necessary, especially since I already had a triple axel.
The day of rest in Vancouver did not break your concentration?
– I would prefer the competition without interruption. It’s emotionally easier. At first sight, it seems that the day of rest allows you to relax and recover better, but in reality it’s not. Your thoughts are still on the ice, you keep thinking about competitions, about the elements, and this makes your head very tired. Although it all depends on the habit. In the season 2014/15 most of the competitions were with a break between the programs, and I was so used to it that I even felt discomfort if there was no break.
I know that in Vancouver you had great excursion plans for this day off. Did you manage to fulfill them?
– No. I planned to go see the city, see the settlement from which the construction of present Vancouver began, but for some reason I suddenly began to think that I could get tired if I didn’t get back on time, that it was probably better just to walk around the hotel. So it turned out that the whole cultural program was reduced to shopping.
– Oh yeah! Perhaps that is why I had such a good mood before the free program.
Alina Zagitova: I shouldn’t hope that someone wouldn’t do something. I need to do everything myself