Evgeni Plushenko: “Judges were incredibly generous to Valieva. She made a serious mistake, but got fabulous scores. Honestly, I’m surprised.”
Two-time Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko summed up the results of women’s short program at the Olympics.
Evgeni Plushenko: Even though Kamila Valieva is now in the first place in the individual competitions, for me the winner of the short program is Anya Shcherbakova. I really liked the way she skated. Light, free, airy. Not a single mistake! Great!
The judges give her performance 80.20 points. But they were incredibly generous to Kamila. However, she made a serious mistake on the triple axel. It’s not even a step out, as some say. There was an unsuccessful landing – sloppy landing. Nevertheless, she got fabulous scores. Honestly, I’m surprised.
Let’s be objective – Valieva skated not at 82.16. The girls performed at the same level, and according to the results of the short, I would put Shcherbakova in first place. With a tiny advantage – in hundredths of a point.
In general, our girls are being judged very well in Beijing so far. This applies to both Kamila and Sasha Trusova, who fell on the triple axel, but also got a fabulous scores with such a mistake – 74.60. Thanks judges!
Kamila burst into tears, immediately after the skate. Of course, the events of recent days has affected her. Especially the seven hours spent at the CAS meeting, where her case was considered! It’s a huge amount of stress!
I would like to once again wish Kamila perseverance. She always skated flawlessly in the short program, she did not fail the triple axel. And here she trembled. But otherwise, there are no questions about her program. Gliding, spins, artistry, charisma… Long arms, legs… It’s all very beautiful.
I have already noted the steel character of Anya Shcherbakova. The ability to concentrate at the right moment and deliver a luxurious skate. But when I heard that in Beijing, shortly before the competitions, she had to change her boots, I became a little nervous. I know for myself how hard it is to go on the ice in new ones! I’ve been breaking into new ones for a month! To the bloody corns!
I always cherish old boots like the apple of my eye, I performed in them for at least two, or even three seasons. By that time, they were already becoming soft – almost like running shoes. I felt comfortable in them, I don’t like tough boots. And never tightened laces strongly – unlike today’s skaters. The boots should not control you. You must control them.
However, everything is individual here. For example, Canadian Elvis Stojko, a three-time world champion, had special custom-made boots. Very tough ones! They didn’t bend at all! But a day was enough for him to break into and he could do a triple axel.
Young skaters are doing the same now. Veronika Zhilina, my athlete, needs only one training session to get used to a new boots. And immediately jumps quads! For Trusova, this is also not a problem.
Plus, it should be taken into consideration that today the top skaters have six or seven spare pairs of boots. Already prepared. Perhaps it was the same with Anya in Beijing. In general, this story did not unsettle her. And thank God!
Well, as for Trusova in the short program, everything turned out as I predicted. I don’t understand trying the elements that have not been worked out one hundred percent at the Olympics. In Beijing, it was her decision. Unfortunately, wrong again.
Yes, in training she is able to jump even three clean axels in a row! But in competitions – fail after fail. How many times can you make the same mistake?!
It seems to me that the nerves, which Sasha cannot cope with, is the main reason. I hoped that at the main start she would be able to overcome herself, skate the program clean. Alas…
Immediately after the skate, she told reporters: “The triple axel is not negotiable. I will always do it!” I heard about the same thing from her during our joint work. She also repeated: “I’ll go for five quads in the free program!” I asked: “Why? They are not ready … “-” No! I’ll!”
The maximalism of an athlete is wonderful. But it must be backed by something. Otherwise, such an approach will not lead to anything good.
After all, she could easily won the World Championships last year. But everything again came to the triple axel! Yes, in Moscow she performed clean in training. But in Stockholm on the day of the short program there were not a single successful attempt out of fifteen! Naturally, I said that it is not necessary to include it in the program. However, it was not possible to convince her. As a result, Sasha made a mistake on this jump and flew away to 12th place.
Then, due to the free program, she pulled out a bronze medal. But this is not gold … And it would have been gold if she had listened to my words. In the short, she could have limited herself to other jumps, she would have taken second place, in the free program she would have made three quadruples – and that’s it, you are the world champion!
We must not forget about tactics, strategy. And most importantly, the athlete must hear the coach. There is no other way. If you are guided by the principle: “I want it and that’s it!” there will be no result.
Of the rest of the figure skaters who competed in Beijing, I would like to mention the Japanese Kaori Sakamoto, who skate last in the short program. Brilliant double axel – so long! Great jumps! And what a speed?
True, I doubt that Sakamoto will stay in the top three. Now she is in third place, ahead of Trusova by five points. But for Sasha, this is nothing. She has such a set of quadruple jumps in her free program that she calmly eliminates this difference. I’m not sure that she will fulfill all five, as she dreams, but she can do a three of them. Enough for bronze.
I think all our girls will be on the podium. Valieva, most likely, will not miss the gold medal. Silver will go to Shcherbakova. And bronze – Trusova. At least at the moment, this is how it looks like.