Ilia Averbukh: Medvedeva has a lot of motivation. She definitely can perform in Beijing

Posted on 2018-03-07 • No comments yet


We continue Ilia Averbukh’s benefit performance. Today about main topic in Russian figure skating “Medvedeva vs Zagitova”.

Where Evgenia Medvedeva should look for motivation after the defeat from Alina Zagitova at the Olympics? What to do when you go to the main goal, but do not reach it?

– I’m sure that Zhenya has a lot of motivation. She is young, full of energy, and she does not have age limits that can prevent her from reaching the next Olympic Games. She definitely can perform in Beijing. Reform in the judging marks  will also be in her favor. Changes should equalize the chances of those who have already achieved something, with young stars with difficult elements. All is in Zhenya’s hands. Another thing that Medvedeva has been suffering from the injury the whole season. Now the most important thing is to understand what is happening and, depending on the diagnosis, make a decision. If the doctors advise her to take a break, she needs to listen them.

So it turns out that this season she hasn’t performed healthy?

– She skated, overcoming a certain pain. But I want to emphasize that Medvedev lost the Olympics to Zagitova not because of injury. Alina won bеcause of complexity of her programs, she won deservedly. But it is simply impossible to postpone – Medvedeva needs to take care of her health and recover from injury.

In such a situation, maybe it’d be better to skip the World Championships?

– Soon we’ll find out. Yes, the team for Worlds is announced, but the final decision is made only by the athlete and the coach. I suggest not guessing, but waiting a week. As far as I know, Zhenya Medvedeva had a medical examination, the results of which she and her coach will have in the near future. Only then will it be known whether Medvedeva will go to Milan or not.

How to react on rumors that Medvedeva leaves Tutberidze’s group?

– I think that journalists have the right to such guesses. They base their assumptions on the fact that it’ll be difficult for Medvedeva and Zagitova to train in the same group. Figure skating is not a team sport. Moreover, there’re a lot of such examples. Alexi Yagudin eventually left Alexei Mishin. Such stories also happened in dance groups: Oksana Grischuk and Evgeni Platov left Natalia Dubova, because they claimed for one result with Maya Usova and Alexander Zhulin. We can assume anything, but we must listen only to Zhenya. If she says she intends to continue her career and work with Eteri Tutberidze – that’s it.

And rumours that Medvedeva is considering the possibility of changing sports citizenship?

– It’s mud, slander, sabotage. Just criminal words. I know Zhenya, and I know that she is a patriot of Russia. In no brain cell can she have any thoughts to perform for another country. You can assume about the change of coach, but do not sink to insults.

You said about the examples of two star athletes and pairs in one group. But many solve such issues calmly. For example Brian Orser in the case of Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez.

– Not only Orser. I am sure that in the case of Tutberidze and Medvedeva, everything will be decided in the most convenient way for everyone. I do not see the prerequisites for changing the coach, because Eteri Georgievna has done everything for her. And the example of Julia Lipnitskaya, who left Tutberidze, shows that Lipnitskaya lost. As soon as the girls disappear from the area of ​​Tutberidze’s attention, they lose in the results. This coach has a special scheme for training. To someone it may seem demanding, rigid, but it gives results. Lipnitskaya moved from such a scheme to a scheme of a beautiful and strong, but very democratic specialist Alexei Urmanov, who counts on athlete’s professionalism and self-control. But it did not lead to anything good in a particular case.

If you were the coach of Zagitova and Medvedeva, would you leave it as it is, or would you separate them in different skating rinks?

– Of course, I would separate them. Everyone would have only his time. That is how Natalia Linichuk did with the pairs Grischuk-Platov and Krylova-Ovsyannikov. It would have been an ideal scheme.

If doctors recommend Medvedeva to reduce the loads, what is better – just temporarily forget about figure skating or to perform in a show?

– Depends on the diagnosis. But I think that it’s better to perform in the show in front of the public, it’s important for athletes. Again, there are many examples in history when the skaters took a break in their careers, performed in shows, then returned and showed outstanding results. I talked with Zhenya. Sport is on the first place for her, the rest – on the residual principle. She intends to continue her sports career.

by Andrei Shitihin for


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