“I’m the only one who was tested for doping after the short program at Four Continents. I think that’s because it was announced at the arena that I’m Russian.” pair skater Alexander Korovin who represents the Philippines

Posted on 2023-03-01 • No comments yet


Interview with pair skater Alexander Korovin who now represents the Philippines. About reasons for changing sports citizenship, Four Continents Championships and trainings.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Isabella Gamez & Alexander Korovin (@isabellaandalexander)

source: Sport-express dd. 12 February 2023 by Dmitri Kuznetsov

The 28-year-old former Russian skater from the Urals, who skated with Alisa Efimova (Efimova now represents Germany together with Ruben Blommaert) and trained with Tamara Moskvina until 2020, found a way to continue his career. Now he skates with Isabella Gamez and represents the Philippines.

In a conversation with “SE” Korovin for the first time, he spoke quite frankly about the reasons and circumstances of the transition to the Philippine national team and the Russian past.

Sasha, tell us about your impressions of the performance at the Four Continents.

Alexander Korovin: Well, what impressions are you talking about? There is nothing to say. And I don’t want to, to be honest. Not that I expected more, given all our training and preparation. But what happened on Friday and Saturday is at least 30 percent of what could have been.

If you picked one word, how would you describe it?

Alexander Korovin: Russian word? Well, it starts with “p” (probably he meant “fuck” in Russian) and it’s not a good word.

What does your training process look like? 

Alexander Korovin: We have enough hours; the problem is that I lack a pair skating coach who can correct me. We rely on what I say, what I see, and how I feel. I’m trying to fit in with my technique, but I need someone to correct me in pair elements. It happens that one day we do both throws and twists, and after an hour—nothing at all. I can’t get used to the training system; it’s different.

Does Marina Zueva work with you?

Alexander Korovin: Yes, she works with us. And Ilia Tkachenko. If you remember, our illustrious figure skater, a former Russian skater, member of the national team. 

You didn’t talk much about how you got to the Philippines. When I messaged you, you answered, “Well, you should better write about MMA.”

Alexander Korovin: Sure! The fight of Islam Makhachev is much more interesting than talking about 113 points.

Could figure skating take something from mixed martial arts?

Alexander Korovin: I think some kind of trash talk, but kind, without threats. But, again, it is interesting only between the leaders. After all, I won’t go now to the Japanese saying something like, “We have it this way, and you have it this way.”

I can tell you from the start about the Philippines. I finished in Russia with the understanding that it would be enough to do the same thing for six years. We always have Nationals, and that’s it; the season ends. It ends even on a short program, everything ends. I decided to quit, and I was thinking of going somewhere to do shows. I even agreed, but the coronavirus started. I stayed in St. Petersburg and coached small children with Sasha Smirnov. Then, after Nationals, which were won by Zhenya and Vova (Tarasova and Morozov), I texted Max Trankov. I congratulated him, and he suggested I go to Florida. Zhenya and Vova were supposed to go to Marina Zueva, but the global situation in the world has changed.

So, what do the Filipinos have to do with this? You came to Florida, and there the Filipinos play backgammon?

Alexander Korovin: Bella is just from Florida, and she was looking for a partner. I understood that Max helped; she found out about me from him. I agreed in the hope that we would work with a pair skating coach. And in fact, roughly speaking, we are not with anyone at all. With ice dancers.

You won’t get to the World Championships; you haven’t met the technical minimum, right? Is there still hope?

Alexander Korovin: There are still competitions, it seems, in Holland. But to be honest, I’m against it because I don’t see the point of going there. In two weeks, it won’t change much from 113 points. It is necessary to change everything from the very beginning, with a coach, to go steadily. This season, we skate for an hour or half an hour a day and then take a 30-minute break. I don’t understand this system.

Are dancers a priority?

Alexander Korovin: Marina Zueva and Ilia are dance specialists. They can give some tasks. But if we don’t have a throw, the fact that we run through the entire program twice according to the coach’s instructions, nothing will change.

Have you been to the Philippines?

Alexander Korovin: Yes, the National Championship was held in a shopping center. In fact, the ice is not bad. The only thing is that it’s hot. You step onto the ice, and it’s plus 20 degrees. 

And people are walking by, shopping.

Alexander Korovin: No, there is a fenced area; they just don’t walk there. Who came to watch, were they allowed through tickets or something else. They sat on the stands and watched. And they train there like this: come, pay money, and skate. Like public skating at any rink.

How do you like the Philippines? I read that the economy is picking up there.

Alexander Korovin: It is difficult to explain. The Philippines are islands scattered across the ocean. Bella has relatives there, an uncle. They have their own house on the island, their own boat, and they are constantly engaged in diving. It’s beautiful. And the center of the city, the capital, is very hot; there are many people; there are constant traffic jams; if you want to get somewhere, it is problematic. There are areas like Moscow City where there are super-tall buildings and shopping centers that are among the top 10 in the world in terms of size.

But are you at least glad to be able to skate at international competitions? Russians cannot afford such a thing now.

Alexander Korovin: Honestly? Where should I look? Where is the camera? Can you tell from my eyes that I am happy? I will explain. I would be happy if we did at least what we could in training. I am not happy with such results. On the other hand, I understand and take some of the blame upon myself. We performed the way we trained. If we showed the level we have in training, I would be happy.

Let me ask this question: would you like to see the Russians again at international competitions? We are not politicians, but still.

Alexander Korovin: We are not politicians, but this is a simple question. Yesterday I was walking here with Seryozha Kunaev, a friend with whom I skated in Perm. We met one highly respected person.

Alexander Rafailovich Lakernyk, I think.

Alexander Korovin: Of course. I can say: “Look at the results of the European Championships, the scores…” And where is figure skating? I’m not talking about men’s singles; Adam [Siao Him Fa] skated well, as did Matteo [Rizzo]. Well done, guys. But girls and pairs… Pairs have the biggest decline. 

Is it time to return?

Alexander Korovin: Of course, it’s time! Perhaps someone will disagree, but even without a flag. People are doing this all their lives. And for the same Liza Tuktamysheva to go to competitions, the World Championship, with or without a flag, it’s not even a question.

I hope everything works out for you too. Think about a trip to a European competition after all. And you seem to be in a bad mood.

Alexander Korovin: The mood is neither bad nor good, just a hopeless situation. I understand that we can do something, but every time we come to the competitions, nothing works out. Perhaps joint experience is needed, but this cannot be solved by experience alone. I believe that consistent training with the team, with a pair’s coach who will assign tasks and correct me, is required. Because I have already driven a person (pointing to Isabella) crazy with my corrections. I’m with my mentality; theirs is a little different. We tried skating with another coach, but it didn’t work out. 

Bella, do you speak Russian?

Isabella Gamez: Good night, dog, cat. What else? Hello, bye. Syrniki (cheese cakes)

Alexander Korovin: Yes, she’s a great cook!

Ah, I can tell you another funny story. After 39 points in the short program, they take me by the shoulder and say, “Doping!” Let’s go get checked. And I think, “Why?” And I’m the only one who was tested for doping on Friday. Because it was announced at the arena, they say I was born and skated in Russia. Bella was announced; she was born in the Philippines; everyone applauded; and then me; he was born in Russia; he skated in Russia; pause; and now they are skating for the Philippines. I have an assumption that I was taken for doping because of this, but I am not sure.

Hope they don’t find anything.

Alexander Korovin: I don’t take anything. Here I have a just bottle of water. (Laughs.)

Well, then I can ask about Valieva. What do you think?

Alexander Korovin: I have nothing to say. I don’t know how or what really happened there. If some part at least published official documents… Let’s say our RUSADA. And I only saw that they found something but acquitted. But I didn’t understand how or why. You can’t prove anything to anyone now. You misstepped a little, and they will not call off. Maybe you tried something somewhere 20 years ago… Although she was also tested at the Olympics and was clean. For me, this is an unclear story.


Related topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *