Inna Goncharenko: In many things junior girls are much stronger than some senior skaters

Posted on 2019-09-04 • No comments yet


Interview with Inna Goncharenko. About Russian junior girls and their upcoming season and Liza Tuktamysheva changing music in Shae-Lynn Bourne’s program.

by Anatoli Samokhvalov for dd. 3d September, 2019

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Inna Germanovna, one of the contenders for the Junior Grand Prix Final Ksenia Sinitsyna could not fly to the competitions in Lake Placid due to visa problems, but she will perform at the Grand Prix in Chelyabinsk, which saves her opportunity to get to the Final in December.

– It is good that she was given a chance not to lose the second GP. In my opinion, her short program is the best I saw among juniors this season, including participants of the junior team test skates. In idea, in choreography – this program is perfectly high-quality. The program is full of steps and is very suitable for the girl. One hundred percent hit.

Does it even better than Kamila Valieva’s “Girl on the Ball”?

– “Girl on the Ball” is the original program. But all original things someone likes, someone doesn’t. I’m more impressed with Sinitsyna’s program. Perhaps for the second year I just got used to “Girl on the Ball”, as I closely follow figure skating. Also, in my opinion, Valieva’s short program has too many raised legs.

But Kamila performs these elements beautifully and almost flawlessly.

– She does it greatly, with the feeling that we are watching something cosmic. But measure is a treasure, even in amazing stretching. Because the “thing” works effectively only when it’s not used too much. But Valieva is a diamond girl. And diamonds are not repeated. This diamond shines in different ways, and I want to see them in harmony. Sinitsyna is also individual, but she is more ordinary than Valieva. And when I saw Ksenia’s program, I was completely delighted: “Well done!” Because both the coach Svetlana Panova and the choreographer didn’t overacted their role and presented the skater in the most favorable way. Valieva, as I understand it, is the leader of our junior team, given her ultra-c elements, her PCS, but we can’t watch and evaluate only one person, since the team should be a team.

Alena Kanysheva, who moved from Panova to Eteri Tutberidze, also looks like one of the leaders of this team.

– Kanysheva has good PCS, but so far I can’t talk about her with the enthusiasm I have about Valieva and Sinitsyna. Yes, she’s doing well, but she’s always been pretty, watchable and feminine. You see, in our ladies’s skating not everyone is feminine. But Kanysheva always has this refinement.

Vice President of ISU Alexander Lakernik and ISU Technical Specialist Alexander Kuznetsov noted that the level of current participants of the junior competitions is not childish at all.

– I totally agree. The girls are very well-skating, feeling the blade. And some does it gorgeously. In many things they are much stronger than some senior ones, but still I wouldn’t praise them too much. Of course, they are still girls, just with a modern base. But they have to grow.

If you put Valieva, Kanysheva, Sinitsyna on one side of the scale, and for example Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Stanislava Konstantinova and Sofia Samodurova on the other, whose side will outweigh?

– Well, last year, Samodurova made a breakthrough due to her consistency, tenacity and dancing program choreographed by Ilia Averbukh, which was very suitable for her. But she still lacks a really good skating skills that would allow her to compete with the best. There are no clean rockers, counters, step sequences, legs are not perfectly stretched. The juniors whom we have mentioned are superior in this regard.

Her coach, Alexei Mishin, doesn’t like to exaggerate the importance of transition elements over jumps.

– Yes, he never bothered about it, but how will this be judged? If a girl skates after a not very strong athlete in terms of skating and transitions, then her marks may be ok. But if she skates after a nice and interesting girl with good skating skills, then it will be hard for some judges to watch it. Yes, if we talk about Samodurova, they give her credit – she is a fighter and this helps her, but it’s necessary to be versatile on the ice.

If we talk about Liza Tuktamysheva, then she is an experienced athlete. Yes, without the necessary now transitions, but she improved in different way. She clearly knows how to present herself and does it quite successfully. She has her individual choreography, she is a person with a title that cannot be taken away.

But with clean performances, who will get higher scores Liza or this new generation?

– The judges remember that Liza is the world champion, and with a clean skate this will play a role. But at the same time, preference will probably be given to more watchable skating. Liza always had a problem with the spins, her back hurted, so it will be difficult for her in terms of some positions, holds, because she always has a limited number of position. She cannot load her back too much, so she can show speed, but speaking about beauty of positions, biellmanns … In this regard, it will be difficult for her.

Surely these three girls – Sinitsyna, Kanysheva, Valieva will make their way to the senior Russian Nationals this season.

– Yes.

Will they create competition to the famous skaters in the coming December?

– We don’t know what judging will be. After all, Radionova and I jumped out at the time, when Lena was the same as Valieva. At that moment, we jumped things that older girls didn’t even try. But we got low PCS, although Lena was artistic, dancing. When I asked the judges why they score us so low, they answered me: “What’s your hurry? She is so small. Let her grow up, but for now let the girls to skate.” At that Nationals, our limit was fifth place. Fifth meant gold.

Canadian choreographer Shae-Lynn Bourne did a program for Tuktamysheva.

– Liza has a lot of movements from Shae-Lynn, but Lisa has already interpreted them in her own way. So in these movements you can see just a little bit of Shae-Lynn Bourne now. Liza didn’t do like it should be, she did how she used to.

Choreographed something the modern, but it turned out “Gypsy dance”.

– And it turned out Liza. Let’s see what will happen in the season.

Radionova perfectly understood Shae-Lynn’s choreo.

– You see, it’s not enough to do the program, further you need to work on it correctly. This is a whole story, because in this case the choreographer doesn’t work for you as a full-time choreographer. Therefore, it happens that at first the program goes so well, and then you don’t know what to do with it.

Liza admires the Shae-Lynn’s program, but at the same time changes music to the overused Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla, stipulating that the movements will remain the same.

– The Mishin team has their own opinion, they believe that they are right. Apparently, they got a choreo from Shae-Lynn Bourne, but could not work with it. This moment is very important, because you need to be able to rise to the Shae-Lynn’s level to work with this program. Probably the question “What for?” has become the key. “We’re doing just fine.”

Is it possible to keep Shae-Lynn’s movement in Oblivion?

– You see, Shae-Lynn Bourne fills every musical beat, every head movement, every step before an element. How can you take and transfer this work to other music? Personally, I don’t understand this. But everyone has their own opinion.

Returning to our general topic: will there be five Russians and an American in the Junior Grand Prix Final?

– Let’s not rush, the sport is traumatic, and there is no need to rush with predictions.

But the leading trio – Valieva, Sinitsyna, Kanysheva?

– Yes, because Anastasiia Tarakanova is a very strong girl, but personally I always treated her calmly.

Athletic skating? In Lake Placid she skated a free program clean, but there was a feeling of a hard work.

– She began to mature, she makes the elements clean, but maybe she has not psychologically reached the right level yet. If Valieva is naturally sensitive to figure skating, she is refined in every move, Kanysheva, being a fragile girl, feels music like a woman, Sinitsyna has accuracy and Anastasiia still lacks it. Maybe you she needs to reach this. As for Lake Placid, she must be congratulated with the fight to the end. Well done!


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