Inna Goncharenko: One coach cannot represent a huge country. This is utopia and this is wrong
Inna Goncharenko summed up the results of the Grand Prix series and assessed the prospects of Russian figure skaters before the Russian Nationals.
by Dmitri Kuznetsova for sport-express.ru dd November 24th, 2019
How do you assess the results of the Grand Prix series? Six out of six victories for the Russian ladies – for the first time in history.
– I want to congratulate everyone on such a chic result for us – four girls in the Final. This is a real achievement. Alena Kostornaia at the last Grand Prix gave us a figure skating holiday. It was psychologically very difficult for her, the last starting number is always associated with pressure. When at the warm-up she fell from the axel, I got nervous. But in the end, well done, the coaching staff managed to set her up and prepare for competitions. Small mistake on the second axel did not spoil the impression.
Knowing the group of Tutberidze, I think that Alena’s tresult does not write off Trusova. Everyone there understands that a triple axel gives a maximum score in a short program. Sasha has beautiful toe loop and lutz. I don’t think that axel is a huge problem for her.
She’s showed it in training recently.
– I felt that it would happen. But I’m not sure that she needs it right now. This girl loves to be a winner, she does not like to be second or third. So everything is logical. The next question is who will jump this axel more beautiful. Alena’s is the best now.
At the Gran Prix in Japan, many worries were associated with Alina Zagitova …
– Definitely. When she went to the start, it was clear that she was stiff. In Japan, the stands affect seriously. She tried to shut herself off from it, but it’s difficult. She also burst into tears after a short program… She did not need to cry. Alina is already an experienced athlete, there should be some toughness. This is not the reason. If you have already decided to do a combination with flip, then why did you crawl so slowly to it? But for the free program she came as an iron lady. Here she had to anger herself, which she basically did.
Our other athlete, Evgenia Medvedeva, did not make it to the Final, but she left an impression with her performance in Moscow. Can this be called a come back?
– Probably everyone was worried about Zhenya because of her failures. She really improved and showed real skating. She had nerve, mesmerized and cleanly did everything, albeit without super-complex elements. Yes, mathematics gave Trusova victory due to technical advantage. Many even asked me: how so, she fell twice and won? Indeed, there were significant mistakes, but she currently has a margin in difficulty. Nevertheless, Evgenia’s program was more cohesive. She did right abandoning lutz. You should bet on strengths.
It turns out that Brian Orser was right speaking about a year and a half term for come back? Many were skeptical about his positive statements.
– We just have such a mentality that we restrain in our assessments. What is he to say, how bad is his athlete? He himself is a positive person. No one canceled self-promotion.
About Russian Nationals. Now Trusova and Kostornaia seem to be leaders, Shcherbakova, Medvedeva, Zagitova and Tuktamysheva will fight for the third place. Do you agree?
– Yes, it seems. But at such a competitions there can always be surprises. By the New Year, tension and fatigue are accumulating. Medvedeva and Zagitova have less complicated programs, and they should be impeccable, betting on mastery and class.
Given the high competition, should different figure skaters go to the European and World Championships as third numbers?
– You see, athletes must be protected. They are not machines, it’s impossible to jumps quadruples all season. You need to understand what is the main competitions for each of them, and then the coach and the federation, knowing the whole situation, can make a decision. Maybe someone should skip the European Championship in favor of the Worlds.
The junior Grand Prix Final will be held together with the senior. At this level, Tutberidze’s athletes already have rivals from other schools. Can hegemony end?
– In Russia, there are many athletes and ambitious coaches. It’s so great that we have Tutberidze’s group. But one coach cannot represent a huge country. This is utopia and it is wrong. Such monopolies have never led to anything good – sooner or later, you find comfort. Competition is always better.
Do you see the prerequisites for the current boom in figure skating in Russia to last long?
– We generally have a long winter, the rinks are already opening, they are with good ice now. The boom of figure skating really drags young people, families to the streets. This is great, because it really helps people become healthier, more athletic. I hope this is for a long time.