Irina Slutskaya: This is sport, sometimes win not the ones whom we expected
Irina Slutskaya about upcoming World Championships.
by Sergei Burui for sportsdaily.ru
Did you follow European Championships in Minsk and were you surprised by the victory of Sofia Samodurova?
– I watched the competitions. What is surprising when a person skates a difficult program without mistakes? This is sport, sometimes win not the ones whom we expected to win. From the beginning of the season Sofia has been showing good results, her stong skating has brought her gold.
Samodurova’s program is not considered to be very component for winning the World Championships. Do you agree with this opinion?
– She’s considered a top athlete now. PCS are such a thing that can be improved. Her coach Alexei Mishin will make every effort to bring her PCS to the maximum level.
Do you prefer the coaching approach of Mishin or Eteri Tutberidze?
– I will not discuss this, because I don’t know how Eteri Tutberidze is coaching. I’ve seen how Mishin works. He is a mega professional.
The team for worlds hasn’t been determined yet. It is clear that Samodurova and Zagitova should go. And who is the third – Tuktamysheva, Medvedeva, Konstantinova?
– This decision is made by the federation. The upcoming Russian Cup is another test skate to determine what shape they have. The choice is between Konstantinova, Medvedeva and Tuktamysheva. If you look at the season, how they performed then Liza should go. She skated really well – high-quality, difficult programs. Zhenya is also worthy to go, because she is a two-time world champion. Konstantinova showed a great, strong free program at the European Championships. Let’s see what the federation decides.
Is Japanese Rika Kihira a favorite to win at Worlds?
– Besides Kihira, there is another Japanese woman, and Rika continues to make mistakes. Our and Japanese girls are the strongest in terms of level of preparation. It’s more about who will have stronger nerves. Another important factor is where the World Championships is held – in Japan. Let’s just say, the judges can support the hosts more. I have high hopes for our Olympic champion and Sofia, as they all skate very well.
Strong young generation is coming. As I know, you like Alena Kostornaia. What differs her from the rest?
– I want to note what elements our girls Trusova and Shcherbakova do, but Alena Kostornaia, despite her young age, has both technique and thoughtful, mature skating. She has such a technique that can not leave indifferent. I wish that by the next season, when the girls will be able to perform at senior level, they will not lose their skills and continue to show fantastic technique.