Kevin van der Perren: “Whether the Russians are there or not, the medals worth the same, skaters still need to do it in those few minutes. The task is equally difficult.”
Translation of the Kevin van der Perren’s comments about Belgium skaters’ prospects at the European Championships.
original source: sporza.be dd. 11th January 2024
Here’s a translation of former Belgium single skater Kevin van der Perren made for Sporza about the prospects of Belgium skaters at the European Championships.
“It’s very exceptional for a country like Belgium to have two talents at the same time,” says former skater Van der Perren. “We are even the only country with three participants at this Europeans (referring to women’s single skating – ed.). That says something.”
“I think Belgium can get 1 and 2,” he refers to Loena Hendrickx and Nina Pinzarrone. “For the third skater, Jade Hovine, it would be excellent if she could make it to the final.”
“For Loena Hendrickx, it can only be gold, really. The expectations are high. Last year, she was also the top favorite at the Europeans, which was a new situation for her. She struggled with it, but I think she has worked on it and can handle it better now.”
“I think Pinzarrone can also win a medal. Behind Loena, there are about 8 skaters at the same level. But Nina is very consistent in her performances. She is only 17, and this is actually the first year she is being really known. So, everything is still very enjoyable for her. The pressure is a bit lower for her,” Kevin shares his opinion.
Answering the question “How much are those medals worth when the Russians are not present?”, Kevin an der Perren said, “The same. It doesn’t really matter to me. Mind you, those Russians do quadruple jumps, and it’s challenging to compete with that. The points they score there are hard to make up for. Even then, I still consider Loena Hendrickx a more complete skater. Whether the Russians are there or not, they have to do it in those few minutes. The task is equally difficult.”
Ilia Averbukh: “I think watching this European Championships is a waste of time. Without Russian figure skaters is a Category B competition.”