Kirill Sarnovsky: “At Khrustalny it was… very hard. Physically and morally. You have to do almost everything without stopping. Also I can’t train when they yell at me.”
Interview with 15-year-old Kirill Sarnovsky coached by Evgeni Plushenko.
source: matchtv.ru dd. 16th March 2022 by Vlad Zhukov
When did you start doing figure skating?
Kirill Sarnovsky: I started at the age of 4. Doctor advised to do some winter sport to improve health. In the end, I liked it, and I continued. It all started in Moscow at the Yantar skating rink with Zhanna Veniaminovna Sorokina. I came, barely standing on my feet, and everyone was already skating at least somehow. It wasn’t great, of course, but somehow I slowly got involved. Then we decided to go to CSKA, to Anastasia Georgievna Semina. Probably it was at the age of 5, and until 8 I trained with her.
At first, of course, I did not realize anything at all. I just skated and liked it. At that time I didn’t even really follow figure skating, I started following it from the age of 10. Parents turned on the TV, someone was skating there – well, that’s how I started watching it. Of course, I knew about Yevgeni Viktorovich (Plushenko), about some others. But in general, I didn’t care, I had other things to do (laughs). Then I became more aware, of course.
Now, from my favorite skaters I will name Nathan Chen, Yuzuru Hanyu and Yuma Kagiyama. I heard they usually separate Chen and Hanyu, choose one of them, but I like both of them. Also Ilia Malinin – we’re friends with him.
He’s trending right now.
Kirill Sarnovsky: It’s true. We met at the stage of the Junior Grand Prix in Austria this season. Since then we have been in touch.
Then, in CSKA, you decided to change your coach and moved to Sergei Davydov. Why?
Kirill Sarnovsky: In fact, at first, one might say, I was taken to the group of Maria Leonidovna Selitskaya. I skated with her for about six months, and around that time Davydov was moving to CSKA. Maria Leonidovna herself offered to try to work with him – I tried, I liked it.
I learned all triple jumps and 3-3 combinations with him. Actually, I started jumping them quite late. At 9 or 10 years old, I jumped only a double axel, although now at this age everyone is already doing 3-3 jumps (laughs).
And what was the problem with jumps?
Kirill Sarnovsky: In fact, then there was simply no such strong need to hurry. There were not so many guys who jumped all the triples. A week ago I watched my old videos from the Russian Championships among kids – we had only two people there with a triple lutz. Basically, everyone had a content with a triple salchow, loop, and no one has jumped 3-3 yet.
It looks like I came at a time when there was no such race yet. Now at the age of 12-13 they already do quads, and at the age of 11 I only jumped all the triples.
You seem to get in a bad time.
Kirill Sarnovsky: I think, on the contrary, I will be healthier. When I jumped the quadruple salchow last year, my back immediately began to hurt. Did it again at the end of the season – and the back hurted again. This season in the fall, I was jumping it for about a week – my back ached again. Although quad is doing better now.
But the difference between quads and triples in terms of load and health is serious. In the air, only 5 centimeters are added during the flight, but you still enter the ice with more force when landing. You have to rotate faster and stay on your feet on the landing. This, of course, is not easy.
In general, the main thing in quads is to catch the feeling. The essence of the jump. How long you need to be in the air, how to twist. Sometimes it is not easy – I have been learning double axel, for example, for a year and a half.
After Davydov, you had a transition to Plushenko …
Kirill Sarnovsky: No, I also trained with Eteri Georgievna Tutberidze. About half a year. Due to the fact that my brother and I were in the Russian national team, we could not officially transfer to her group outside the transfer window, which is in May. And we left CSKA around December 30 and since January 2 have already been training with Eteri Georgievna.
It was my parents’ decision – at that time Eteri Georgievna had quite a few boys, so we decided to train with her. And somewhere on May 1, 2019, we went to Evgeni Viktorovich.
Training at Khrustalny was… very hard. Physically and morally. You have to do almost everything without stopping. I think Plushenko’s system just suits me better.
Is that why you switched?
Kirill Sarnovsky: Not really. Sergei Viktorovich Dudakov, when we were still at Khrustalny, said that it would be better to train according to the Alexei Mishin’s system in terms of technique. And since we did not want to move to St. Petersburg, we went to Plushenko. He has Mishin’s technique, it is probably more “masculine”.
As a result, Evgeni Viktorovich changed, in fact, all the triples, including the triple axel. I just restored it then – and the pandemic began …
And if we talk about the atmosphere – in the “Angels” it is more calm than at Eteri Georgievna’s. Evgeni Viktorovich is kind, he can joke. Sometimes, of course, he’s angry (laughs). Although usually he’s kind. It’s easier for me. I can’t train when they yell at me. I immediately close, and the training doesn’t go well.
As a result, last season was like incomplete …
Kirill Sarnovsky: Tough year, yes. Although this one is also difficult.
Well, the first half was great for you. At the Grand Prix you have excellent results.
Kirill Sarnovsky: The first half – yes. After the results decreased, but this is due to the quadruple salchow. For example, I went to the Russian Cup stage in Kazan with pain in my back, and my free program was really “good” there – three deductions … After Kazan, I rested for a week, went for massages, procedures.
Then there was the championship of Moscow, and then the senior Russian Nationals. There I did not count on much, I just wanted to show myself. But I skated clean, so everything worked out. Although I was nervous.
Even considering that there were no tasks set?
Kirill Sarnovsky: Yes, it doesn’t matter. Especially during the free program. And this spider camera flies above you … It confused me the most (laughs). I didn’t know at all that we have such a thing in figure skating.
And there were a lot of spectators on the short program too. I enter the first jump, and they immediately start clapping. And I have a triple axel there. Well, I think: “That’s it, you can’t fail it” (laughs). As a result, delivered one of the cleanest performances of the season. After Russian Nationals, we skated in the show, and then at the Russian junior championships.
What happened at the Russian junior championships? By the way, I also remember that for some reason you didn’t want to talk about quads there.
Kirill Sarnovsky: Yes, it’s true. It’s just that at that moment we started to work on salchow again, and the back started to hurt a little. Therefore, we decided not to touch it before Russian juniors. As a result, I skated the short program well, but the free one …
By the way, aren’t you tired of this topic with quads? They are so aggressively expected them from you.
Kirill Sarnovsky: A little. Of course, it’s annoying when you constantly ask about quads. Moreover I work on it before the competitions… But there is no necessary stability yet. A week before the competitions, there can be two or three clean skates with salchow – this is very little to put it into the program.
Do you try other quads now?
Kirill Sarnovsky: Last year we tried loop. But now the emphasis is more on salchow, it is easier. Well, now it has become much more stable, it works out two or three times in a row.
Will you get it next season?
Kirill Sarnovsky: Yes, definitely. Now there’s a lot of time for training. Well, and it’s time – everyone has been waiting for more than a year. And it would be nice to master the loop. Next season, the goal is to master both of them.
You said that at first you were not interested in figure skating. Why are you in this sport?
Kirill Sarnovsky: For the sake of my own results. To skate clean and consistent.
How about a little more global?
Kirill Sarnovsky: It’s difficult… It’s necessary not to dream, but do, so I’ll name such a goal — to go to big competitions. Like this year Zhenya Semenenko and Mark Kondratyuk did. Last year they also competed in juniors, and this year they went to the Olympics. Zhenya Semenenko did very well, I think. For some reason, I sign out him the most.
Kirill Sarnovsky: He was not at the junior Grand Prix, he immediately went to the senior competitions. The judges did not know him, but he did well – he went to the World Championships, to the Olympics.
But Kondratyuk is an Olympic champion.
Kirill Sarnovsky: Yes, he also did great! I remember that we started this season at the junior test skates, and then – Russia, Europe, the Olympic team! They skated very early at the Olympics, so I didn’t watch everything live. I woke up only at the last warm-up of the individual competitions – Chen was there, Shoma Uno, Kagiyama. Yuma, like Mark and Zhenya, not so long ago switched from the juniors – and bam, did so great!
Do you look up to Mark and Zhenya?
Kirill Sarnovsky: Yes. By the way, I know Mark from CSKA when he was little. Whe he was that’s short (laughs). He used to read books all the time, and quite adults. I remember being in the common locker room of CSKAt with him – he had a new book every week. He could bring a thick book at the beginning of the week and finish it in a few days. He never had a period when he didn’t read something.
Related topics: Eteri Tutberidze, Evgeni Plushenko, Kirill Sarnovsky
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