Maxim Trankov: “I believe that Russia is doing the right thing holding the events, even taking risks. Otherwise, everything will stop.”
Maxim Trankov summed up the results of Rostelecom Cup 2020. About results in ladies, pair skating, critics from Philip Hersh and other things.
source: Dmitri Kuznetsov for sport-express.ru dd.22d November 2020
Maxim, if someone told before the Grand Prix that Tuktamysheva would win, would you think that this person is crazy?
Maxim Trankov: Well, at least I would express my doubts – specifically about the victory. Because Anya Shcherbakova was originally listed here. The fight for the top three – here I agree, but victory is a different thing. I wasn’t sure about that.
Is such an outcome of the competitions motivation for Medvedeva, Zagitova, and other mature skaters to continue their careers? Here you go, it’s possible to fight and win.
Maxim Trankov: Controversial conclusion. You can always fight, if your competitor makes big mistakes, you can beat anyone. Another thing is whether you are able to win in equal conditions. What matters here is what you compare yourself to. But in general, of course, anyone can continue to skate and win, it has been shown.
Since we agree that the key factor was Trusova’s performance, what happened to her, in your opinion?
Maxim Trankov: Everyone is asking this question, you’re not the first person who asks me that. But only those who work with her can say what happened. I can say one thing: as I was told, in training, she did something incredible, it was outstanding level. She jumped quads confidently, one after another, it was cool. I think for people who saw her in training, this is also a surprise, a tragic incident.
If you’re a training champion but then fail at the competitions, it’s logical to think about psychology.
Maxim Trankov: Maybe psychology let down, it is important in our sport. But, understand, I sincerely do not know what happened to Trusova.
Then I’ll ask this way: does Tutberidze’s baggage exist? Can we say that for some time the skater is affected by what the previous coach gave him?
Maxim Trankov: Of course, the experience of the previous coach is put in the head and has a cumulative effect. And this is not only Tutberidze, but also the first, children’s, coach. I would not call it baggage, but rather accumulated experience. It works for some time, and then either improves, develops, or remains at the same level. But it certainly does not go anywhere.
What I mean: many say that now we will see the real work of Plushenko. Now Sasha has reached a crisis situation, and a new coach has to show himself now.
Maxim Trankov: Why are we talking about a crisis situation? It’s also controversial. If I’m not mistaken, Sasha lost only one competitions. And if we look at what happened before, then two competitions were won, and Trusova beat Valieva for example. I do not think that something global has happened. This is ice, sometimes people fail elements. Boikova and Kozlovski were third a week ago at the Russian Cup, and here they skated well and won. We have a clear sport: whoever skates cleanly wins.
So this is not a disaster, not a tragedy?
Maxim Trankov: Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched – a very correct expression. And in our case – it’ll happen in the spring or winter, in Chelyabinsk. In general, it seems to me that Chelyabinsk will put everything in its place and show a lot.
The names of Boikova and Kozlovski were sounded. Yesterday Dmitri shouted after skating: “This is our place!Get in line!” How do like this message?
Maxim Trankov: It was shouted almost into my eyes, so, unfortunately, I heard it well. This is Dima’s model of behavior, he is a champion, I cannot judge him. Do I like this behavior? I don’t really like it. Although I was also emotional in the moments of triumphs, but it was different for me and Tanya – we just rejoiced together. But I was also often told: Trankov is jumping, waving his arms.
This is a new generation, of champion kind. And I can’t judge him, I don’t want to be branded, sorry, an old fart who says: “Oh, how wrong it is!” If this is such a new phenomenon in our country, then let it be. Fans have appeared, now there is trash-talk. And the veterans can only shrug their shoulders and say that we respected our competitors, if there had been no great competitors, there would have been no us. Yes, indeed, we were more respectful of our competitors. But, again, why not? New time, their time to act. Therefore, let them behave as they see fit. Some will like it, some will not.
Are you ready to stay in line? Although Dmitri later said that it was about himself, I think they invited you, Tarasova and Morozov to the queue.
Maxim Trankov: My queue has ended long ago. My business now is to come to training and do everything possible so that Tarasova and Morozov return to their former level. If this works out, then it will be possible to easily climb on top without standing in a queue, you can do that with any queue. This queue is definitely not electronic, but a live one.
Are you impressed by the growth of the Mishina / Galliamov pair?
Maxim Trankov: I am very impressed by Alexander since junior times. This is potentially the best partner in Russia, due to many factors: stature, appearance, flexibility, strength, jumps. A partner without weaknesses, you just need to develop this pair. Moreover, age allows. Maybe not for this Olympics, but for the next one, they will become the main characters. If they work, of course. So yes, for me they are the main discovery of the season. I like to watch them develop.
Are there three contenders for gold at the Russian Nationals?
Maxim Trankov: Not three – more. Let’s skate, sensations are possible, for example Pavliuchenko / Khodykin – they have interesting elements, a good short program. Those competitions that were in Kazan – there were probably three main pairs and a real fight.
Are you satisfied with its results?
Maxim Trankov: Taking into account given conditions – yes. I cannot be happy with the second place. It was a “C” performance, but okay. Because in this pandemic, it’s hard to plan something. You write a training plan, distribute the loads and then everything fails because partner’s illness or quarantine at the rink. And we don’t have our own skating rink, so we go around Moscow. Of course, in such conditions I was glad that we finally performed and did it well.
The situation with Shcherbakova showed how fragile everything is. Before Chelyabinsk, someone will get sick on the plane – and the whole second part of the season will be ruined.
Maxim Trankov: That’s what I’m talking about. Now everyone is a little relaxed, we are holding competitions. Although I still believe that Russia is doing the right thing, even taking risks, according to some foreigners. Otherwise, everything will stop.
We did not say anything about Kostornaia, although she could have won, but she does not risk and does not even try to jump a triple axel.
Maxim Trankov: If we talk about Alena, then, I think, the judges assessed her skating clearly. This is not the same Kostornaia, who won the European Championships and fans, including me, fell in love with for those victories. She impressed me the most of their trio. While she’s out of shape. But, as far as I know, now everyone is preparing for the Nationals, and the majority perceives the current competitions as training. I also do not consider the stages of the Cup and “Grand Prix” to be a battle to the death. Yes, some athletes show emotions… But the main thing for a coach is preparation for the Russian Nationals, where quotas for the national team and funding will be decided.
Isn’t Alena being judged with tolerance? Especially in the short program.
Maxim Trankov: I would say absolutely adequate. If she won with such a skate, different talks would begin. I think it is useful for her to get a little fillip on the nose, it will motivate her. It’s okay to lose in practice. Even not in the covid season, many athletes take the Grand Prix calmly, as a not very important competitions. This is a pen test, not a title. You won’t tell everyone afterwards: “I am the winner of the Grand Prix stage.”
Now all the fans of Tuktamysheva gasped. The rumble of disappointment runs through St. Petersburg.
Maxim Trankov: No, of course, it’s great to win, every athlete wants it. But for the majority, the Russian Nationals, European Championships, Worlds are many times more important. If Liza herself were asked: “Choose whether you are winning the Grand Prix now or the Russian Nationals in a month,” for sure she would say: “Nationals, I don’t need this Grand Prix.” Well, not such a big trophy to talk so much about it.
Shcherbakova’s absence devalued it even more?
Maxim Trankov: I would not say that. But, returning to psychology, it affects the competitors. The absence of competitors prevents you from performing, breaks you. When Alena and Robin (Savchenko and Szolkowy – ed) withdrew from the free program, we failed it. Because psychology was breaking down – we wanted to compete with them. And then you set yourself up for competing with your principal rival – bang! – and he’s gone.
Wasn’t it surprising that in “Megasport” almost no one supported Kostornaia, everyone was cheering for Liza during the announcement of her scores?
Maxim Trankov: Liza has nationwide love in the absence of champions – Zhenya and Alina. Liza occupies this niche of love. In addition, a lot of people came yesterday from St. Petersburg, I personally know people, because there are no many competitions there. And in St. Petersburg she has a tremendous support. So Liza is really an empress! And if the Rostelecom Cup was held in St. Petersburg, it would be crazy.
Maybe it’s time, by the way?
Maxim Trankov: In general, I like the idea of North America and Japan, when they hold their Grand Prix stage in different states and prefectures. I think we will also come to this. I don’t know about Perm, there is no good ice arena there, but Vladivostok – why not? It would be nice. Why not hold it in Sochi? In Canada, we once participated in Grand Prix in St. John’s in Newfoundland, almost floating between icebergs. But this is right, it gives the development of figure skating in the regions.
The North Americans have already had time to comment on our “Grand Prix”. The well-known journalist Philip Hersh did not like the way coaches and athletes hug, he even wants to complain to ISU. Have you noticed something forbidden at the arena?
Maxim Trankov: Who is he, an American journalist? Okay, he can complain anywhere. But even formally this is a stage that is held by the federation – the host of the competition. According to the internal rules of Rospotrebnadzor. What does ISU have to do with it? We’re not kissing in America. With the same success, we can comment on what is happening there. Why do partners sit in kiss-and-cry wearing masks at American competitions? They just skated without them! Why did they wear them? It’s funny, circus. But they have such rules, we respect them. And we have different rules, more relaxed. And they should respect them too. It’s simple.
“This is our place. Get in line.” Dmitri Kozlovski about victory at Rostelecom Cup 2020