Serafima Sakhanovich: I have to be patient and don’t give up
Last year Serafima Sakhanovich won two silvers – at Junior Grand-prix Final and Junior World Championships. This season is far from successful for her and we haven’t heared much about Sakhanovich. So, which changes happened in Serafima’s skating life? Maybe her recent interview to FSRussia (just before the Russian Junior National Championships) will give some answers?
Sima, at Russian Nationals you took the 10th place, how do you evaluate your results and how important it was to take part in this competition?
Serafima: Participation in the Russian Championships was very important for me because I wanted to show everything that I’ve learned recently. This season didn’t start very well. If generally evaluate my results, it will somewhere near B, or even C. In the past, there were much better performances. But this season I had a goal to achieve good, clean skates. But it not always happens, for example, at the Russian Championships I didn’t manage to do this. In Yekaterinburg the worst of all was the stupid fall from the double axel in the short program. With the free program I basically cope well?
Before the season, many have pointed out your free program to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich and Mozart. The choice of musical accompaniment was quite unusual, why you refused from this idea?
Serafima: The beginning of this season wasn’t easy for me. I’ve returned home to St. Petersburg, started to work with my former coach Alina Pisarenko, and then moved into the group of Evgeni Rukavitsin. All of this was quite difficult, and there was also such a tragic theme of free program. It seemed to me that at that moment it was “too much”, so, we decided to change the program. But, perhaps, I will return to this program. Anyway, I would like to. When the good times come, I will talk with Evgeni Rukavitsin, maybe he will agree to try.
How quickly did you put a new free program?
Serafima: Pretty fast. We did it with the choreographer and coach of our team Valentin Molotov, took the music «The Man With The Harmonica». I have been skated the program for four days, after which we immediately went to the stage of Russian Cup in Kazan. Because I liked the new program, it worked pretty well. I feel like it’s mine.
Of course we couldn’t sew a new costume in such short time so, in Kazan I skated in Masha Artemieva’s dress. The new one was made before the Russian Nationals. All quite understandable.
Why it didn’t worked out with Alina Pisarenko?
Serafima: In my opinion, the main reason was the fact that during the year, we didn’t work together, I’ve changed, matured and now I imagine otherwise the relationship between coach and athlete. And with Alina Pisarenko it was like I again returned to the children’s training, when it was necessary to fulfill all the requirements of the coach, only this way and not differently. For example, I had to jump not as convenient but as the coach told. But adult athletes themselves feel already some moments. And it’s very hard to train alone. In Eevgeni Rukavitsin’s group trainings conducted differently, like with “grown-ups”. There’re a lot of good athletes in the group and it’s good to have healthy competition.
What changes were made in the short program in comparison with the original version, and why?
Serafima: We’ve replaced some elements. Moved lutz – toe loop to the first part of the program instead of the rotation which I do at the end now. Why we changed the order? Because salchow – toe loop it’s quite undignified combination and to jump those triples at the Russian Nationals even in the second half of the program it’s not very good. Also my lutz-toeloop is better and more consistent. But we decided not to load the second half. Everything has its time.
At the Russian Nationals your hair blossomed in the music change. Was it on purpose?
Serafima: No, accidentally. Scrunchy that held my hair, turned out to be fine and bursted. I felt it, but didn’t cycle on it because when you pay attention to such things, then you can make the situation worse. So i felt it, and continued to skate.
Someone decided that it was an original idea.
Serafima: Yes, I heard about it. The idea with scrunchy is not bad but how to do it technically, and not to get the deduction? At the Russian Nationals I got a deduction for it.
Last season, when you were training in Moscow, compete seriously with your friend Evgenia Medvedeva, who is now successful on the senior level and you stayed in juniors. Don’t regret that maybe you have done something wrongly?
Serafima: It’s pity a little bit that I can’t reach my previous level yet but it’s not the end of the world. Now, I don’t chase for Evgenia. Evgenia is already a celebrity even though she hasn’t changed a lot. But I don’t see any reason to chase for it. I need to do my job, that’s all. To skate programs cleanly and gane the authority that I lost a little bit but I will return it.
The main thing now is to be patient?
Serafima: Exactly, however, it’s very difficult. Sometimes I think that now, even if I skate clean programs, I lack a bit of arrogance, more of a fighting spirit. I became softer, communicate with everyone well. But I need to learn how to differentiate some things: to be in good relationships with everyone in life but to become more rigid on the ice. It’s still a sport.
Who surprised you this season?
Serafima: Yuzuru Hanyu. I’m shocked by his skating. I remember, I was competing at the tournament in Poland when Valentin Molotov came and said that Hanyu set a world record. And he earned more than 300 points even though not all the elements were with pluses. And when I saw him skating at the Grand-prix Final in Barcelona, it seemed to me that an angel came down from heaven. Such cool skating!
Due to what he can do that?
Serafima: I think that on ice he’s like a duck to water. Came on ice and see nothing and no one, it’s only him, music and his program. For him there’s no competitors, he skates for himself and get buzz from he’s doing that’s why he breaks the records. Everyone loves him, everyone likes him and he feels it and likes it. That’s all. What he does on the ice now, it’s not work for him. It’s a pleasure. His jumps so consistent – ten out of ten. He does the elements automatically, so, everything is so flattened, smooth, accurate and organic. You can see it. Because of it steps and elements, and the entire program look different. He seems to dissolve in music.
But all of this he gained with lots of work. Earlier he hasn’t it. But he worked and worked. And in work how many you give, so many you will take. And even if at first you do but not all turn out, don’t give up because there is a process of accumulation. Sooner or later it will bear fruits. It’s like a seed planted in to the ground.
According to your words it’s more comfortable to train in St.Petersburg?
Serafima: Of course. Here is my home, family, friends … I continue studies in the school of Olympic reserve but remotely. Study with tutors. When necessary, I come and pass the topics.
Psychologically, I’m more comfortable in St. Petersburg than in Moscow. Here are parents and grandmother, and sister, and niece … And life here is different. In Moscow I’ve always had a feeling that the crowd squeezed me and carries away. A lot of bustle. And in St. Petersburg it’s more freely to breathe, although there are a lot of people.
What are the further plans?
Serafima: There’s still lots of competitions this season. Russian Junior Championships, National Cup Final, other starts. And during the season you need to work. To fix the edge on the lutz. It’s better but we need to bring to a perfect execution. So, I have to work, don’t look at anyone else, be patient and don’t give up.
See recent interview with Anjelika Krylova.