Valentin Piseev: “The merit of Tutberidze is that she was the first to risk training quads. Others also could have done this, but hesitated.”
Honorary President of the Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKR) Valentin Piseev about test skates of the Russian national team and the development of women’s skating.
source: sportrg.ru dd. 27th September 2021, by Nikolaii Dolgopolov
Valentin Nikolaevich, what do you think about the first skates of our team in Chelyabinsk? Have you seen Sasha Trusova?
Valentin Piseev: Of course. But test skates are test skates. The main work there was in training. Experts advised what’s best, gave recommendations to each athlete and coach. They were especially interested in girls. All six have a cosmic level: five from the group of Eteri Tutberidze and Liza Tuktamysheva. There are flaws, nuances. But everything will be fixed. And to be more specific, Kamila Valieva amazed in the short program, Sasha Trusova in the free program in all her glory. Historical figure skating, I have never seen such before: five quads in four minutes. I tell her “Now you can compete with men.” And Sasha replied: “Why not. I’m ready. I can also perform in pairs. Ice dance is more difficult.”
Never mind pairs and ice dance. What about women’s skating? Revolution? But there are no revolutions without blood.
Valentin Piseev: A breakthrough was being prepared. A couple of years ago I was at the Russian Junior championships. And among the 18 girls who skated, 16 could have, if they had performed for another country, compete at the European Championships and even fight with our Russian figure skaters for prizes. And everything accumulated and accumulated, the athletes improved, the triples were performed easily and it was clear that we need to go further: a breakthrough is necessary. Anyway it would have happened someday. A decision was required, a concrete step. And Eteri Tutberidze was the first to take the initiative and the courage, it was her girls who began to jump the first quadruples. This is the strength of Eteri. Others also could have done this, but hesitated, did not even think about it. They thought that good triples are enough. But it turns out – no. And the merit of Tutberidze is that she was the first to risk training these quads. Now there is competition between her skaters, and in conditions of competition, figure skaters sometimes get more from each other, well, okay, no less than from the coach. And now others have rushed in pursuit.
Do you think they can catch up?
Valentin Piseev: This is a rhetorical question. Competition is fierce even between the skaters of Eteri Georgievna.
And when we say that Liza Tuktamysheva can and compets, which means that others also can, then this is just words, words, words …
Valentin Piseev: This is an exception. Very happy one.
But what should the rest do?
Valentin Piseev: Play the piano. Kidding. Skate, participate in shows. Those who have not mastered quads before 14, well, 15 years old, are unlikely to master them later. It’s hard to argue with that. But I don’t agree that the Olympic champions are constantly getting younger, displacing everyone in a row.
Recall the Olympic champions in women’s single skating and draw your own conclusions:
1994 Baiul Oksana (Ukraine) – 16 years old
1998 Lipinski Tara (USA) – 15 years old
2002 Sarah Hughes (USA) – 16 years old
2006 Arakawa Shizuka (Japan) – 24 years old
2010 Kim Yuna (South Korea) – 19 years old
2014 Sotnikova Adelina (Russia) – 17 years old
2018 Zagitova Alina (Russia) – 15 years old.