- Did you expect that Alena Kostornaya will set a world record in the short program at the Grand Prix stage in Japan?

- You can expect anything from the new generation of our girls, because before them no one has ever performed such complicated programs at competitions. Therefore, for me, the result of Alena was not a surprise.

- Many are sure that Kostornaya needed to be skated perfectly in the first place in order to create a backlog in the face-to-face confrontation with Rika Kihira?

- Competition controversy. The stages of the Grand Prix differ from the championships of the country, the continent and the world, and even more so from the Olympic Games. Here rivals are partly bred, strong skaters try to avoid getting into the same tournaments as much as possible. Therefore, now virtually everyone has the opportunity to maximize and demonstrate everything that they are capable of.

I don’t think that Alena in Sapporo was oriented towards a Japanese woman, since the main competitions are ahead. Only in the Grand Prix finals, and then with a stretch, and at the World Cup, it will be possible to talk about what an outstanding result she showed. Now you can trash these records as much as you like. Yes, our girls today are the best in the world. But you should not get hung up on estimates.

- Is it possible to skate the short program better than Kostornaya did, or is this the limit for women's skiing at the moment?

- Probably, it is worth saying that approximately this is her personal maximum. At least as far as current rules permit. Otherwise, there would be no talk of a world record. Perhaps something could be added due to the purity of the program or the rotations, but all this is insignificant. When the International Skating Union (ISU) allows the four jumps in the short program, then the score will increase.

- Can such performances make ISU think about allowing skaters to jump quadruple in a short program?

- It is worth remembering that it is not Russian specialists who are sitting there, so they are unlikely to think about this in the near future. Because the rivals, in whose arsenal there are no quadruple jumps, will immediately begin to lose more after a short program, breaks will grow. Nobody but us is disadvantageous. Although, I think, sooner or later this will happen.

- Before the free program, Kihira’s backlog from Kostornaya is more than five points. How big is this by today's standards?

- Everything will show only an arbitrary program. But this is the difference that you can win back. And she does not allow the intermediate leader of the competition to go on the ice in a relaxed state. Alena needs to ride clean on Saturday and rely only on herself.

- Could Kostornaya’s outstanding performance affect the condition of the skaters who skated after her?

- This is a competition, so I can assure you that no one here thinks about the results of rivals or about when he goes on the ice. You need to complete your task, and nothing more should worry. Weak morally, athletes do not become champions.

“Zagitov cannot be called weak.” What prevented her from skating more worthily, in your opinion?

- I have repeatedly spoken out on the topic of Alina and Evgenia Medvedeva. We must finish on time. Of course, they can continue to ride for their pleasure, but at the same time you should not hope for high results.

- So, Zagitova initially had no chance of winning?

“Does she have a triple axel?” Not. Have a quad jump? Not. Therefore, with the clean rentals of the remaining skaters, she will not be able to compete with anyone.

- But Alina also did not have a start to the last season, but she was second to none at the World Cup.

- Even if she gathers, nothing will change, because she cannot jump the elements that her rivals have. But they train in the same group. If Zagitova began the season, then let her fight, no one forbids her. But you should not expect better results from it.

- Can Zagitova’s problems be covered in an overly tight schedule, because she performs in ice shows, plans to participate in the opening of the ice rink on Red Square. Does this affect the preparation for the competition?

- No, this is not such a big load. She decided so, so it does not bother her. It’s hard to judge why she needs it, but you should rely on her choice.

- For a free program, Kihira announced the quadruple salchow. Can talking about her super-complex content at the Grand Prix home stage make Russians nervous?

- In my opinion, Trusova has already proved to everyone that even a fall from a fourth jump does not prevent one from completing three more such elements and defeating them. So what can I say about Kihira with one quadruple. Athletes themselves understand that you can say anything, but you still need to be able to do it at the rink.

- That is, in your opinion, Kihira will not be able to get ahead of Kostornaya following the results of the Japanese Grand Prix?

- Let's hope that Alena succeeds, that she will be able to calmly win the competition. She has everything for this. Just let him do what he can.