“I will set myself the goal of purely rolling programs”

Russian Anna Shcherbakova became the first finalist of the Grand Prix in figure skating, which will be held in early December in Italian Turin. She has won two convincing victories in two stages, but at the moment, the athlete prefers not to set specific goals for the final tournament.

“What result in the final will be acceptable? I don’t even know what the participants will be and what my technical set will be. I’ll set myself the goal of purely rolling back the programs, and further on, as the judges set, ”TASS quoted Shcherbakova as saying.

15-year-old student Eteri Tutberidze became the first skater to complete the quadruple lutz in official competitions at the adult level. However, she does not intend to rest on her laurels: now she is working out a quadruple flip and a triple axel.

Shcherbakova said that until the age of seven, figure skating was only a hobby for her. Then she fell into the group to Tutberidze, where at that time the future Olympic champion Yulia Lepnitskaya was engaged.

“Then it seemed to me that this was some unattainable level. And when the parents said that we would try to go to her, for some reason I did not even believe it. But they took me to the group. At first it was very difficult, only double jumps were jumping, for a very long time I was not given triple jumps. Then it stalled a little - all of the same age had already performed them, but I didn’t. It was a difficult moment, but then somehow suddenly jumped all at once, ”the athlete recalled.

The honorary president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation (FFKKR) Valentin Piseev said that the potential of Shcherbakova was still visible at the junior level. He emphasized that her victories in Las Vegas and China are logical, as she performs better with every new rental.

“It's great that all Russian young figure skaters confidently make their debut in the adult Grand Prix and don’t hang out in front of experienced competitors. This is about Anna Shcherbakova, and about Alexander Trusova, and about Alena Kostornaya. I am sure that in the future our girls will add more, ”Izvestia quoted Piseev as saying.

It is worth noting that the skater has already returned to her homeland, which she reported to her followers on Instagram. A huge teddy bear came to Moscow with her - a gift from Chinese fans.

“Of course, I really want to thank my wonderful fans! Thank you for the incredible emotions that you gave me at these competitions! I am very pleased to feel your support, hospitality and faith in me! The bear was successfully delivered home, we managed, ”Shcherbakova wrote.

View this Instagram post

Publication by Anna Shcherbakova (@anna__shcherbakova_) Nov 11, 2019 at 7:06 PST

“It's cool that I'm the oldest single person in the world”

Unlike Shcherbakova, the position of another Russian woman, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, is not so clear. Not the most successful performances in Las Vegas and Chongqing, accompanied by a number of mistakes, made some fans doubt its competitiveness compared to younger rivals. At the same time, the 2015 world champion admitted that she was not offended when she was called a female skating veteran.

“All this I went through myself. I had my seasons. No, on the contrary, it’s cool that I am now the oldest single person in the world. It gives some kind of originality. And about age ... They will always say something. Be you any age, any appearance. It is necessary to relate to this easier, ”said Tuktamysheva.

The skater added that her main goal is still the Olympic medal, which means that she does not intend to leave the sport until at least 2022.

At the same time, her mentor Alexei Mishin expressed confidence that his ward was not able to show a higher result at the Grand Prix stage in China due to the biased judges. In his opinion, the jury members deliberately do not allow a large number of Russian representatives to enter the final of the competition.

Tuktamysheva herself noted that she was inclined to agree with the words of the mentor.

“I don’t know, but of course he knows better. As an athlete, I cannot make a complaint to judges. But I can note that Alexei Nikolaevich will not say something that is not such, ”said the skater.

A similar position was expressed by the 1999 world champion Maria Butyrskaya. According to her, technical judges have the opportunity to more thoroughly examine the rental, which they use at the performances of the Russians.

“Indeed, our athletes are treated a bit stricter than the rest. There are a lot of Russian girls, and they are an eyesore, so I want to find fault with them - probably this is normal, ”the Butyrsky portal quotes the Team of Russia.

She praised Tuktamysheva for her ability to gather after an insulting loss.

“In arbitrary she was well done, she showed everything, she did everything. Two points that Elizabeth lost to second place are very offensive. Again, if Lisa was the only one from our country, with a triple axel, she would have a different result. I still support her very much. She’s just smart, it’s clear that she fought to the end, "

“Medvedev worked as never before”

From November 14 to 17, the strongest skaters of the world will gather in Moscow - for the Russian stage of the Grand Prix. The hosts are looking forward to speaking to the home audience.

“I don’t even know what it is like, I have never performed at the Moscow stage of the Grand Prix. Will be new, I'm in anticipation. Yes, I remember the European Championships in Megasport, but let's lower this sad moment. Now I’m waiting for I to re-enter this ice with the home audience, ”Alexander Samarin, silver medalist of the European Championship in 2019, shared his expectations.

Russia will be represented in the women's tournament by Alexander Trusov, Stanislav Konstantinov and Evgeny Medvedev. Mentor of the latter, Brian Orser, said that his ward is in the best shape for her entire career.

“We had an unsuccessful short program at the stage in Canada, but it worked like never before, and I hope we will see the fruits of these efforts. We will meet on Monday — Tuesday, when I get back to Toronto, but every day I learn how she is doing. Eugene is in a good mood and is training hard, so we hope for the best, ”said the specialist.

In addition, he expressed confidence that Medvedev will be able to demonstrate two clean rentals in one phase.

“I think the goal for her and our entire team is to show two great rentals. She has amazing programs, she skates like never before, glides quickly, she needs to get used to it. If she succeeds, she will be very happy regardless of the result, ”added Orser.

In anticipation of the Moscow stage of the Grand Prix, a video of a new indicative number of Medvedeva appeared. The director was Canadian choreographer Joey Russell. As the soundtrack, the song idontwannabeyouanymore performed by American singer Billy Elish was used.

After the extremely successful performances of the young debutants of this season at the stages of the Grand Prix, some hastened to write off their more experienced colleagues, who a year ago themselves had left no chance for anyone to win. At the same time, the Olympic champion of Pyeongchang-2018 Alina Zagitova said that she was not afraid of competition, since she herself was her main rival.

“I’m not competing with other girls, but with myself. For me, the main thing is to rent the program cleanly. Naturally, I want everything to work out. I’ll try to convey the image as much as possible so that the audience seems to be attending a mini-performance, ”the skater noted.

The next start for her will be the final stage of the Grand Prix in Sapporo. It is no secret that Zagitova is a big fan of the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun, and local fans always reciprocate her. She admitted that after completing her sports career, she would like to open her own Japanese restaurant.

“So far I’m traveling in Japan, I’m watching how everything works in Japanese restaurants. Now I have figure skating in the foreground, it will be after the sport, I think. Ramen soup is very tasty, but without pork or beef, I’m specially made with chicken. At the moment, this is my favorite dish from this country, ”said Zagitova.