The transition of Alexandra Trusova from the coaching group of Eteri Tutberidze to Evgeni Plushenko, even after a few days, remains the central topic of discussion in the world of figure skating. Fans of this sport are worried about how the cooperation of the young skater with a two-time Olympic champion will turn out, and experts note that the bronze medalist of the European Championship has a lot to learn with a new mentor.
So, the trainer of sports pairs Lyudmila Velikova believes that now Trusova’s skating is far from ideal. The specialist compared the 15-year-old athlete with former classmates Alena Kostornaya and Anna Shcherbakova, and the conclusion was disappointing for the student Plushenko.
“Of this trinity of Trusov I like the least. While she rides relatively badly, she jumps very well. Zhenya Plushenko is a real artist, and apparently he believes that he can do it for the better, ”Velikova told the Championship.
Earlier, a similar opinion was expressed by her colleague Viktor Kudryavtsev. He also said that Trusova did not show excellent skating and would have to make up a lot.
“So far, Sasha’s skiing technique leaves much to be desired; she cannot achieve victories at major starts with jumps alone. So Plushenko, if he is serious, will have to do a huge amount of work so that it is competitive next year. In addition to our athletes, there are still very strong Japanese women, ”Kudryavtsev told Izvestia.
Although Trusova can already boast of bronze medals at the Grand Prix finals, as well as European and Russian championships, criticism of her is quite fair. Such a promising athlete, although she made a name for herself under the leadership of Tutberidze, but clearly did not realize her full potential.
Alexandra Trusova began her first season at the adult level as a real “queen of quads”. As a junior, she mastered Lutz, Salchow and sheepskin coat in four turns, performed cascades with them and scored such marks for equipment that really scared more experienced rivals. Interestingly, it was Trusova who owned the historical world record for equipment in the free program, set before the changes in the rules in 2018.
At first, the athlete managed to maintain her reputation. Trusova marked her adult debut with three quadruple jumps to the Nepela Trophy, then at the unofficial Japan Open she raised the bar to four quads, and at the Canadian Grand Prix stage the Russian woman became the first skater to score more than 100 points for equipment. However, after that speech, the pursuit of complexity actually stopped.
Although Trusova learned the quadruple flip and even showed it in the Grand Prix finals as the first of the five quads planned, her final grades began to fall, and she had to refuse super-complex content in the programs. At the European Championships, she already tried to perform only proven Lutz and cascading sheepskin coats, but received positive marks for only one element.
The experiments made Trusov the undisputed leader in the average mark for jumping. At ISU tournaments, she received 9.74 points for them - the closest competitor Alyona Kostornaya received only 9.20 points in her tournaments, and Anna Shcherbakova did 9.06. It is interesting that in addition to them, only Rick Kihira and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva overcame the 8.00 point bar. Largely due to jumps, even unsuccessful, but having a high base cost, Trusova remained in the top three of the season and even outperformed Shcherbakova by the average final rating.
But at the same time, one cannot but note Trusova’s regression in individual jumps, and not only in quadruples. After three unsuccessful attempts in the Grand Prix series, she refused the fourth salchow, and the flip disappeared after falling in the Russian championship. It is not yet decided to abandon the lutz and sheepskin coat of Trusov, although in these jumps she lost her former stability.
Among the trump cards of the skater used to be the cascade of Lutz - Rittberger, which was considered the most expensive element before the Quad era. With him Trusova went from perfect execution to failure in favor of a simpler lutz - sheepskin coat in short programs, although in the last two arbitrary rentals she still managed to execute the first version.
For Trusova, the triple axel remained unconquered peak. She had long wanted to include him in a short program in order to compete with Kostornaya, Kihira and Tuktamysheva. But the only attempt in the Grand Prix finals failed, after which they had to refuse to enter the club of the performers of this jump. At the same time, an axel of two and a half turns does not always allow Trusova to collect on-duty assessments - the total premium for him at the European Championships amounted to only 0.64 points.
The first season at the adult level proved that in addition to expensive, but not always stable jumps, Alexandra really has nothing to oppose to everyone else. When new skaters with quads appear on the international scene, the former student of Tutberidze will not have the handicap that brought victories at the stages of the Grand Prix in the fall. In addition to stability in jumping, she needs to pull up many other aspects of skiing, which significantly affect the total amount.
Several times during the season, the judges found fault with Trusova because of the spins and gave her a third level of difficulty, so in the average rating for this element she takes eighth place over the past season - 4.15 points against 4.57 of the leader in this indicator Camila Valieva. Alexandra is even worse with the steps. In the Grand Prix finals and the Russian Championships, Trusova never received a fourth level of difficulty for them, problems arose at the Canadian Grand Prix stage. Despite the fact that the entire world elite is trying to earn at least 5.00 points on this element, Trusova, on average, was able to boast an estimate of only 4.57, and she adequately performed it only in the short program at the European Championships.
It can be argued that the rotations and paths of steps do not have much impact on the technical assessment. Their cost really can not be compared with jumping, and Trusov can compensate for any blunders on them with one successful quadruple flip. But the problem is that the skater’s performance of the mentioned “cheap” elements affects the assessment for the components, and the final result can very much depend on them.
The second assessment of Trusova really leaves much to be desired. No matter how interesting the plots of her programs, it is impossible to impress the judges with their artistry and choreography. At the stages of the Grand Prix, Alexandra took third or fourth places in the evaluation for the components, and in the final she scored the worst points. At the European Championships, she lost only to Kostornaya and Shcherbakova in the second assessment, but in absentia rivalry with the participants of the championship of the Four Continents, failure again occurred - with a result of 67.25 points for a free program, Trusova would not be included in the top five in that tournament.
At the first starts, the backlog could be justified by the “bias” of the judges, but Kostornaya was able to overcome it quite quickly, and Shcherbakova is moving along the same path. Trusova was extremely unlucky due to the cancellation of the World Cup in Canada, because there she had the opportunity to somehow influence the opinion of the referees about her skating. But she just finished the season in the status of a skater with junior skating, which confirms the tenth place in the average rating for the components.
This indicator of Trusova amounted to only 99.95 points for two programs, while Evgenia Medvedeva, Alina Zagitova and Alena Kostornaya kept at the level of 107-108 points.
Plushenko will have to do a lot of work with Trusova and try to make a balanced skater out of her, who can count on high scores not only due to jumping. He himself was known as a bright athlete, who left a deep impression on the judges with his images, and it is this experience that must first be transferred to the young figure skater. As for the technical component, Trusova’s safety margin has not yet run out - she’s still a skater with an arsenal of quads that you only need to use wisely, and not try to demonstrate at once.