Zahra, who trains at Zayed Sport City, has seen significant improvements to her performance following the venue’s appointment of world-class coach Zsolt Kerekes. Kerekes’ technical skill set complements the creativity of Zahra’s original coach, Noemi Bedo, providing for more balanced training. The training plan of four years involves practice six days a week. In years one and two she will master triple jumps so that the rotation reflex becomes automatic, while years three and four will focus on Olympic qualifications.
Since her new training plan was implemented, Zahra has improved her personal best in international competition and has shifted her focus onto spins with higher levels of difficulty. She is now skating faster, more dynamically and with more elements. She is currently sharpening up landing the Salcow, toe loop and loop triple jumps, which are now 10 centimetres higher than before.
“It was difficult in the beginning switching from one coach to another. But this new coach is amazing. My jumps are now much better and overall I am skating a lot better now,” she said, adding: “However, I don’t dream of winning in Budapest. The idea is to keep on improving my personal best. At Budapest I will employ new spins and a different technical programme.
Understandably, Zahra was glued to the TV screens during the just-concluded Winter Olympics in Sochi. “It was kind of weird really watching the figure skating. I had a mixed feeling thinking I might be there in the next Olympics in Pyeongchang [South Korea} in 2018. But then, it also made me realise how much hard it will be to get there,” she said.