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  1. #1

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    The future of Russian pairs

    I have been a fan of Russian pairs skating ever since I started watching pairs skating. Part of the reason I became a fan of FS was watching Gordeeva-Grinkov skate in 1988. Fortunately we got to see many great Russian pairs- past and present. Right now though, I don't see any senior pairs beyond Volosozhar & Trankov. The #2 (B&L),3(K&S),4(S&K), etc. are just OK- not OGM material, IMO. Pairs that were expected to develop, like (e.g.) Gerbolt-Enberg (sp?) have pretty much disappeared. Mukhartova, who had the talent, could not find a partner. Iliushechkina-Maisuradze break up was very disappointing.

    So I am wondering who will carry the torch for Russian pairs after V&T retire (probably after 2014 Olympics)? Will there be another golden age of pairs skating in Russia?

    It's too early to tell, but I do like some of the young pairs right now. They are too young to pin hopes on though.

    Last year I liked Davankova-Deputat, but they kind of disappeared this year.


    I do like Federova-Miroshkin. Can they develop into something?

    Tarasova-Morozov? I liked them this year

    Will Maisuradze be successful with his new partner?

    I am nostalgic for the good old days of watching pairs like Gordeeva-Grinkov, Mishketenok-Dmitriev, Berezhnaya-Sikharulidze, and even Totmianina-Marinin, Bechke & Petrov- pairs that created masterpieces as eligible and/or pro skaters. Valova-Vassilev, Shishkova- Naumov were also very good pairs, and the great Protopopovs and to some extent Rodnina-Zaitsev are still interesting to watch. Will there be 2-3 medal worthy Russian pairs at a time again?

    I don't know the answer. I don't have any positive or negative feelings about it, just curiosity. How do others feel about this?

  2. #2

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    I think the pairs we have been watching at JGP won't be ready yet for the next 4 years and 2018 Olympics. If you look at Bazarova-Larionov, they were successful at junior level in 2007 and 2008, but it took some 4 years to get to the top at senior level.

    So if we look at Lina Fedorova / Maxim Miroshkin, Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov, Vasilisa Davankova / Andrei Deputat and Maria Vygalova / Egor Zakroev, unless there are some injuries or split ups, I think their time as possible contenders may be after 2018 Olympics. During 2014-2018 they may be pretty decent, but probably not quite at the top and with the competition within Russia, they may not even be sent to Europeans/Worlds.


    So if we look at Russian pairs for the next 4 years after 2014, Kavaguti-Smirnov will very likely retire, Volosozhar-Trankov maybe too.

    Bazarova-Larionov will very likely stay and have a chance to be at the top in Europe (if Volosozhar-Trankov and Savch-Szolk retire).

    The second Russian pair will probably become Julia Antipova / Nodari Maisuradze. It was impressive that in their first year together they managed to place 4th at senior nationals. However, their future success depends on whether Julia has gone through puberty already or not yet. She is only 15 or 16, she may start struggling with jumps due to her puberty or growth.

    Until now Ksenia Stolbova / Fedor Klimov has managed to beat Julia Antipova / Nodari Maisuradze at competitions (e.g. at Russian nationals). However, although they were successful at junior level, I didn't see much improvement in the last year. They seem to get very inconsistent results. 3rd at GP was great but 5th at GP was pretty bad for them. 3rd at nationals is great, but 6th at Europeans - well I expected better. If they could have been 3rd at Europeans 2012, I expected this year 4th (because last year it was without Savchenko-Szolkovy, so with S-S there I would understand one place drop, but not 3 places drop). So unless they improve quickly, Antipova/Maisuradze will overtake them.

    Anastasia Martiusheva / Alexei Rogonov - I love this pair. Unfortunately I don't think that she can sort out her jump problem, so although I love to watch them, it may be only at GP events and not at Europeans/Worlds. I don't think they will be in the first three pairs in Russia and therefore I don't think they will be sent to ISU championships, unless the pairs I wrote above are injured.

    Katarina Gerboldt / Aleksander Enbert - not sure what to think. Their first season (2010-2011) was pretty good, 4th at Europeans was success considering that they didn't skate together that long. Their second season (2011-2012) was unexpectedly bad, 5th at GP event, 4th at their nationals and therefore not sent to Europeans. This last season they did not compete because Gerboldt tore a ligament. She underwent two surgeries - in August and in October. So the question is, will they come back strong, or will they have a bad season again? (or will they quit?). I think they could potentially be second or third Russian pair after 2014 Olympics, if they skate as they did in their first season (or better).

    Anyway, this is just my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post

    Anastasia Martiusheva / Alexei Rogonov - I love this pair. Unfortunately I don't think that she can sort out her jump problem, so although I love to watch them, it may be only at GP events and not at Europeans/Worlds. I don't think they will be in the first three pairs in Russia and therefore I don't think they will be sent to ISU championships, unless the pairs I wrote above are injured.


    Anyway, this is just my opinion. Feel free to disagree.
    I can't believe I forgot Martiusheva-Rogonov, one of the most beautiful pairs! However, I can never count on them because she is so mistake prone on jumps. Unless they can become consistent landing jumps and throws I don't see a future for them on the world stage.

    I agree with you about Stolbova-Klimov. Last year they looked much more consistent and were placing well, but this year was disappointing, so right now I don't know what to expect.

    I hope V&T stick around for at least 2 years, regardless of what happens at the 2014 Olympics. They have not skated together very long, so it will be nice to see them for a few more years. I don't think they will be at the 2018 Olympics if they win the OGM in Sochi.

  4. #4

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    Talking of Russian pairs- what is Oleg Vasiliev (sp?) doing these days? The RSF is crazy to not use his coaching talents for their top pairs. Does he still live in Chicago? Who is he coaching now? He did such an amazing job with T&M! I would like to see him coach a championship caliber pair again.

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    answer if it becomes desperate for 2018 they might pressure V/T to compete ala Yuna Kim

    but for the youngsters:

    Bazarova and Manservant - lovely lines, very good twists but needs better chemistry , they might shine after V/T retire
    Stolbova/Klimov - have great tricks but still inconsistent, will be contenders
    Antipova/Misuradze - impressed first year together and almost beaten Stolbova/Klimov, they already have the tech good with 3lz throws and big twists
    Martiusheva/Rogonov - lovely pair but Martiusheva always falls
    Fedorova/Miroshkin - Very promising, a litlle more experience and polishing they will be contenders on the world stage but needs to add SBS Triples
    Tarasova/Morozov - love the name that's it
    Vigalova/Zakroev - I like them but she is still too small, they look more like a Dad-Daughter skating together

    sad but I think Davankova/Deputat are done, Davankova grew alot :

    for 2018 quad
    I'll pick B/L , S/K, A/M and F/M

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    Quote Originally Posted by love_skate2011 View Post
    answer if it becomes desperate for 2018 they might pressure V/T to compete ala Yuna Kim
    Or they might stay if they don't get the right colour of medal in 2014.

    In regards to Davankova/Deputat, I don't agree with you, love_skate2011, because I don't want that to happen. Maybe I am suffering from denial, or from optimism (naivity) that they will "somehow" manage to overcome that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by love_skate2011 View Post
    answer if it becomes desperate for 2018 they might pressure V/T to compete ala Yuna Kim

    but for the youngsters:

    Bazarova and Manservant - lovely lines, very good twists but needs better chemistry , they might shine after V/T retire
    Stolbova/Klimov - have great tricks but still inconsistent, will be contenders
    Antipova/Misuradze - impressed first year together and almost beaten Stolbova/Klimov, they already have the tech good with 3lz throws and big twists
    Martiusheva/Rogonov - lovely pair but Martiusheva always falls
    Fedorova/Miroshkin - Very promising, a litlle more experience and polishing they will be contenders on the world stage but needs to add SBS Triples
    Tarasova/Morozov - love the name that's it
    Vigalova/Zakroev - I like them but she is still too small, they look more like a Dad-Daughter skating together

    sad but I think Davankova/Deputat are done, Davankova grew alot :

    for 2018 quad
    I'll pick B/L , S/K, A/M and F/M
    Honestly Bazarova and Larionov only need to land their jumps and their fine. That's a lot more important that developing chemistry. Hopefully their new coach will fix her axel technique and force her to gain a bit of muscle so that she can jump better. Her leg line shouldn't be affected by a few more pounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Who is he [Oleg Vasiliev] coaching now?
    He's the current coach of the Italian pair Matteo Guarise & Della Monica. I think Matteo was much better as a roller skater though.

  9. #9

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    S/K could definitely grow and become OGM quality. Sure b/l will be number one but s/k should be able to challenge.

    The point about the jrgpf pairs needing so much time as to be more likely as 2022 contenders is interesting. F/m could be there as 2018 and 2022.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyedwards View Post

    The point about the jrgpf pairs needing so much time as to be more likely as 2022 contenders is interesting. F/m could be there as 2018 and 2022.
    I think the current juniors wouldn't need as much time if there was no one stronger within Russia. But the fact that Russia have Bazarova-Larionov, Julia Antipova / Nodari Maisuradze, Ksenia Stolbova / Fedor Klimov and potentially Katarina Gerboldt / Aleksander Enbert (I am not counting Anastasia Martiusheva / Alexei Rogonov because I don't think that she can sort out her jump problem) means that the current juniors won't probably push through their internal competition within Russia, and therefore won't be send to Europeans and Worlds.

    The only scenario to make Russia using them would be if Antipova has growth or puberty and start struggling with jumps, and at the same time Gerboldt/Enbert either don't come back or come back and have a few unsuccessful seasons as they had the last one before she got injured. Then suddenly Russia would be short of pairs and give chance the current juniors. I am not saying that the current juniors won't be decent; all I am saying is that they may struggle push through the internal competition within Russia and therefore internationally successful as seniors their time will come after 2018. However, if a few pairs above them are injured, Fedorova-Miroshkin may have their chance in 2018.

    Look at Stolbova-Klimov - they got their chance to get to Europeans twice only because one pair from those above them was injured. Last year it was Kavaguti-Smirnov, this year it was Bazarova-Larionov. Stolbova-Klimov were successful in juniors in 2010-2011, but their time in seniors will come only after Olympics 2014.

    Because pairs are now staying on till end of their twenties/early thirties, it takes the young pairs who are successful in juniors about 4 years to get through at the senior level (especially when you have such a tough competition within their country).

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    Wouldnt Volosozhar & Trankov stay for 2018 if they dont win Gold in 2014? That is a moot point mind you considering they are 97% likely to win the OGM next year. I wonder if there is any chance they are staying if they dont.

    I think Barazova & Larionov are future World Champions and Olympic medalists (maybe even next year for the latter). As for future OGM that is hard to say as 2018 is a long ways away but it isnt impossible for them either. I do think of the much younger generation 1 or 2 of them could develop into top pairs that could contend for gold. I think the Russians will be fine, and will probably return to being the top pairs country in the World if they havent already. The Chinese pairs dynasty is pretty much over, and they have nobody likely to seriously contend in the next quad. The Germans are non existent once Savchenko & Szolkowy retire. The Canadians seem to be on rise but they really have no depth after their current top 2, and neither of those pairs are young.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    and potentially Katarina Gerboldt / Aleksander Enbert (I am not counting Anastasia Martiusheva / Alexei Rogonov because I don't think that she can sort out her jump problem) means that the current juniors won't probably push through their internal competition within Russia, and therefore won't be send to Europeans and Worlds.
    Gerboldt/Enbert even coming back is a moot point to say the least
    Bazarova/Manservant can become No.1 in Russia but Volosozhar/Trankov might pull a Kim Yuna and return for 2018

    Stolbova/Klimov, Antipova/Maisurdze and Fedorova/Miroshkin have a shot at making a Worlds Team after Sochi

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    Quote Originally Posted by love_skate2011 View Post
    Stolbova/Klimov, Antipova/Maisurdze and Fedorova/Miroshkin have a shot at making a Worlds Team after Sochi
    Yes, I can really imagine how Fedorova-Miroshkin will take the spot from Bazarova-Larionov. Not likely!

    Besides, if you believe that Fedorova-Miroshkin has a shot at spot after 2014, what about Tarasova-Morozov? Afetr all, they placed above Fedorova-Miroshkin at Russian nationals...
    Last edited by hanca; 03-25-2013 at 03:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    Yes, I can really imagine how Fedorova-Miroshkin will take the spot from Bazarova-Larionov. Not likely!
    I said they will have a shot of making the Worlds Team together with B/L as Russian No.1
    although F/M might still stay juniors even in 2014, maybe 2018 or 2022 for them

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    Look at Stolbova-Klimov - they got their chance to get to Europeans twice only because one pair from those above them was injured. Last year it was Kavaguti-Smirnov, this year it was Bazarova-Larionov.
    Same with Gerboldt/Enbert, they only went to Euros because V/T couldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    Same with Gerboldt/Enbert, they only went to Euros because V/T couldn't.
    I know. That's exactly what was my point. The internal competition within Russia is so fierce that I think it takes a few years (for any successful junior pair or for a new pair that isn't already established) to get through to position 1-3 in Russia, to be sent to Europeans/Worlds. The only exceptions are if someone above you is injured, you may get there earlier.

    Of course Volosozhar-Trankov did not need a few years, but they were already established seniors and placed as high as 4th at worlds and 3rd at Europeans with their previous partners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    I know. That's exactly what was my point. The internal competition within Russia is so fierce that I think it takes a few years (for any successful junior pair or for a new pair that isn't already established) to get through to position 1-3 in Russia, to be sent to Europeans/Worlds. The only exceptions are if someone above you is injured, you may get there earlier.

    Of course Volosozhar-Trankov did not need a few years, but they were already established seniors and placed as high as 4th at worlds and 3rd at Europeans with their previous partners.
    but K/S will retire and maybe also V/T
    so the ladder will be easier to climb

    you have B/L, S/K and A/M
    so plenty of chance the younger pairs to move up next quad

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    Quote Originally Posted by love_skate2011 View Post
    so plenty of chance the younger pairs to move up next quad
    We will see. Unfortunately being on podium at junior worlds doesn't guarantee anything. In 2008-09 Iliushechkina-Maisuradze won every international competition at junior level (both JGP events, JGPF and Junior worlds) but their senior career went downhill (although they did get some medals at GP and 5th at Europeans). The same with Martiusheva-Rogonov - in 2008-09 they got 1st and 3rd at JGP, 4th at JGPF and 2nd at junior worlds...and since then they unfortunately did not manage to do well as seniors except of winning a few B competitions. Although I think that all four current junior pairs (Fedorova/Miroshkin, Tarasova/Morozov, Davankova/Deputat and Vygalova/Zakroev) are very talented, only time will tell whether they will manage to make it as seniors. But if they do, I don't think it will be within 3 years.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by love_skate2011 View Post
    Gerboldt/Enbert even coming back is a moot point to say the least
    Bazarova/Manservant can become No.1 in Russia but Volosozhar/Trankov might pull a Kim Yuna and return for 2018

    Stolbova/Klimov, Antipova/Maisurdze and Fedorova/Miroshkin have a shot at making a Worlds Team after Sochi
    Can you please stop calling Larionov 'Manservant' instead of his real name? It's one thing to jokingly refer to him as 'Manservant' but that's not his real name. Many pairs male partners could fall into that category. I find it borderline rude to single him out. He is not a bad skater; he is there to showcase Bazarova's beauty, just like Grinkov did with Gordeeva. I am not comparing him with Grinkov by any stretch of the imagination, but I just want him respected as a somewhat passive partner. Personally I do prefer partners like Dmitriev, Sikharulidze, and even Trankov, who have more personality (Grinkov was an exception because he could be quietly in the background, and yet noticeable).

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    Quote Originally Posted by love_skate2011 View Post
    sad but I think Davankova/Deputat are done, Davankova grew alot :
    I agree that Davankova grew a lot, but there is still a significant size difference and therefore I don't understand where the panic about her growth is coming from.

    Look at the pictures: http://www.fskate.ru/skaters/2305/photo/

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