Ermolina's interview with Volosozhar/Trankov `Next 4 years will be interesting' for fsrussia.ru
OE: What have you noticed during the Worlds?
TV: There will be big changes in pairs skating. The level is very high, even though not all the Olympic leaders participated.
MT: It will be interesting to see who will retire and who will stick around next season. We spoke to many guys but not many have decided yet. Some are changing partners. As for the changes - the next 4 years will be really interesting.
OE: Aljona Savchenko announced she will continue skating with the French Bruno Massot. What do you think about it?
MT: It's hard to comment. Of course Aljona wants to use another chance. Reckon they are talking about representing France. Then they'll have to sit out at least for a season. Since Tanya and I are staying, Stolbova/Klimov are there, both Canadians, the Chinese - it won't be easy for Aljona and Bruno
TV: They will have to start from the scratch.
MT: We know what they will be going through. We can only wish them luck. And it will not be easy for them. Taking their age and all. But let's see. Savchenko/Szelkowy were a very interesting duo. It's one of the first mixed race pairs, they stood out. I can only support Robin here - to skate for 11 years and then... Instead of joining a show, go on a tour and earn money he remained jobless and throw away. I could understand if they haven't had any good results and titles as I didn't have with Maria Mukhortova at the time. We were not invited to any shows anyway and had nothing to lose. We parted because we were not progressing. Savchenko/Szelkowy is a different story. To dump the partner when they had show contracts signed is not a nice thing to do. It's their business. I spoke to Robin recently. I know he is not happy about it.
OE: Your partnership with Tanya was an obvious success at the very beginning. You both considered being good partners. But it's not what one can tell about Savchenko/Massot.
MT: Creating a new pair is always hard. Also keep in mind we paired up before the Sochi Olympic and it was our goal. We did all we could for our goal, all of use - the team of about 15 people gave up everything they could. Will they have the same conditions? Tanya skated in Steuer's group, she knows how they work.
TV: It will be hard to create an amazing pair with Ingo's help only. Besides, France has a good duo - James/Cipres.
MT: Should James/Cipres find a good pairs coach they will progress. Their now coach - Claude Peri-Thevenard is the singles coach. They are learning the pairs elements from the videos. Every competition they learn new things and gain experience. I know they are looking for the pairs elements coach who will help them along with Peri-Thevenard. Should they find such a specialist I think they will improve - they are a good pair. For 2 years they have been in top 10 in the Worlds and top 5 in Europeans, they are fighting for GP medals. They have a huge potential. Their jumps are the best. So Aljona and Bruno will have competition on the national level.
Besides, the different technique. It's not as if you can pair with someone experienced and just go ahead skating .That doesn't happen. Many little things are important in the pairs skating. The speed- the skaters have to be in the same speed. Bruno is very tall, not like Robin, so they will have to adjust to many things. It's a bit work. We know it because Tanya and I had to go through all that ourselves. During the first half a year nothing worked.
TV: Aljona is patient. I think she will hold it for another 4 years.
MT: At any rate it will be interesting if there will be another good pair in figure skating.
OE: You mentioned the Canadians among the good pairs. Before the season began many things were said about Duhamel/Radford. They were predicted to medal everywhere, yet it didn't happen at the Olympics.
TV: You know, their sbs 3lz is like a mist - you can't see anything through it. Though the other Canadian pair - Moor-Towers/Moskovitch is much better. я пара Мур-Тауэрс – Москович.
MT: All the world says Moor-Towers/Moskovitch are better.
TV: Both in their skating and in their pairs looks.
MT: The Olympics showed who is who. Moor-Towers/Moskovitch beat them clean in the most important competition.
TV: They were 5th. Duhamel/Radford - 7th.
MT: The Olympics always put things into places. In the Worlds Duhamel/Radford skated their LP so so and got a bronze. Last year they were fighting for the bronze and even got close to the Germans, this year the bronze looks more like a by chance thing.
OE: You talk in length about your training mates Stolbova/Klimov. What did you think about the other Russians - Antipova/Maisuradze?
TV: They skated well here
MT: It's good for a debut, but they have to get better. I think they can show a more mature skating. Nodary is a very experienced partner. They should skate more maturely, do harder lifts, skate faster.
TV: Perhaps they wanted to be remembered, hence they did some original things. Though they are not really rewarded under the current rules.
MT: But their coach Arthur Dmitriev who at the time coached me is a great specialist in technique. If they will get ready for the next season with programmes full of transitions they have a chance. They reached their goal in Japan - finished top 10.
OE: They told after the competition they are learning a quad throw and already do a quad split twist. I.e. they are trying the harder elements.
MT: Like the baby Chinese? And where are they placed with their quad splits? I think their throw jump is still a far cry from a quad - they land their tripples on 2 feet. Besides, it's dangerous - the girl is tiny.
I frankly don't get what is it for. Their technical mark is quite decent without it. They have to check what they are lacking in the protocols. Their components are weak because their programmes are not great. I would put a stress on the skating skills, choreography etc. Tanya and I showed you can win the competitions without the ultra-c elements. Is it worth the effort? Should you go for the quad throws, 3lz etc if you can win the worlds with an 1A? Like it happened in Japan.
OE: What can you tell about Bazarova/Larionov?
MT: They stagnated. The problem was her health and jumps. Vera would get really upset every practice. Nina Mikhailovna was trying to make it all better, but it didn't really work. For example everyone starts the warm up with the jumps, but they finished the practices with it. Otherwise there would be problems. Of course they need to change something. They did a right thing switching coaches. Just that the timing was wrong. Besides, they were not in shape at the end of the season. Last year was not so great either. So during the summer they were working on getting back into the shape. Then they had to take care of Vera's health and only then started working.
They deserved much more this season. They lost points on silly small mistakes. Besides, that hurricane Stolbova/Klimov happened and wiped all on it's way. Vera and Yura were mentally uncomfortable with that - they used to be n.2 or n.3 in the national team - they were following us and felt comfortable. They didn't really have a competition. And here they had to compete every practice and prove things. They grew together with Ksenia and Fedor during the season, but it happened they didn't compete in the team event. It was a blow for them. They just couldn't deal with the competition.
I don't know what will happen to them. Will they continue? As far as I know Yuri didn't plan to retire yet. But i don't know what are their plans.
OE: Olympics were a success for you. After you said you'll take a break and come back for the Russian nationals. Had the plans changed?
TV: Yes. We will participate the GP
OE: Why have you decided to shorten the break?
TV: We decided start the season in stages.
MT: We have not decided yet what we'll do with the end of the season. I have to recover from my shoulder injury - one of the ligaments there doesn't really exist. On the other hand we need to know how the forces are divided for the next 4 years. The Worlds will be in China, so there will be Chinese pressing there. Besides, Chinese teams are really good
OE: Had the experienced Pang/Tong retire?
MT: Think so. Not quite clear what is going on with Peng/Zhang. Zhang was saying he'll teach her everything and let her skate with someone younger. They have another good team who competed in Cup of China. And the junior world champions Yu/Jing. Surely there will be more good pairs. But Russia's state of pairs is quite good too.
TV: Most important is to keep what we already have and be a strong team. We have Stolbova/Klimov. Also Tarasova/Morozov - the junior silver medalists. It's a good thing they are not champions going into the seniors.
MT: The 2nd place is better for the future. There aren't any world champions who made it to the seniors level. Through the whole history of figure skating only one pair - Gordeeva/Grinkov became world champions after being junior world champions. I was a junior world champion, came to my first senior competition and became last. It was a blow. I had no chance. Take the little Chinese- Sui/Han. They won the junior worlds 3 times. There was a moment when they placed high in the senior circle as well,but in the end their biggest achievement is their placement in 4CC. It's not even the level of the Europeans.
OE: I.e. next season your main competitors will be Chinese, Canadians, French... Americans?
MT: There are no Americans at all. Simon Shnapir mentioned problems with his knee and he didn't know whether he'll keep skating. Coughlin said at the beginning of the season he'll have to decide. Taking John didn't make it to the worlds and Olympics their funding must be quite low now. In order to train in the USA you either have to come from a well off family or show good results. If Coughlin did not recover after his injury and there is no funding, while he has to feed a family - he is an adult guy, guess he'll have to get a job. Things are much harder in the USA in that. If you have a job you don't have enough time to train. So I think the main competitors will remain the Chinese, Canadians and Russians. In Europe - the French and the Italians. Though it depends on whether the Italians will continue - Ondřej Hotarek was not sure whether they will.
TV: They also have some funding problems, besides, it's hard to find a pairs coach. Of course it's important for them to participate the Worlds, but they understand the best they can hope for is top 5. As for the Euros - they said there are many good Russians. Should the Russians sweep all the podium there is no point for the Italians to keep skating.
MT: Ondřej is 30y.o. Stefania is gettimg married to an American. Perhaps it will be easier for them to join the shows and just earn money.
Generally the state of the pairs in Europe is not clear. There are hardly any pairs left. The good Israeli team split. I think it's a bad thing for the pairs skating in general. There should be some diversity and competition in order for the sport to move forward.
I guess it will develop anyway, thanks to the Olympic team event. Everyone saw you can medal as a part of a team and become a real Olympic champion. I guess it will develop in the USA, who will want to become more than just bronze medalist next time. I'm quite sure all 4 disciplines will develop in the far east.
Of course after the Olympics many pairs will broke and many new will be created. It will be an interesting 4 years, more interesting than before Sochi - back then only Tanya and I were the new team, the rest were the experienced, well known. We will now get to see a lot of new names, hence Tanya and I want to participate the GP and learn who will we be competing with in the future.