Anna Pogorilaya: I jumped up and down when I saw myself ahead of Carolina Kostner!
Third event in the Grand Prix series has finished yesterday in Beijing, China. It was a senior debut for Russia's Anna Pogorilaya and she started with a win. The score she got at this competition - 178.62 for two programs - placed her ahead of 2013 European silver medalist Adelina Sotnikova (174.70) and 2012 World champion from Italy Carolina Kostner (173,40).
Anna Pogorilaya shares her impressions of the victory with the TEAM RUSSIA 2014 correspondent Maria Vorobyeva.
Anna: The thought that I ended up ahead of Carolina Kostner had a tremendous effect on me. I was just jumping up and down for joy! My main goal at this event was to place in the top 3. And I needed to skate cleanly for that, because my coach, Anna Vladimirovna Tsareva, and I realized perfectly well that my competitors are ranked much higher than I. Therefore, it was very important to have a good outing at my first ever Grand Prix event. Of course, winning was completely unexpected for me (smiles). There was no goal to place higher than any of other skaters, it was more important to have a decent skate. Kostner gets incredible PCS, in the free program she got nearly 10 points more than me! It's fantastic! But I got 20 points more in TES (smiles). On the other hand, Carolina just not skated her best in both programs, and both her TES and PCS were lower than usual. If she skated clean, no one could have come even close to her at this event.
MV: What about Adelina Sotnikova?
Anna: Adelina managed to overcome herself in the short program and skated brilliantly. But, you see, it was difficult to skate here - time zone change, jet lag, the air at the rink was not very good, smog in the streets, and Adelina skated last yesterday. She had her own thoughts pressuring her, she must be always thinking about the Olympic Games - I understand how hard it was for her. It was much easier for me.
MV: But you also had to feel the pressure?
Anna: When I was in the hotel, I was shaking with fear (smiles). But on the ice, I realized that I left all the fear behind, in the hotel. There was an upbeat music playing before my skates, I listened to it - and forgot everything. It was very uplifting and helped me to get in the right mood.
MV: Anya, what did this victory cost you? How did your preparation to your first Grand Prix go?
Anna: Preparation was hard (smiles). Very hard. I realize only now that it wasn't a waste and it all paid off. My coach and I often argued, my body hurt because of endless painful training. My massage therapist is probably tired already of getting all the kinks out of my muscles, I often had muscle spasms, was in constant pain. I cannot even describe how hard it was!
MV: It will probably get even harder now?
Anna: Yes. At the Grand Prix in France I will have to face even more serious competition. Look at the French girls, they are so powerful and strong. I'm getting nervous just looking at them. In Paris it will be much tougher! Here everyone is nice and smiling, there it will be tough (smiles).
MV: Are you ready for battle?
Anna: Yes! My coach will always support me, just in case (smiles).
MV: Winning Cup of China made you more confident?
Anna: It rather has shown me how much I lack yet. I wasn't happy at all to see such a gap in PCS between me and Kostner. I realized that I was very tired by the end of the free program, which means I need more run-throughs, working out the bugs. And, considering that everyone will from now on see me as an additional threat, they will work harder and try to be even better.
MV: Anna, you said that it was easier here for you than for Sotnikova. And earlier you said that you don't have a goal to get to the Olympic Games…
Anna: I didn't say I wouldn't try to get to the home Olympics (smiles). I just think that realistically I'm likely not to be sent to the Olympics in Sochi. There are already enough candidates for the two spots, I'm in the second-tier group, and it is unlikely they'll place a bet on me. But I definitely have to fight (smiles).
MV: Does it mean you will prepare for the National championships even more seriously than for the first Grand Prix?
Anna: Oooh! Russian Nationals is everything to me! Of course, we count on placing high enough at Nationals to be able to go to the big international competitions - European and World championships. But we have a plan B as well - if anything, I can go again to the Junior Worlds, and I need to raise my ranking for that, too. It happens sometimes that you place third at Nationals, but the Federation decides that someone else should go. Then I will have nothing to lose - I have to compete somewhere. But, in general, I just have to skate well!