Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Dmitriev sr.

TAHbKA

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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Arthur Dmitriev sr for rt.com


EV: A couple of days before this interview I was talking to a well known coach. She said the pair should be a rock and her understanding none of the current Russian pairs is such a rock and that's what they lack. Do you agree?
AD: Not really. Mishina/Gallyamov are not yet such a rock, but they are quite near. Boikova/Kozlovski improved a lot as well. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but those are serious competitors, as well as Tarasova/Morozov who have been skating together for 11 years. It's enough time to teach a bear landing an axel.

EV: How is that related?
AD: 11 years is a lot of pariness. I was skating with Mishkutenok for 9 years. Evgenia and Vladimir began a 2nd decade. That's a whole life in the sport.

EV: 3 years ago when we discussed Tarasova/Morozov you said it seems they don't understand what do they want
AD: Their training in the USA with Zueva gave them that push. She made a tremendous job with them. Not the technical, the jumps or the throws, but the hidden and very tedious - in the positions, transitions, small lifts, different skating rhythms. The guys began moving differently. But their technique lacked a bit because such a work takes a lot of time. Now their technique is back and the accents are correct.

EV: At the time when explaining me the difference between Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze and Sale/Pelletier Rodnina said the Canadians skate much slower than the Russians. Does it matter? I ask because Tarasova/Morozov are blamed for being slow now.
AD: We are not competing in the speed skating. It's not about the speed. Of course its' needed, but it has to be integrated into the programme. You can skate with more power, attack and speed. Or you can be less active, but it will corelate with the music, the programme, the style etc. I think after working with Zueva Tarasova and Morozov found their unique interesting style. Now it's even more obvious. As for the speed - that can be added, believe me. Just that it's not necessary in their LP. The `Lighthouse' is quite a complicated music. Though, frankly, I wouldn't have picked it for the Olympics.

EV: Why?
AD: The smallest mistake will ruin the impression. If you skate perfectly al works. But if you make an error it works against you. It's with the `Lighthouse' the 2018 Olympic champions Savchenko/Massot lost the Europeans and the Worlds the year before.

EV: Who are the favourites here - the Russians or Sui/Han?
AD: Unfortunately I haven't seen the Chinese this year at all. I know they skate great. When you see them live it captivates your soul, you are enchanted. But if the Chinese will make a mistake and our guys will skate clean any of the 3 Russian pairs has a chance to win. Should Sui/Han skate clean it will be tough. Especially in Beijing.

EV: What do the Chinese do that the others don't?
AD: Elements wise - nothing. I'd even say our pairs are better. Especially Mishina/Gallyamov who have a more costly combo. Though Tarasova/Morozov have, in my point of view, the best split twist in the world. Energy wise Mishina/Gallyamov get your attention. Their LP is a different matter. I find it questionable.

EV: The Olympic programmes created by Moskvina were criticized a lot at the beginning of the season. Were you surprised with her choices?
AD: No, I've known Moskvina for long enough. She has a soft spot for that music. And she has a point. It is indeed a powerful piece. At the time Oksana Kazakova and I thought about using it for the SP, and I asked Moskvina myself. Just that we didn't have enough time for that.
As for the music mix - do you recall Moskvina's very first team - Valova/Vasiliev?
EV: Sure
AD: They had a programme to `Snowstorm' mixed with `Europe'. I.e Moskvina had that idea for a long time. First, as much as I remember, she wanted to combine the `Snowstorm' and `Time forward' but did not dare. Because Rodnina/Zaitsev skated to `Time forward' too recently.

EV: A good example. Hence I find Tarasova/Morozov's choice questionable. It's hard not to think of Savchneko
AD: I haven't. Savchenko, of course, is a better interpreter, more emotional. She went through 3 Olympics with Schelkowy before winning it with Massot. But see: many skate to `Don Quixote'. And `Love dreams'. Mishkutenok and I were scorned for taking that music before the Olympics in Albertville - how dare we after the greatest Belousova/Protopopov? But it was with that piece that we became first. Will that music work for Tarasova/Morozov? As I already said, it's a good programme and it suits them. Will it work compared to the Chinese - I don't know.

EV: I read recently the Chinese team plan to integrate a quad split twist at the Olympics. Guess they decided to go for all of it. Do you think it's justified?
AD: I think not
EV: Why?
AD: They have been injured all the time. The quad split twist is a lot of mental energy. I'm afraid should Sui/Han integrate that element into the programme they will not have enough energy left for the rest.

EV: Which is harder -a quad split twist or a quad throw?
AD: Physically - a split twist. It's a very sudden and powerful throw, an active spin, the catch and the stop of the 4 revolutions spin. The lady has to open up in the exact moment so the man could stop the rotation. All that combined takes a lot of energy. Technically the quad throw jump is harder. It's not just the landing, but a landing after 4 revolutions. Not only the height of the throw is important, but the common entry.
If you recall Kawaguti was not doing a very high throw jump. Yet she was rotating her revolutions.

EV: If I understand correctly the higher the throw jump is the more stress it is on the back when landing
AD: Right. I was helping Moskvina when the guys were learning that element and understood, should Smirnov throw Yuko too high she'll fall apart. Hence we decided to work on a good spinning entry. But those are details.

But let me mention something else: it's the first time in our Russian pairs skating that I see such a strong command. I really can't recall having 3 teams skating on such a level and with such confidence. Take any and put the on the first place should they skate clean and it would be justified. Think this is what the pairs skating 2022 differs from all that happened before. We certainly have the strongest team.

EV: After the Olympics in Korea we talked about the 2 times champion Hanuy and agreed he will probably not attempt the 4A at the Olympics in Beijing to avoid the injury. Yet he have not let that idea go. Do you udnerstand why?
AD: I understand him as an athlete and a figure skating fan. But that 4A will not do him any good. I think he should focus on something else.

EV: Why are you so certain?
AD: Because Hanuy underotates his 4A by half a revolution - it's a lot. In that case the jump might be marked as a 3A with an error. My son Arthur had been attempting the 4A as well. Not long ago he attempted it in the USA nationals and lacked 1/4 revolution. But he wasn't even prepared - he was just pulling it out. Arthur was getting ready for the nationals in the public skates on some weird rink. It's not a preparation.

EV: Did Arthur discuss his country change with you? Why did he need the switch?
AD: Arthur wants to compete internationally, but he understands he is not in a shape to do it in Russia.

EV: I recall you once admitted how hard it was to retire. The history repeats itself?
AD: I don't think we can be compared. I participated the Europeans 8 times, Worlds - 5, 3 Olympics. Arthur is not exhausted by the competitions on such a high level. He did not have enough. Second he wants to see what can he do. In 2 years he almost recovered from his injures, learned to work, it's interesting for him. Though I haven't coached Arthur for 2 years.

EV: The men skating in Beijing: will there be a sensation?
AD: I doubt it. I'm not very original and think it will be between Chen and Hanuy

EV: Do you reckon Hanuy can beat a clean Chen?
AD: Should Hanuy be clean - yes. Should he chase the 4A - no.

EV: I.e. you don't take into the consideration that in the last 3 seasons Hanuy never beat Chen? It's not easy mentally to aim for the gold when you are losing time after time.
AD: It doesn't mean anything. Let us not forget Hanuy is a 2 times Olympic champion. All the small competitions do not interest him. It's just the Olympic gold. Besides, will Chen be able to be clean at the Olympics is also a question.

EV: Who will you be rooting for?
AD: I guess Hanuy after all. I like his skating better, his approach, his craziness.

EV: And the ladies?
AD: Of course Valieva right now is stronger than the others. She is exceptional.

EV: Many agree about Valieva yet their sympathy is with Trusova and her 5 quads.
AD: I respect all of our ladies. But if we look at the mix of the sports and the arts Valieva, in my books, is the closest. Her whole body `sings'. Just like the music flows so does her body. The well held lines, the fixed positions, the finished moves, the ballet like back. Trusova is more about the sport. She has the powerful jumps, she is very strong physically but a bit less musical and does not always strikes the positions.
The ladies really depend on their shape. Should they be in shape - they will do what they can. And they can do a lot. Mentally it should be easier for them - they are young. Their approach to life is still different. The different motivation and understanding of all that is going on. We've seen it watching Medvedeva, Zagitova, Sotnikova, Lipnitskaya... Competing against them is almost useless.
 

Vagabond

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Arthur wants to compete internationally, but he understands he is not in a shape to do it in Russia.
And perhaps now he understands that he isn't in shape to do it in the U.S. :shuffle:
 

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