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Post: Scandal forced Plushenko to work: new results and shortcomings of the coach


The junior series final of the Russian Grand Prix started in St. Petersburg, according to the results of the short program in women’s singles, Eteri Tutberidze’s student Daria Sadkova was the leader, Evgeni Plushenko’s ward Veronika Zhilina was the third, Maria Gordeeva, who trained with Sergey Davydov. Another student of Plushenko, Sofia Titova, could not cope with the difficult content and partly with nerves and took only seventh place. RIA Novosti Sport analyzes Plushenko’s actions after the unforgettable scandal in Perm.

The second half of the season in Russian figure skating passes under the banner of refereeing and discontent. After the Russian championship in Perm, Plushenko gave a high-profile interview, in which he talked about the desire of students of his academy and their parents to consider the option of changing sports citizenship if the situation at national tournaments does not change.

Two of her skaters – Zhilina and Titova – went to Perm as absolute favorites, but in the short program both made a mistake in the triple axel and ended in the second half of the table before the second competitive day. The free program improved the situation, but not dramatically – as a result, Alina Gorbacheva took the gold, Gordeeva the bronze. Zhilina and Titova took the offensive positions, second and fourth, respectively.

Before the Grand Prix Final, which started on Thursday, Plushenko worked on tactics with his attacks. With Zhilina, it was decided to abandon the triple in the short program and add a jump to the triple lutz by moving the combination with the triple toe loop (for teenagers, the triple axle can only be performed in combination) to the end. In terms of basic cost, this option is slightly cheaper (12.20 costs a combination of a triple axis – triple finger ring, triple lutz – triple finger ring – 11.11 in the bonus zone), but the risk associated with execution is the use of a triple axle sometimes all the advantage invalidates it. How this happened Evgeny Viktorovich knows firsthand.

Zhilina’s tactical simplification totally worked. Veronica glided confidently and cleanly, making only one offensive mistake – she didn’t finish in time for the music, for which she almost received a penalty. “They took the point out because I was rolling the music, I wanted to return to level four. Overall I needed to go faster on the track,” the figure skater told reporters in the mixed zone.

71.75 points (second place) and a small gap from leader Daria Sadkova (72.61), it costs the same penalty points. A stylish result after the failure in Perm and an indication that coach Plushenko has not given up on strategy and is ready to learn from his own shortcomings. And the calm reaction in the press embodied the admission that not only the referees, but also the athletes made mistakes.

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But after a while the impression got a little worse. Unlike Zhilina, Titova did not refuse the triple axle and made it clean. But with double sheepskin instead of triple (only 9.3 points at base cost), which greatly reduces the tiered cost compared to the same lutz sheepskin.

The judges then “cut” Sophia’s levels in turns and in the step sequence – only one turn is listed as performed at level four, while the remaining non-skipping items are at level three. It is worth noting that the figure skater’s practice of jumping also has a weak point. In addition to the triple axis and the obligatory single triple loop for teens, the dual axis does – a much cheaper leap than any basic triple. At the same time, Sofia has very good components (31.92), only pure Zhilina (32.99) and Sadkova (31.99) were higher.

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In this case, it is not possible to see the reasons for the questions to be directed to the referees. But hearing her scores (67.79, seventh place) in kiss and cry, the skater asked, “Why so few?” With his words, he turned to Plushenko, and then he got a little stressed and shouted in the stands. True, after that, Sophia came to the side of the journalists, who, although visibly upset, were gathered and as focused as possible.

“I performed well, I showed that I could. Why I was upset – it happened, I do not want to talk about it,” said Titova.

It is admirable that this time it was decided not to disclose the crime to the public. This is a powerful step inherent in truly great athletes. But at the same time, it is noteworthy that Sophia’s excessive risk, which so far has not justified itself in any way. This becomes especially noticeable in contrast to a classmate. Perhaps the time for action has not yet come – 14 is the age of risk. But if there is a desire to achieve results in the here and now, plans may need to be adjusted.

Meanwhile, Titova is almost 5 points behind first place after the short program. And it is not at all a fact that in the free program this gap can be recovered.

Winter Youth Olympics - 2020. Figure skating - RIA Novosti, 1920, 27.02.2023

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Source: Ria

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