Nathan Chen became the world figure skating champion for the third time in a row. The American skater skated a free program in Stockholm at the space level and surpassed the closest competitor by 31.22 points. Like Alexandra Trusova, he made several mistakes in the short program, but managed not only to catch up with the main rivals, but also to take gold. Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu could not cope with several jumps at once and was content with only bronze, letting his compatriot Yuma Kagiyama go ahead. The Russians Mikhail Kolyada and Yevgeny Semenenko took fifth and eighth places in the final protocol, providing the national team with three Olympic quotas in this type of program.
The respondents were stormy from enthusiasm to complete rejection, but the more critical the statements that Trusova’s skating is a bare difficulty and nothing more sounded, the more often the phrase from the famous film came to mind: “Good boots. We must take … “.
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Human memory is short and selective. Since figure skating turned into a real sport, discussions began to shake it: should what is happening on the ice remain just a sport, or is it still a high art that requires a different attitude and different evaluation criteria. Want some examples? You are welcome!
When in the early 1970s the great strategist Stanislav Zhuk created the equally great Irina Rodnina in pair skating, whose unbeaten run at the continental, world and Olympic championships is unlikely to be repeated by anyone, her first partner Alexei Ulanov was constantly irritated.
“… I categorically do not accept when a choreographer, composing a program, takes from a Mozart symphony three bars of the beginning, four bars of the main theme, eight secondary and 25 bars of the final. This is barbarism. But this is often practiced in figure skating. And what I was forced to do on the ice very often seemed just wild, ”Ulanov said.
In the early 1990s, Elvis Stoyko appeared in men’s singles skating. Broad-boned, short-legged, expressionless karate, but possessing excellent coordination and explosive strength. At the 1996 World Championships in Edmonton, the Canadian, who played in the rank of two-time holder of the highest world title, failed the short program and, at best (with an ideal skating of the free program), could only become the third. Nevertheless, it did not even occur to the skater to throw out any ultra-complex element from the free program.
“I want to live in sports until the moment when one of the obligatory elements of the short program will be a cascade of jumps in four and three turns. Then we will see who is who, ”the Canadian said after the performance, stopping a step away from the top three.
A year later, Elvis regained the title. A few months before that, he won the Grand Prix finals against Alexey Urmanov and Ilya Kulik, but when I habitually started talking to Tatyana Tarasova about the Canadian lacking artistry, the coach cut short: “What the hell is artistry when he jumps like that? ! “.
The same controversy was fought at the 2006 Turin Games. Four-time world champion Kurt Browning, who had a phenomenal ability to express music on ice, was indignant before the men’s final.
“Plushenko rolls around like a carpenter building a house. Installs the frame, sheaths it with boards, hammering in nails here and there. While Johnny Weir and Stéphane Lambiel look more like artists painting their homes in a variety of colors … ”Browning said.
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And then there was a rewarding ceremony, where the ward of Alexei Mishin received a gold medal, and it was just right to write on the pedestal: “You need to win by doing what you can do better than others.”
Tarasova spoke about Trusova’s performance in Stockholm without enthusiasm. I noticed that she did not understand why it was necessary to go to such a difficulty in the final. And she added: “Sasha is doing unreasonable things. She doesn’t have to jump five quadruple jumps. ”
In 2013, the same Tarasova, under whose supervision Maxim Kovtun skated with five quadruple jumps in two programs, said differently: “Young people should take risks and go forward. This is the only way to make a name for yourself. In no other way can you advance figure skating … ”
It is possible that in relation to the current situation, the coach simply voiced her own desire to see pure and beautiful skating performed by Trusova. For this, perhaps, Sasha should have sacrificed complexity, but do not forget that she skated first in the penultimate warm-up, ahead of everyone who kept the chances to get around her, and was simply forced to go all-in, which fully justified itself.
As for bad landings, even the greatest of the world’s greatest riders, Yuzuru Hanyu, won his first Olympics in 2014 with two falls, falling from a quad Salchow and a triple flip. Nobody is immune, as they say.
Speaking globally, distracting from momentary results, Trusova does exactly the same thing in women’s single skating that Nathan Chen began to do in men’s skating a couple of years ago, who was the first to master and perform the entire existing set of quads in the program. They both ram the ossified framework of human psychology, as if saying: “Guys, this is possible! You just have to really want to ”.
Chen, however, also wins, but also not always. What is the failure of the American at the Games in Pyeongchang, where the guy needed to enter the two most difficult quadruple jumps in the short program at all costs – lutz and flip. As a result, he fell from the first one, replaced the flip with a simpler sheepskin coat along the way, but fell off it too, and “polished” it all by breaking the triple axel, flying to 17th place.
Well, now we can say that it is thanks to Chen that we observe a whole scattering of complex quadruple jumps in men’s skating. The same Yuzuru Hanyu is capable of winning any skater in the world, having only a couple of quads in his arsenal. But there is Chen, who already jumps five quads on duty in his free program, so Hanyu is forced to climb above his head in terms of complexity. And what could be more interesting in a sports duel than a situation when two great masters figure out which of them is stronger?
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No one else could intervene in this confrontation on Saturday. After Chen skated the free program, getting 222.03 for it (the American skated better only in the Grand Prix final in December 2019 – 224.92), he predictably topped the standings, ahead of his closest opponent by 43. 44. Almost 30 points lagged behind the American, ahead of him in the short program, Yuma Kagiyama.
In the same place, behind, but with a sense of the accomplished task of winning quotas for Beijing 2022 with the fourth and seventh results, were Mikhail Kolyada and Yevgeny Semenenko (as a result, they became the fifth and eighth, respectively). All that remained was to wait for Hanyu, who was faced with one of the most difficult tasks: to skate after the opponent received incredible points in front of your eyes.
Could the two-time Olympic champion on this day compete with Chen? With equal starting positions, probably still not. But since after the short program, Hanyu and Chen were separated by a little over eight points, the option in which the Japanese would regain the title was quite possible.
But there was a blot on the quadruple rittberger, then – a much more gross mistake in the salchow, in the triple axel, and it was no longer necessary to talk about any kind of rivalry. In terms of interpretation, Hanyu lost 3.72 points to the champion, although at the previous World Championship, losing to Chen by technique, he was ahead of him in terms of components by more than a point.
Source site russian.rt.com