The only drawback of the World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm was the lack of fans. This was stated by the Russian Nikita Katsalapov, who, together with Victoria Sinitsina, became the winner of the dance pairs competition. He noted the importance of the title, on the way to which they had to overcome many difficulties. In turn, the partner explained why she was especially happy to play at the tournament, and the coach Alexander Zhulin was glad for the first major success of his players in 16 years.
Last year, the wards of Alexander Zhulin became European champions for the first time, declaring themselves as one of the strongest couples in the world. Therefore, no one had any doubts that in Stockholm they would fight for the highest awards. At the same time, at the awards ceremony, the athletes were so impressed with this success that they could hardly comment on their performance.
“I am very glad, I don’t know what to say, now I can only smile,” Sinitsina admitted.
Katsalapov was in a similar state. Nevertheless, he paid tribute to the organizers of the world championship.
“I don’t know what to say after such an emotional outburst, we left everything on the ice. The tournament was organized at the highest level, only the audience is missing, ”Katsalapov said.
Recall that due to the coronavirus pandemic, a number of restrictions were in force at the competition. Athletes and their teams lived in a closed area, which they had no right to leave, and there were no fans in the stands. Answering the question of whether such harsh measures interfered, the athlete stressed that they did not feel any inconvenience.
“I can say that we prepared for the worst, but we got the perfect championship. There were many rules and restrictions, but this did not cause us any inconvenience. The only thing is that you can’t go outside, but otherwise everything was fine, we could communicate, there were no nutritional problems, everyone was constantly passing tests for coronavirus, “the skater shared his impressions at a press conference.
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The World Cup is the final major tournament ahead of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Russians noted the significance of the new status for themselves and shared their expectations for the next year.
“Of course, this medal means a lot, it is very dear to us. On the way to it, we had to overcome many difficulties. And not only to us, all athletes faced them. It means that we can be better, we can work harder and harder. As for the plans, we have certain ideas regarding themes and numbers, but so far nothing concrete. Most likely, we will think about it after the World Cup during a short break, ”Katsalapov explained.
The duo have faced many setbacks this season. Sinitsina was pursued by injuries, then both athletes had coronavirus in a rather severe form, after which they had to recover for a long time. Because of this, they missed several stages of the Russian Cup, as well as the national championship.
“It was really a difficult time, but everything is over, now we feel great. We did a good job. I missed training, ice and competitions so much that I returned to the rink with great pleasure, looked into Nikita’s eyes, trusted him and the coaches. I am glad to be here and happy with how this start ended, ”Sinitsina said.
At the same time, the Russians did not disclose their tasks for the Olympic Games, although they stressed that they intend to work to achieve the highest result.
“The Olympic Games are the kind of competition you have dreamed of since childhood. And then, and now, you dream of standing on the highest step of the podium. I don’t believe in omens, but I usually don’t talk about such things in advance. But dreams for me are equal to goals, and they are the highest. But in order to achieve them, you need to work very hard. Well, and a little luck, ”concluded Katsalapov.
The last time the Russians became world champions in ice dancing was in 2009. Then at the competitions in Los Angeles, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin celebrated the victory. However, the duet mentor Zhulin had to wait even longer, under whose leadership Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov won the world championship in 2005.
“Stunning emotions, for the first time after Navka and Kostomarov, my couple won the world championship. I was waiting for such results. But, to be honest, everything is deserved, the guys had an amazing tournament, all the trainings, all the competitions, just amazing. We will prepare for the Olympics. <...> They feel great. And the transferred coronavirus does not put pressure on Vika, she arrived easily. And all the injuries have gone somewhere, thank God, “- quotes Zhulin TASS.
Source site russian.rt.com