We just wrote it a few weeks ago: Russia’s Sasha Trusova, the star skater who launched the quad frenzy in ladies skating, was wondering.
She just provided one answer, as she announced that she parted ways with her renowned coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who took her to international stardom. Trusova will be joining Evgeni Plushenko’s own Academy, as soon as confinement measures will be loosened in Russia. Plushenko confirmed it to Russian media: « Life is such a thing that the athlete sometimes moves to another coach. I think this is normal. We have goals, and they are very serious, » the 2006 Olympic gold medalist added.
Tutberidze’s school has become an incredible reservoir of young talents during these last years. They have taken Ladies skating by storm, both in the junior and the senior ranks, winning everything there was to win this last season. No one would imagine that « Tutberizettes » could be defeated in any near future.
The most famous Ladies skater school in the world however has two Achille’s tendons: the age of the skaters it rises, as all of them are under puberty. This leaves them with a very short career, and nothing proves that they can keep their winning capacity beyond that age. Only future will tell.
The other weak point of Tutberidze’s School is the incredible number of talents it coaches, and the fierce competition amongst them. At Europeans, last January, Alena Kostornaia, Anna Shcherbakova and Sasha Trusova did get along like three sisters. But each one of them told us that she was « extremely competitive ». Every competition crowns only one queen: this season Kostornaia won both the ISU Grand-Prix Final and the European title. Shcherbakova was not far behind, as she even won her second Russian National title. But Trusova found herself in third place each time, way behind the other two. When space gets scarce, you tend to find less crowded spots. That may be what Trusova is just doing.
« I always wanted to do things no one was capable of doing, » Trusova said last January. The 15-yr old didn’t get her nickname, « Mother of Dragons », by chance. She is the most technical of the three, the one who prefers to skate without a music, as « skating with music is more difficult, » as she said. Without music she can let go her exceptional rotational speed and the four different quads she masters.
Russian media are speculating about the fact that Tutberidze might have spent less time with Trusova these last months, as opposed to her direct competitors. That might have disturbed Trusova.
And yet one can’t help wondering: Tutberidze has noticed the difficulties her champion was experiencing with her jumps as well as with her psychology this season. She has taken good note that Trusova was growing, both physically and mentally. In her view, is Trusova still a champion-to-be, or already a former-champion-to-be?
In any case, the Russian phenom is now going to train with the most decorated skater of the recent times: a quad master in his own rights, Plushenko won 4 Olympic medals through 4 Olympic Games, in 2002 and 2010 (silver singles), 2006 (gold singles), and 2014 (gold team).
With him, Trusova may be back to her future!