Revered Russian figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze has given a guarded reaction to reports that world championships sensation Alexandra Trusova could return to her ranks, refusing to confirm rumors about the bronze medalist.
The 16-year-old could have taken the title after producing a stunning free-program performance which included a record-breaking FIVE quads, only to be scuppered by a disastrous short routine in which she finished in a lowly 12th place.
The first female skater in history to land a quadruple jump had been trained by Tutberidze for four years, winning two world junior titles and the European bronze under her guidance before switching coaches last May to join Evgeni Plushenko’s academy.
Disappointment with the training process and a lack of attention from the coaching staff were cited among the unofficial reasons for Trusova’s departure.
Back then, the ambitious skater said that her coaches had restricted her jumping potential, refusing to allow her to execute five quads in one program for the sake of stability.
Last week, Trusova attempted to throw five quads in her free program, falling on two jumps.
The risky move helped her to rise to the podium, although she stopped short of claiming the gold medal she had dreamed of.
Talk of her potential return to Tutberidze has resurfaced in light of Trusova’s desire to make the national Olympic team, for which competition will be even more fierce next year.
The fact that the renowned coach previously took back her former skaters, Evgenia Medvedeva and Alena Kostornaia, following high-profile splits has intensified the already-heated debate surrounding the Trusova-Tutberidze partnership.
The principal of Sambo-70, Renat Lyaishev, fueled the rumors by revealing that Trusova’s father, Vyacheslav Trusov, had spoken with him and expressed a willingness to resume training under Tutberidze’s tutelage.
The coach herself didn’t confirm the claim, adding that Lyaishev is not a member of the coaching team and was not in a position to share news about the skater’s return.
“Are you serious? How can I comment on her return? Who told you that?” Tutberidze asked.
“Lyaishev has nothing in common with the work of our coaching team. Listen, stop asking those questions. No, I don’t confirm anything.”
Tutberidze confirmed her status as the world’s leading female coach after guiding yet another skater to the top of the podium.
Shcherbakova became the third world champion coached by Tutberidze after Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova.
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