Oleg Vasiliev talk with sports.ru about the split of Mukhortova and Trankov, and the conspiracy of Piseev with Maxim to split up with Mukhortova after the season ended.
the link http://www.sports.ru/tribuna/blogs/m...77428.html?p=1
The team Mukhortova – Trankov has broken up. It’s a pity. This beautiful pair that hasn’t reached its potential has ceased to skate together. Maxim has long approached considered parting with Masha. He has tried several times to do it - two years ago, a year ago, and this year a couple of times. This is not inanity or a sudden decision – it is a long though-through move. After the Worlds, we met to discuss future plans, and Max immediately said that he sees no point in continuing further work in pair with Maria Mukhortova and under the leadership of Oleg Vasiliev.
The reasons for such decision may be many, but mostly, in my opinion, Maxim unfortunately, is not accustomed to tough working conditions. His whole adult life, he worked in a group (that was before Moskvina) where he could manage the process; he therefore believed that he knew everything, could do anything, and all must do as he says. This has happened for many years. When Max got into the hands of Moskvina, he could not bring himself to follow her rigorous schedule, and it was one of the reasons why Tamara decided to part with this pair on good terms. She gave Masha and Maxim over to Kazakova and Dmitriev. That didn’t work out either. I managed to keep Maxim in the working schedule for some time, but he didn’t handle it for long.
How I managed it is a long story. The first month, from December 2006 to early January of 2007, we worked in trial mode. We decided to see how the process goes, and, proceeding from this, only then to discuss further plans. I got the kids in poor condition. No fitness or stability of performance elements, no “skated-in” programs – they had nothing. Instead, there was desperation, despair and complete lack self confidence. There was no money: they lost all salaries and grants, except for "survival stipend” in the amount of 2300 rubles per month.
There was nothing to lose. The first month of the guys trained fabulously. It was a pleasure to work with them. All we strove to make as much as possible and better as soon as possible. This period Mukhortova and Trankov progressed very quickly. They won the national championship in 2007 without question and by a large margin. After that we made an agreement on the obligations of each member of our team: who should do what and what penalties are assumed to default. It was this document, I think, that became Trankov’s “jail”. Every time when he tried to show their "independence", he was reminded that we are all working as a team and play to the agreed rules. That worked for some time. Then it stopped, and penalties were set in motion. This, too, worked for some time. However, over time Trankov stopped doing what was demanded of him, and began to behave as he wanted.
I must say that Masha was not easy either, she is also a very complex person. In fact, most people in elite sport aren’t easy. Each must have a unique approach. With Mukhortova we somehow found a common language; not so with Trankov. And although we have had our scandals and squabbles with Masha, they usually stayed reasonable. We always returned to normal working position and moved on to a common goal. This year, the couple noticeably progressed precisely because of Mukhortova, her tremendous work on herself. Maxim, on the other hand, refusing any help from me or from our choreographer Alexander Matveev, remained professionally at almost the same level.
I think that Masha and Maxim did not use 50% of their potential. In a couple of years, this team would’ve been a candy. So sorry, of course, that the pair ceased to exist. I believe that in the past two seasons Kawaguchi - Smirnov and Mukhortova - Trankov were approximately equal to elements. Moskvina’s students are only better than Masha and Maxim in one element – a quad throw. Everything else (skating, line, flow, elements) Mukhortova and Trankov do better. The question arises: why then Kawaguchi and Smirnov are the first pair of Russia?
I have reliable information that in December 2009, during the national championship, Maxim Trankov and Valentin Piseev entered into an agreement that the pair of Mukhortova-Trankov will cease to exist at the end of the season, and Maxim will train with another partner. Max has agreed to this behind his partner’s back; the president of the Federation did so behind the back of the coach of one of the leading pairs in Russia and the world.
Piseev took active negotiations with the Ukrainian Federation and has had some results. That December agreement cost Mukhortova and Trankov dearly. After the Grand Prix, they were regarded as virtually the first pair of the country. But the championship of Russia and for the remainder of the season they were being held back. The Federation knew that soon the pair will break up, and there was not point in supporting a team which will soon disappear. They began to hold up Kawaguchi and Smirnov, and gave Mukhortova and Trankovu the lowest possible ratings for skating which they showed. In this case Trankov worked against his own pair, against himself. In fact, he deprived himself of an Olympic medal and World Championship medals. As for Piseev, I consider his actions a real crime – a federation president has knowingly broken up a leading team of the country. It is simply unthinkable!
I do not want to go into a detailed analysis of actions of Piseev and Trankov. Valentin Nikolayevich is not a purely evil person - in most cases, he reasonable stakes his decisions on the winner. However, unfortunately, this happens less and less: very often personal relationships interfere. As I understand it, it happened this time. We had a very difficult relationship with the president of the federation. This is probably outweighed the reasonable logic. Trankov’s logic is easier to follow – he is probably looking for much good out of the change – he wants freedom of expression. No one will be forcing him to be at practice on time, and to work on what he doesn’t want to work on.
I must say that in the case of Totmianina and Marinin Piseev could not intervene. There was a special situation. We practiced in Chicago and were so far from the federation, that it simply was not possible either to control the process, or to give any instructions. Up until the Olympic year, until the last months before the Olympics, nobody bothered us; we hardly received any money from the Figure Skating Federation of Russia. The team lived and trained at their own expense and the money earned by themselves from prizes, shows, etc. The President simply could not do anything.
The situation with Mukhortova and Trankov is different. First, Russia had an equivalent pair, which could be held up while Masha and Maxim were held down. And secondly, we trained under the very nose of the federation. For three and a half years of our collaboration, we listened to endless accusations for not coming to training camps and for not doing what “must be done” according to the federation. Work was hard enough, and if it weren’t for the support of the school of figure skating of St. Petersburg, our Petersburg federation and the St. Petersburg city, then much would not have happened.
I did not want the collapse of a pair, or I would’ve been better prepared. Masha, who has had the opportunity to change partners during Maxim’s the previous parting attempts, always told me: "No, I'll ride it out with Trankov. I started with him; I want to continue with him.” So I made a mental note that Mukhortova does not want any other partner, and did not look for anyone.
Obviously, we’ll now start to look for a partner, but it’s not easy as there aren’t many skaters of that level in the world. The parameters are very stringent. It must be a person with experience as a pair skater, with at least two triple jumps, tall (185 cm and above), and strong enough to withstand those loads that must be overcome in the next few months and years to come. We'll start our search in Russia; if we don’t find anyone, we’ll seek abroad. In our country, to be honest, I see almost no potential partners. Maybe there are a couple of people who could potentially fit in. The question is whether those young men will want to work, and whether they are free from other obligation.
The amount of time it takes to create a strong pair depends on what a partner we’ll find, and how much time initial pairing stages will take. Learning how to make parallel jumps is not difficult, skating in parallel not difficult, even skating together is not very difficult. But learning to perform pair elements (lifts, throws, twists) takes longer and depends on the degree of compatibility of partners, both psychological and physical.
Finding a partner for Masha is my number one problem for today. This must be done within two to three weeks. […] Therefore, the work in this direction will be quite intense. If all this is successful and we will find a partner, then I'll decide what to do next. I will see how much time and effort will be needed to make them into a good pair and if I'll have time to take on someone else – a lady or a man. All will become clear within two to three weeks.