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Thread: Can Kovtun close the gap on Plushenko?

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    Can Kovtun close the gap on Plushenko?

    New article article on Maxim Kovtun. It reads:-

    Evgeni Plushenko is aiming to get fit in time for an Olympic swansong in Sochi next year, but he faces a challenge from 18-year-old fellow Russian Maxim Kovtun, who staked his claim with a strong skate Thursday.

    Host nation Russia has been allocated just one place in the men’s singles for Sochi, putting pressure on the injury-ravaged Plushenko, who has not competed since January, to prove he is still capable of skating at the top level.

    That pressure increased Thursday when Kovtun debuted a short program featuring two jumps with four rotations, an extremely challenging program feature seen as essential for gold-medal contenders.

    “That was the main goal, to try two quads in the short,” Kovtun said after taking the lead at a Russian Cup event with his new program. He landed one quad cleanly but fell on the other.

    “I’d like to be skating clean, but so far it’s turning out very difficult and lacking in control,” said Kovtun, who was a disappointing 18th at the world championships in April. “I want to go to the Olympics, but for that I need to produce ideal skates at two Grands Prix.”
    Kovtun had a superb start to last season, winning both of his JGP events and the final in impressive style. However, the Russian Fed made a big mistake in pushing him too far too fast in selecting him for the 2013 World Championships, where he finished a disastrous 18th (leaving Russia with just one spot for their home Olympics). In selecting Kovtun for Worlds, they piled too much pressure on to a young skater, and who knows how long it will take Kovtun to recover from the psychological scars. Nevertheless, Kovtun has made an okay start to the season. He scored 78.00 in his Russia Cup SP, landing a quad and a 3A (but falling on the other quad).

    So, can Kovtun close the gap on Plushenko and qualify for the Russian team for the Olympics? Kovtun has great potential, but as Russia only has one spot for the Olympics, whoever is selected for the Olympic team is going to have to deal with a lot of pressure and expectations. That requires someone with experience. Given what happened to Kovtun at 2013 Worlds and his lack of senior experience, then I think somebody else should be selected (unless his performances over the coming months are especially compelling and well ahead of the other Russian skaters). My view is that Kovtun is really a skater for the next quad, and his opportunity will come at the 2018 Olympics.

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    He Didn't land 2 quads. It's an epidemic in Russian federation of treating his failures like huge successes. His quad toe and salchow attempts at Russian nationals got him to euros when he placed fifth. He tripled both then he goes to euros and does a 2a in the sp and 4 combos in the lp then at worlds does a 3t-1t combo and completely fell apart after 3 minutes in the lp and then was even worse in the wtt. No one has coasted so much on a jrgpf win. Every failure as a senior celebrated as a huge success. even worlds 2013 celebrated for getting his name out there and being in front of judges. All this helps plushenko i think because with kovtun failures being Celebrated as huge successes he doesn't have to do well. This was not the case with plushenko at all!

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    Let's be real... if Plushenko skates even half decently at Russian nationals, even if Kovtun or anyone else places ahead of him, he'll go to Sochi. There's no way he's going to pass up a potential final competition at the Olympics and you can bet his federation is salivating at the publicity and ticket prospects should he show up.

    That being said, Kovtun is way more enjoyable to watch for me. He's much more fluid, and integrates his elements seamlessly and balanced throughout his program instead of piles them one after another. And if I were a betting man, I would say he would stand a better chance at landing 2 quads in his FS than Plushenko at this point. He was a horrible choice for Worlds given his experience and the critical nature of this Worlds (if Menshov showed up and performed to his ability, as he had been doing throughout the season, he could have secured 2 spots given the weak performances of the field).

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    he is definitely ambitious technically yet as of now is inconsistent but he is getting too arrogant for me
    the whole idea as Kovtun the saviour for Russian men at Worlds was a disaster
    it was a toll order anyway and bombing didnt helped


    Gachinski or Kovtun ? the other one gets special treatment
    Russia at least has some younger juniors showing good potential
    I hope Petrov or Pitkeev will remind Kovtun his head won't be that big

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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    he is definitely ambitious technically yet as of now is inconsistent but he is getting too arrogant for me
    the whole idea as Kovtun the saviour for Russian men at Worlds was a disaster
    it was a toll order anyway and bombing didnt helped


    Gachinski or Kovtun ? the other one gets special treatment
    Russia at least has some younger juniors showing good potential
    I hope Petrov or Pitkeev will remind Kovtun his head won't be that big
    What has he said or done that's arrogant? One would imagine he wouldn't be arrogant after such a poor placing at Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    What has he said or done that's arrogant? One would imagine he wouldn't be arrogant after such a poor placing at Worlds.
    well you have forgotten after Europeans since saying he deserved going to Worlds
    and then saying i have a goal and burden for men's FS or maybe Gachinski is to blame.
    anyways Gachinski too is 20 years old, he is done as a figure skater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    he is definitely ambitious technically yet as of now is inconsistent but he is getting too arrogant for me
    the whole idea as Kovtun the saviour for Russian men at Worlds was a disaster
    it was a toll order anyway and bombing didnt helped


    Gachinski or Kovtun ? the other one gets special treatment
    Russia at least has some younger juniors showing good potential
    I hope Petrov or Pitkeev will remind Kovtun his head won't be that big
    One person can't save their men. There have to be several top-class skaters, like they have in pairs and ice dance.

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    *snorts* Now they're acting like there's only one Russian man other than Plushenko.

    It's becoming increasingly obvious, IMO, that Kovtun could finish fifth at Nationals again, even if Gachinski, Voronov and Menshov placed ahead of him again, and still get sent to the Olympics if Plushenko can't go. How criminal.

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    Maxim Kovtun seems to be the most psycologically stable in Russian men's field. I've read many of his interviews and it's clear he has a trait of forgetting his failures very quickly (and the fed doesn't even count them as failures, due to TAT's support), very self-confident, with an utmost desire to become a star, so I wouldn't talk about any "psycological scars" here.
    The thing is that they are forcing things with these quads, being in a hurry because of home Olympics. There's more probability of some physical oops happening and stamina issues, than anything to do with his head.
    I agree he has potential. If only his coaches had the idea of developing gradually instead of making heroic giant leaps right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mielikki View Post
    Maxim Kovtun seems to be the most psycologically stable in Russian men's field. I've read many of his interviews and it's clear he has a trait of forgetting his failures very quickly (and the fed doesn't even count them as failures, due to TAT's support), very self-confident, with an utmost desire to become a star, so I wouldn't talk about any "psycological scars" here.
    The thing is that they are forcing things with these quads, being in a hurry because of home Olympics. There's more probability of some physical oops happening and stamina issues, than anything to do with his head.
    I agree he has potential. If only his coaches had the idea of developing gradually instead of making heroic giant leaps right now.
    One person can't save their men. There have to be several top-class skaters, like they have in pairs and ice dance.
    Makes a lot of sense to me!

    His skating isn't that bad as some indicated on this thread. He just happened to crack at the last Worlds and his first World outing. He's only 17 then. I think if he continues to grow, he will be up there some day. Fairer to compare him to those who are in his age group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    Makes a lot of sense to me!

    His skating isn't that bad as some indicated on this thread. He just happened to crack at the last Worlds and his first World outing. He's only 17 then. I think if he continues to grow, he will be up there some day. Fairer to compare him to those who are in his age group.
    He wouldn't have been at Worlds if he was part of a different federation -- he was 5th at Nationals.

    Even with Plushy out of the picture there were three other guys they could have sent instead. Not saying they would have fared better or worse, but I can see why people don't take too much pity on him when basically he was was clearly favored over several guys for the spot. Actually that favoritism started when he was sent to Euros over Menshov, who finished two spots above him. Kovtum's better Euros placement gave him the spot at Worlds.

    Really if the federation wants to do him a favor, they should lay off and not push him so much so he can grow at his own pace!

    Among people his age/level (Yan Han, Joshua Farris, Jason Brown, et. al) he definitely has the jumps, but not much else, in my opinion. I think his JGPF win was deserved on the TES marks, but he has a lot to do to become a more complete skater. That's not to say Yan, Josh and Jason aren't without their own weaknesses, but I don't think Maxim is that much superior to them and no where near the wunderkid of that age group, Yuzuru Hanyu.

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    I wouldn't even say kovtun has very good jumps now that he's in senior. As a jr doing jr length skates he was fine but add 30 seconds he is a mess. And his technique on quad toes is awful.

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    To the thread title question.

    Kovtun would actually have to land the jumps he planned. And to do so under pressure.

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    Oh give it up skyfly. He's not retiring, not going away and he's getting better this year. Deal with it!

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