Golden Skate

Russia’s Roman Savosin eager to debut at the senior Grand Prix

Russian skater Roman Savosin has quietly worked his way up over the past two seasons and surprised everyone by taking the silver medal at the 2019 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. He was 14th in 2017 and fifth in 2018. This medal was the perfect way for the Muscovite to finish his junior career, and it sets him up well for the senior level. Despite success last season, Savosin had a rough start at the beginning with the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) series.

The 19-year-old struggled with jumps in Bratislava for a total score of 189.86. While he fared better in Linz, it was not enough and he didn’t make the cut for the JGP Final. Then, at senior nationals, he placed 12th. A little over a month later, the skater pulled himself together to earn the bronze medal at junior nationals and qualified for Junior Worlds. However, shortly before going to Zagreb, Croatia, Savosin competed at the Russian Cup Final in Novgorod — a national event. He skated rather poorly and finished a distant 10th.

In Zagreb, Savosin was able to turn things around and delivered two solid performances.

“Maybe it helped me to a certain extent that I didn’t skate well there [in Novgorod],” he remarked. “When you compete and it doesn’t go well, you can draw some conclusions from that. That should motivate you for the next competitions.”

Savosin, who medaled in both his Challenger Series events in 2017, explained that he had focused differently from a mental aspect on competitions. He also occasionally changed his training routine. He was able to ascertain that perhaps practices were not going well and affected the entire season as there were failures on a regular basis.

“I understood that I had to change something,” he said. “I lost some weight for example. I did more run-throughs and was more active in training. I focused mentally in a different way that I had to skate through my programs well and that I am able to do it.”

Junior Worlds was the last junior competition for the junior national bronze medalist who will turn 20 in December.

“It [this result] is very important, obviously for my start into the senior career,” he said of the result. “It gives me confidence, which is also important. It is a motivation to move forward.”

Following Junior Worlds, Savosin and his long-time coaches, Alexei Tchetverukhin and Vladimir Kotin, started the preparation for the next season. He went to training camp in Sochi that included on and off-ice practices and took part in an on-ice training camp in Moscow.

“In Sochi, the first four days were off the ice, the rest was on the ice,” he explained. “In Moscow, we have worked on everything.”

The World Junior silver medalist worked on two new programs. The short program will be to “Bessarabia Gypsy Dance” from Igor Moiseev’s ballet, where he portrays a gypsy. The long program is to the Tchaikovski’s “Piano Concerto No. 2”. His long-time choreographer Anastasia Kazakova choreographed the short while Nikolai Morozov did the long program.

“The music is tragic, yet very beautiful!” said the skater of the short program music. “Both programs should suit me well. Now, the main thing is to break them in.”

Savosin has been with his coaches since he was eight and never wanted to switch to anyone else. He feels comfortable in his practice group with about 15 skaters, among them Vladimir Litvintsev, who represents Azerbaijan and competed at the Junior and senior World Championships.

The skater usually follows the advice of his coaches when it comes to music selection. The music for the upcoming season is again, more classical, and the skater doesn’t mind.

“The lyrical, classical programs are closer to me,” he claimed. “This is easier for me. I see myself more as a classical skater.”

In training, the skater has been focusing on improving his elements and his skating overall.

“I am trying to work on all elements,” he said. “I have to get consistency in my jumps, get higher speed in the spins, work on the footwork and skating skills. Also, we are working on the quad Lutz and flip.” He has landed the quad toeloop and Salchow in competition and the Lutz and flip in practice.

Savosin, who looks up to two-time World Champion Javier Fernandez, is looking forward to his first senior season. Like others, he wants to do well throughout the season and understands he needs to be more consistent. As for goals, he wants to fight for a spot on the national team and he is excited about his two Grand Prix assignments Skate America and Cup of China.

“I would have been happy with any Grand Prix!” he said. “I really want to debut on the senior Grand Prix sooner than later.” The 19-year-old plans to attend a Challenger Series event and Russian events before the Grand Prix but does not yet know which ones.

Savosin, whose mother was a figure skater and performed in Natalia Bestemianov and Igor Bobrin’s ice theatre, started skating when he was three or four years old.

“We went for a walk with my mother and grandmother,” he recollected. “We passed an ice rink, and my mom and grandma decided to go inside and have a look. They were selecting children for groups and they asked me, ‘do you want to skate?’ and I said ‘yes’. That is how it happened, how I got into figure skating.”

The athlete stressed that he was never forced into the sport, but that he enjoys it and wants to achieve something. His younger brothers, Elisei and Igor, tried skating as well, but did not stick with it. Savosin, on the other hand sees not only his present, but also his future in figure skating.

“I would like to coach in the future,” he said. “I think it will suit me well. Sometimes I help my coaches and I enjoy it.”

The skater enjoys reading and relaxing in his spare time, and he is also an avid ice hockey fan and follows CSKA Moscow.

“I have a season ticket and go to almost all the matches,” he offered.

Despite being a hockey fan, Savosin doesn’t regret his decision to become a figure skater; in fact, he never looked back after making that leap.

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