2020-21 Russian Pairs' figure skating

eterislouisvuitton

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Nov 29, 2019
I just searched Efimova's height and was thinking that if Vislobokova/Ialin doesn't work out, she can be a good partner for Ialin. He's strong and experienced but not tall, and they would have a height difference of around 25cm. They're around the same age too, so no more worrying that whoever his partner is will grow. Though I wonder if she is still skating, after quarantine and all.
 

Flying Feijoa

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At this point, Volodin has taken a tall girl, a severely injured girl, a circus acrobat, and a singles girl whose coach was outspoken about weight issues. I wouldn't be surprised if that is why DAvydov pulled her from the rest of the singles season.
To be fair Davydov seems to reject skaters easily. Sofia Muravieva and Valeria Shulskaya (now both at AoP) seem to have been dumped by him last season. Not sure why - they surely don't have weight issues.
I don't think Vasilieva does either, her build is comparable to the Rukavicin/Mishin girls. Maybe Davydov can't cope with that. If she's back to singles, I guess probably not to his group...

Not sure what's up with Alisa Efimova, she hasn't updated her IG since June :/ If she's still going to compete with Ruben Blommaert as planned, making the German national team would be a lot easier than the Russian one, although whether that pair might actually score better is a different matter.
 

gordana

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But doesn't mean that they can't be held in another place or country
There aren't too many ice-rinks in Croatia in general, and those where a big international competition can be held are much fewer. And to move an ISU championship to another country takes much time even if there is a country ready to host the event. Let me remind you that in 2011 it took about a month to relocate the Worlds from Japan suffered from an earthquake to Russia.
 

hanca

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Sep 23, 2008
Of course Volodin will have many options (if we are to believe that he and Vasilieva split), as there are always way too many girls and not enough boys in Russia. Labazina could be a good option, I did recall her being around the same size as Kostiukovich (who is very tiny, so I was concerned why Nyman, another insanely tall guy, was taking her) but maybe she grew. I wonder if she stayed in Colorado with Dalilah's team to look for another partner.

At this point, Volodin has taken a tall girl, a severely injured girl, a circus acrobat, and a singles girl whose coach was outspoken about weight issues. I wouldn't be surprised if that is why DAvydov pulled her from the rest of the singles season. All of this while he himself is a tall, strong, and experienced pair male with okay enough jumps. So I think he can probably take someone like Vislobokova - who is a good size for him, but of course she should have better jumps than Vislobokova. If he gets a girl too small, she could have a lot of injuries from landing throws so high.

I wonder where Alisa Efimova is?
That’s a bit misleading to say that. Volodin has not taken a tall girl; he couldn’t foresee that Ustimkina would grow so tall. In their first two seasons she was of a reasonable height for pairs.

Volodin may have taken Atakhanova who had a chronic injury, but I guess her injury was better at that time and they could have both believed that it had been healed. Atakhanova was such a good skater, that I wouldn’t blame him for taking the risk and having her as his partner even though he would have been aware that her injury may cause some troubles in the future. The trouble with chronic injuries is that you never know if/when they come back.

The girl circus acrobat - well, she turned out to be a pretty reasonable pair girl, just not very consistent with her jumps. We don’t know what led them decide to split up, but if some pair guys go for a single skater girl, I can’t see how having a circus acrobat girl is so different. She would have had disadvantage on side by side jumps in comparison to single skater girl, but advantage in lifts and twist.

A singles girl whose coach has been outspoken about her weight...seriously? Are you going to be holding this against Vasilieva? You are talking about Russians, most of the coaches are openly criticising their skaters weigh! I remember Velikova saying in an interview that Mishina needs to lose weight. Zhulin recently criticised Kostornaya’s weight. From what we have seen at the only competition Vasilieva/Volodin skated, her weight didn’t seem to be her problem. IF she decided to go back to singles, it could be from hundreds of reasons. You naming her weight as a problem doesn’t really say much positive about you.

Alisa Efimova? For Volodin? Alisa has paired up with a German guy and hopes to skate for Germany. The Russian federation may be a bit reluctant to release her and may try to give her a hard time (it didn’t help they found out about this new partnership from the internet!), but they don’t need her and I think they will eventually let her go. Nevertheless, even if she was available, why should a girl with frequent jump issues be a good partner for Volodin? That may work in Canada if they don’t have enough girls to choose from (like it worked for Iliuschetchkina), but it wouldn’t work in Russia with so many pairs competing against each other. The same about Vislobokova- she has such jump issues that I don’t expect her partnership with Ialin to last long, and Volodin would be silly to pair up with her.

Re: Labazina, I say a few photos with Nyman from the time they got together. Height wise, they looked quite a good match. She was not too tiny in comparison to him and he was not too tall for her. So if you are saying that Nyman in ‘insanely tall guy’, I don’t think size difference would be a problem between Labazina and Volodin. I wonder where Labazina is now; is she still in the USA or did she return to Russia? With the lockdowns all over the world, I don’t think she can do much skating at the moment, so it probably wouldn’t have been worth staying in the USA, with higher costs of living and being isolated from her family. So maybe her next partner will be from Russia?
 

hanca

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Sep 23, 2008
There aren't too many ice-rinks in Croatia in general, and those where a big international competition can be held are much fewer. And to move an ISU championship to another country takes much time even if there is a country ready to host the event. Let me remind you that in 2011 it took about a month to relocate the Worlds from Japan suffered from an earthquake to Russia.
I think it would be a bit optimistic to say it takes a month to relocate worlds. In 2011 it was a completely different situation- there was no pandemic, and Russia took it on. I don’t think any other country could have done the job as fast as that, but skating is very popular in Russia and they made it work really fast. Any other country organising it would have needed more time than that, and that was in ideal circumstances, not in pandemic. In pandemic it is impossible because one can’t foresee what the situation will be in a month or two or three, so no one will be willing to take it on. Spending money to organise it and then have the government to cancel it last minute because of a new lockdown would be really expensive.
 

eterislouisvuitton

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Nov 29, 2019
I didn't try to hold Vasilieva's weight against her. I know that Russian coaches, or all coaches at the top level, often have ridiculous weight requirements, and I thought that she was perfectly fine. Of course I don't know her, but I think she looked beautiful and fit. She has a physique where she will never be extremely thin. I just mean that the weight requirements in pairs aren't any less ridiculous than in singles. So for Volodin, who had a lot of options for partners, to take a girl who was said to be having weight issues, it was a bit of a surprise. IT was also surprising to see Vasilieva team up with Volodin, who isn't a great jumper. But I guess there aren't many males out there. I do'nt say that Vasilieva/Volodin has a issue with her weight, I saw it brought up when they first teamed up but they both seem fine with it. In fact I was very shocked and delighted at how much progress they had made.

Re: Vislobokova/Volodin. I said a girl like Vislobokova, but with better jumps. I just used her as an example because she was the only one I could think of around that size. It would be an ideal difference with Volodin. Not too big, but big enough to make things easier. If her partnership with Ialin doesn't last, either due to Ialin growing weary of girls with jump issues or Vislobokova growing too tall, then I can't really see her getting another high level partner. I don't really forsee the first situation happening, as Ialin surely also knows that he won't have too many other options. At the Panin memorial even her 2A was looking very shaky, it reminded me of Ekaterina Borisova's jumping.

Speaking of teams that might be falling apart, Akhanteva/Kolesov :(
 
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eterislouisvuitton

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Nov 29, 2019
It says on her wikipedia that she will skate with Ruben Blommaert. I think they can be a good pair, and they will probably release her. With B/K, M/G, P/K, and P/R as well as amazing junior teams like A/N, K/I, A/K (??), M/M, B/C, I think the future is bright enough that Russia won't worry about letting her go. I am also excited for the 5th stage to see if Vasilieva/Volodin do show up. I hope they do :)
 

hanca

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It says on her wikipedia that she will skate with Ruben Blommaert. I think they can be a good pair, and they will probably release her. With B/K, M/G, P/K, and P/R as well as amazing junior teams like A/N, K/I, A/K (??), M/M, B/C, I think the future is bright enough that Russia won't worry about letting her go. I am also excited for the 5th stage to see if Vasilieva/Volodin do show up. I hope they do :)
A skater’s release is not dependent only on the pairs situation in Russia. Iliuschetchkina was held for 3.5-4 years, even though Russia had enough decent senior pairs that they didn’t need her. The gossip also was that Akopova wanted to skate for Australia and wasn’t released, because Russia felt that they had already been generous enough giving Alexandrovskaya to Australia. Germany has nothing to offer to Russia in exchange for Efimova, and they already have another pair which means they are not desperate enough to pay for her ‘whatever price Russia asks for’, so it will boil down to whether Efimova pi**ed off enough people within the Russian federation that they will want to make it hard for her, or whether she has some strong personality (like Tarasova or Moser) on her side who would push the release through for her. As I said, the fact that she didn’t tell her federation about the potential partnership and need to be released and they found out from the internet is not very helpful, and some people within the Russian federation have huge egos and may try to make it difficult for her just because they are feeling ‘offended’.
 

eterislouisvuitton

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Nov 29, 2019
A skater’s release is not dependent only on the pairs situation in Russia. Iliuschetchkina was held for 3.5-4 years, even though Russia had enough decent senior pairs that they didn’t need her. The gossip also was that Akopova wanted to skate for Australia and wasn’t released, because Russia felt that they had already been generous enough giving Alexandrovskaya to Australia. Germany has nothing to offer to Russia in exchange for Efimova, and they already have another pair which means they are not desperate enough to pay for her ‘whatever price Russia asks for’, so it will boil down to whether Efimova pi**ed off enough people within the Russian federation that they will want to make it hard for her, or whether she has some strong personality (like Tarasova or Moser) on her side who would push the release through for her. As I said, the fact that she didn’t tell her federation about the potential partnership and need to be released and they found out from the internet is not very helpful, and some people within the Russian federation have huge egos and may try to make it difficult for her just because they are feeling ‘offended’.
Well I did not know that was so complicated. Perhaps she can get someone on her side, or she can convince Savchenko to come back and get a Russian partner :jump:Although I don't quite understand why they feel the need to not let her go - just to spite her?

I'm so excited for stage 5. Boikova/Kozlovskii, Mishina/Galliamov, Tarasova/Morozov, PAnfilova/Rylov, Vasilieva/Volodin (?) and Akhanteva/Kolesov. I hope Ksenia and Valeri will qualify to nationals and get over her growing pains!
 

gordana

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I think the future is bright enough that Russia won't worry about letting her go.
To be released by the RusFed you have to be from a proper skating club. Two years ago the FFKR didn't release Nika Osipova from Moskvina's club for the Czech Republic, but a year later released Elizaveta Zhuk from Mozer Team for the same country. ;) So Efimova might have problems with a wrong club.
 

eterislouisvuitton

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To be released by the RusFed you have to be from a proper skating club. Two years ago the FFKR didn't release Nika Osipova from Moskvina's club for the Czech Republic, but a year later released Elizaveta Zhuk from Mozer Team for the same country. ;) So Efimova might have problems with a wrong club.
But isn't Moskvina club a very reputable club? Or are they not "political savvy" enough?

On another hand, I noticed Taisia Sobinina was tagged in a training photo around August of this year. I know they said she retired due to injury, but it seems that she has been hunting for partners after quarantine. I don't know which coaching team, but from the others in the photo, I recognized Boyarintseva/Shagalov, who were 2nd behind Kostiukovich/Briukhanov at Russian cup lately. I also noticed Nikita Rakhmanin, and Vladimir Sled, who used to skate with Ksenia Chistyakova.

I think that Taisia has incredible potential in skating. She had nice skating skills, spins, and jumps, especially considering how new she was. HEr pair elements were spectacular too. She learned two triples in the span of a year, so I wonder if she may be able to learn two quads in a few more years. And she looked very physically strong, able to hold her petite body well in the air. I hope she can find a suitable partner.
 
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hanca

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Well I did not know that was so complicated. Perhaps she can get someone on her side, or she can convince Savchenko to come back and get a Russian partner :jump:Although I don't quite understand why they feel the need to not let her go - just to spite her?

I know it was meant just jokingly, but Savchenko getting a Russian partner would not help Efimova at all. In fact, it would make things even worse because Germany would be requesting Russia to release two skaters (Efimova and Savchenko’s partner) rather than just Efimova. Or did you mean that Germany would offer Savchenko to Russia in exchange for Efimova? Because that’s EXTREMELY unlikely. I can’t imagine any country releasing their olympic champion to go compete for a other country!

About the reasons for why not releasing a skater, whether just to spite her - yes, that’s correct. As I said, there are some huge egos within the Russian federation and if a skater wants to be released, the skater must hope that he/she or even their coach has never stepped on anyone’s toe accidentally.
 

hanca

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But isn't Moskvina club a very reputable club? Or are they not "political savvy" enough?

I think it was meant that the skater must be having behind them someone who is good at politicking. Like Moser. Moskvina is a very reputable coach, but I think she is from the ‘old school’ - she is a brilliant coach but she is not a person who does much politicking. She doesn’t need to, her students’ results do the talking instead of her.
 

anonymoose_au

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About the reasons for why not releasing a skater, whether just to spite her - yes, that’s correct. As I said, there are some huge egos within the Russian federation and if a skater wants to be released, the skater must hope that he/she or even their coach has never stepped on anyone’s toe accidentally.
That's seriously messed up and also strikes me as being this close to illegal. I mean there is a Declaration of Human Rights and I know this isn't a refugee situation, but it seems really wrong that a federation can prevent freedom of movement of actual people like that. I mean what the -?!
 

hanca

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That's seriously messed up and also strikes me as being this close to illegal. I mean there is a Declaration of Human Rights and I know this isn't a refugee situation, but it seems really wrong that a federation can prevent freedom of movement of actual people like that. I mean what the -?!
Well, while I don’t agree with what the skating federations are doing, I can see their point - that they may have financially invested into the skaters. And it is not as if this is happening only in Russia - it took Zahorski over three years to get her release from the French federation. Bruno Massot was released only because the German federation paid a lot of money to French federation (and Savchenko/Massot had to repay some part of it). Saying that, it sucks that someone may be messing up skaters’ careers by not letting them change the country, even though they may not be any suitable partner in their current country. I wish ISU made rule that the release happen automatically after a certain period of time. That would take the power away from the skating federations.
 

Artemisa

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On the other hand, I agree that the federations do not give up the athletes ... otherwise large federations could basically buy the athletes from small federations.
If you were not born in a country, you don’t know his culture, you don’t speak the language, you don’t work there and you don’t have affective ties to him .. you shouldn’t be able to represent him.
German paid for Massot ...
The problem with figure skating is that your place in competitions depend of your country .. they need one competition that is base on results and not in the number of places of a country... or put more skaters in big competitions ... or like the cup of russia but in europe .. all can compete in x stages .. who have more points go to final.
 

flanker

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That's seriously messed up and also strikes me as being this close to illegal. I mean there is a Declaration of Human Rights and I know this isn't a refugee situation, but it seems really wrong that a federation can prevent freedom of movement of actual people like that. I mean what the -?!
They don't prevent freedom of movement. They can move as anybody else. It's just the regulation whom you can represent and that is in some way restricted everywhere and even internationally, like there is also a regulation by IOC about it, e.g. how long you need to a citize of a particular country before you can represent it. And IMO it is right thing, preventing that countries with no or weak own training system would just buy athletes from elsewhere. It still happens, but it is restricted at least somehow, though IMO it should be even stricter.
 

hanca

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On the other hand, I agree that the federations do not give up the athletes ... otherwise large federations could basically buy the athletes from small federations.
If you were not born in a country, you don’t know his culture, you don’t speak the language, you don’t work there and you don’t have affective ties to him .. you shouldn’t be able to represent him.
German paid for Massot ...
The problem with figure skating is that your place in competitions depend of your country .. they need one competition that is base on results and not in the number of places of a country... or put more skaters in big competitions ... or like the cup of russia but in europe .. all can compete in x stages .. who have more points go to final.
The problem with this is that if everyone had to only represent country where they were born or where they emigrated to, there would be very few pairs and dance couples. Especially pairs are so specific to the body size requirements, that for skaters from the small federations, finding a suitable partner would be impossible. It would be possible in Russia, USA, Canada and possibly China (although even there the number of junior pairs seems to be severely reduced the past few years), but in other countries, there is not much to choose from. I have never counted it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if roughly a half of the pairs at worlds were partnerships with one skater imported. So unless we want to watch pairs at worlds with only skaters from four or five countries, we should support skaters changing their countries. Look at Zahorski, she is quite tall so after her partnership with Miart ended, she just couldn’t find any partner in France, and she has been waiting roughly three years. And France is a country where there is ice dance quite strong. So would you prefer the skaters just retired without having a chance to pursue their skating careers?

I agree with you that I would prefer if some competitions were result based. For example, I would like Europeans and 4CC to be as it is now, 1-3 entries per country, from all countries, but worlds I would like to see the best of the best, regardless of their countries. If the ladies discipline will end up as Russian/Japanese mini nationals, and Ice dance discipline will be only attended by US/Canadian/French/Russian so be it, but there will be the best skaters from the whole world.
 
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