Alena Kostornaia

dhjh811

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
I am actually glad that she didn't win today because if she had, her team might have been satisfied that she won gold and not made any changes to her training. Although, I'm not sure if they will make any changes now either...

What made Aliona so competitive despite not jumping quads was the quality of her elements. Her jumps were big and fully rotated. She rarely lost levels on her spins and steps. Her skating skills were superb. Now, I see her lose stamina towards the end of the free. She loses speed and spin+step levels. I really didn't think I'd ever be describing her skating this way, but it almost looks labored at that point. This makes me wonder if she's doing enough full runthroughs of the free in training. Moreover, her jumps... The GOEs she got on her triples were insane before, and I am now worried about almost every jump she lands (if it was fully rotated, or the GOE it would get). I think with more time, the spin and step levels will come. But the speed of rotation in her jumps has noticeably slowed down, and she now has to fight for almost every single triple. Even if she gets the triple axel back later this season or next season, if her jumps continue in this trajectory, her scores will be nowhere close to what they were last season. I don't know... it's almost like all of Aliona's strengths as a skater were watered down. I know that she's really behind compared to other skaters with the coaching change and all, but I've seen what has happened to the careers of other skaters I've rooted for over the years once their jumps started getting iffy. Issues with rotation are just really difficult to fix.

I know that some of you appreciate Aliona regardless of results, and I do too. But I wish her a great career also and would like to see her make the Olympics. I hope I'm wrong about where her jumps are going.
 

Vemvane

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Her smiles and anxiety in the Kiss and Cry today:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CH3Ui3JpRZo/

Looks like she has strapped her one arm - there seem to be more sticking plasters than just the one on the inside of her forearm this time, or did I just miss them last time?

https://www.instagram.com/p/CH3Tt7nJa8G/

Dress definitely looks like it has been taken in at the waist. Not the best angle for the hairdo - it looks very elegant from some angles, but less so from others.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CH3RJ9hJtFj/
 

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019





looks like ordinary plaster not kinesiotape, so perhaps there were some bruises or scars underneath that couldn't be covered by makeup?
 

volk

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
At this point she's not close to getting 3A back. There are other issues that need to fixed. Her confidence is one of them
 

nussnacker

one and only
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
The spins seem like an easy fix, but attention needs to be paid, because Aliona is still an excellent spinner, the positions themselves are pretty, she still has it, but those are silly mistakes which end up costing too much. It’s a shame, because the inherent ability it still there.

The StSq definitely needs more attention, because she’s 100% capable of executing all the turns.

I think the jumps she’ll fix, I’m not too worried, the spins too, StSq she’ll get as well. Personally, I feel like there‘s something else missing in her skating this year, the programs aren’t good enough to show what perfection she’s capable of delivering.
I think she should go with Averbukh next season, I think he’ll be able to deliver. This season isn’t that important and it isn’t a big problem I’d say, but programs and most importantly packaging needs to be significantly improved when the important season rolls out.

Funny thing is expectations vs reality: I wasn’t expecting too much out of Vampire program, but ended up loving it, partially because I had lower expectations for it. This year it’s a reverse situation with SLB: I was expecting too much maybe and the program really didn’t rise to my expectations.
 

Fluture

You will see her in a crown
Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Ayy, come on now, it’s not all that bad. She still has 2 competitions to go, let’s not get into pessimism way too early.
Isn‘t there usually a final to the Russian Cup as well? It‘s going to be a repeat of RusNats, basically, but I think it‘s still relevant as another competition this season.
 

SkateSkates

Medalist
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
The jumps look fine rotation wise in practice and on warmup, I think she doesn’t have enough confidence and stamina to do them properly in the program yet. I’m not as worried about her rotation issues because we see they are fine in training (check out angels of plushenko video of her 3F3S combo from training before the LP). It seems like she tenses up and doesn’t really “go for it” with her full strength, which is what’s causing her rotation issues. Hopefully as she builds up her confidence - and with more runthrus - she will execute them again like she does in practice. She also seems to get behind the music which I think is causing her to try to catch up and trip in her Stsq. Maybe they should adjust the pattern of the choreo sequence instead, because at both events this is where she fell behind vs training videos.
 

Philippa8187

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Aliona said she screamed with joy when she found out she got the opportunity to do a program with Shae-Lynn because she‘d dreamed of collaborating with her for a long time. This makes me so happy. I just hope that one day, they can work together in person, not only online!

That would be something worth striving for. I think it’s much more preferable for the choreographer to work with the skater in person
The spins seem like an easy fix, but attention needs to be paid, because Aliona is still an excellent spinner, the positions themselves are pretty, she still has it, but those are silly mistakes which end up costing too much. It’s a shame, because the inherent ability it still there.

The StSq definitely needs more attention, because she’s 100% capable of executing all the turns.

I think the jumps she’ll fix, I’m not too worried, the spins too, StSq she’ll get as well. Personally, I feel like there‘s something else missing in her skating this year, the programs aren’t good enough to show what perfection she’s capable of delivering.
I think she should go with Averbukh next season, I think he’ll be able to deliver. This season isn’t that important and it isn’t a big problem I’d say, but programs and most importantly packaging needs to be significantly improved when the important season rolls out.

Funny thing is expectations vs reality: I wasn’t expecting too much out of Vampire program, but ended up loving it, partially because I had lower expectations for it. This year it’s a reverse situation with SLB: I was expecting too much maybe and the program really didn’t rise to my expectations.
i think that SLB was significantly limited by working remotely with Aliona, through nobody’s fault but due to situation of a pandemic and closed borders. I’m convinced it would have made a difference if SLB had been able to work with her in person, where should get a much better feel for Aliona’s capabilities, her movement and her personality.
 

enzofv

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
She's looking really good in training, and the SP was pretty darn good. I think she's in better form than it appears, but her confidence isn't there yet. You can tell she's still afraid of the Lutz... Let's hope she gets the 3A back soon so she can go back to only having to do one Lutz! Heheh. I don't really agree with the underrotation calls (I think edge calls would have made more sense considering how flat the Lutz edge is), I think the ones that got dinged were on the quarter or not even that
 

Vemvane

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
I am awake and alert again, and now that I have had time to reflect on the excitement of the free skate yesterday, I am still sticking with the feeling I had of tranquility watching her skate. Some of her jumps might have been underrotated, the step sequence may have had an obvious fumble, the spin levels may not have been what they could be, but throughout it all, I was never anxious that she would fall. Even when she's not at her best, she is (for me, at least) a very special skater.

I'm also revising my somewhat critical opinion of her hairstyle. She's experimenting, she's finding out which looks work, and which don't, and that's just fine. My guess is that she wanted a classic-looking updo, something reminiscent of the first half of the 20th century, and at certain angles, it did indeed have that effect. At other angles, it didn't work as well, which I think is attributable less to the hair-do, and more to the way her hair has been coloured - the bouffant effect was fine, the blonde highlights may have been what gave the "politician's wife" look.

At any rate, it's not what I think that matters, but how Aliona feels. If she likes the way her hair has been styled, then what do I have to complain about? If she doesn't like it, she'll change it - she's very clear on what she wants and likes! Besides, it looks just fine on the ice, which is what the judges see. They don't get the zoomed-in views from the cameras, nor the still frames from photos, not until after the competition. It's about how it appears in real time, in person, during the performance.

Ahem. That was a lot on hairstyle.

Anyway, I enjoyed Aliona's performance at Rostelecom. There are areas she will no doubt work to improve, and she may come out of this motivated to put the 3A back in, or she may continue to take things a little slower this season, adjusting to all the changes from the long and confusing off-season. She's retained her consistency, she has her lovely carriage, that open, strong back as she jumps, and the marvellous height and distance on her flip and axel and salchow. And props to her for her graciousness and good face in the Kiss and Cry.
 

elbkup

Medalist
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Country
United-States
I am awake and alert again, and now that I have had time to reflect on the excitement of the free skate yesterday, I am still sticking with the feeling I had of tranquility watching her skate. Some of her jumps might have been underrotated, the step sequence may have had an obvious fumble, the spin levels may not have been what they could be, but throughout it all, I was never anxious that she would fall. Even when she's not at her best, she is (for me, at least) a very special skater.

I'm also revising my somewhat critical opinion of her hairstyle. She's experimenting, she's finding out which looks work, and which don't, and that's just fine. My guess is that she wanted a classic-looking updo, something reminiscent of the first half of the 20th century, and at certain angles, it did indeed have that effect. At other angles, it didn't work as well, which I think is attributable less to the hair-do, and more to the way her hair has been coloured - the bouffant effect was fine, the blonde highlights may have been what gave the "politician's wife" look.

At any rate, it's not what I think that matters, but how Aliona feels. If she likes the way her hair has been styled, then what do I have to complain about? If she doesn't like it, she'll change it - she's very clear on what she wants and likes! Besides, it looks just fine on the ice, which is what the judges see. They don't get the zoomed-in views from the cameras, nor the still frames from photos, not until after the competition. It's about how it appears in real time, in person, during the performance.

Ahem. That was a lot on hairstyle.

Anyway, I enjoyed Aliona's performance at Rostelecom. There are areas she will no doubt work to improve, and she may come out of this motivated to put the 3A back in, or she may continue to take things a little slower this season, adjusting to all the changes from the long and confusing off-season. She's retained her consistency, she has her lovely carriage, that open, strong back as she jumps, and the marvellous height and distance on her flip and axel and salchow. And props to her for her graciousness and good face in the Kiss and Cry.
I think you are correct about the “politician’s wife” hairstyle which seems to match the second music cut “ Dance With Me Wallis” referring, of course, to the love affair between Wallis Simpson and Edward of England which took place in the 1930’s. It is a style so reminiscent of the period and Wallis did style her hair and make up precisely this way. Kudos to you for noticing this!

 

Vemvane

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
I think you are correct about the “politician’s wife” hairstyle which seems to match the second music cut “ Dance With Me Wallis” referring, of course, to the love affair between Wallis Simpson and Edward of England which took place in the 1930’s. It is a style so reminiscent of the period and Wallis did style her hair and make up precisely this way. Kudos to you for noticing this!

Ah! That makes sense! Thank you for finding the direct link between the programme and the source of inspiration! Aliona's hair is definitely reminiscent of that, but adjusted for the practical considerations of skating, spinning and jumping at speed.
 

melsh

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
I'm sure Plushenko's is a good school, and she may feel more comfortable training there. Tutberidze and friends give the impression to be drill instructors, and surely with their super-strict ways they have produced results. plus, they are politically powerful there's no doubt about that. Girls seem to run away from that school on a consistent basis, so there must be big problems there. So if Alena is less stressed with her current coaches I'm happy. The downside though, is that Plushenko's is a relatively new academy. He may have excellent professionals but in order to surpass Sambo70 you need the goods, the tricks and above all the experience that understandably he still lacks, not to mention the judges' favour. Sambo seems to know well how to deal with stars. Trusova and Kostornaia are the first stars that Plushenko "got". Alena has all the issues that we know, but let's be realistic, there's no Plushenko bonus for her scores otherwise Tuktamysheva, who is never allowed to beat anyone, would have been surely placed behind Alena. personally I'm not desperate for her to get the gold and I'm respectful of all the work that her team has put in. i'm just observing. although I'm confident that by Nats Alena will be on fire, I wouldn't be so sure that her team will fix up everything in terms of technique and choreography, or at least not in the way her previous team did.
I don't think this is not an important season either. No matter what, the pre-olympic season is always a key season, if anyting in the "politics" departement. If at Nationals Anna and Kamila get monstrous GOE and PCS above Plushenko's girls we can easily foresee who will be the Chosen ones next season, including the Olympics.
Virus or not virus, from the very start Russia has been making its skaters compete and compete because they're extremely serious about Beijing 22.
I wouldn't "relax" too much this year if I were a skater.
And we've seen that Liza Tuktamysheva is more than prepared to take advantage of the split of the 3A. After missing all the Olympics of her career she will obviously want to have her chance next year. That chance may be the reason why she keeps staying and trying exhausting quads and swallowing iffy scores.
 

DizzyFrenchie

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Back after so long (deterred by trolls on other threads) and not for long...
I'm so sorry to see you distressed about Alena Kostornaia's skate.
We must not forget she had a three-week stop until around August 7th, while other top Russian Ladies could skate since June 1st (May 25th or 26th for Eteri Girls). And this, before having been able to retrieve her shape.
I was glad to see her this weekend, because she has now had exactly the same time to recover as others had at the Test Skates. I suppose you remember how were other Ladies at these Test Skates? Yes Elizaveta Tuktamysheva already had her 3A back but they have been old friends for so many years now, and she hasn't grown of course. For Alena, 3A was still new when confinement started, plus she grew 5cm. So her adaptation takes logically longer, it is more comparable to Anna Shcherbakova's or Alexandra Trusova's, with that additional delay.
So, knowing she had only 3 months practice (plus the broken boots), my expectations were low at 4th stage of Cup of Russia, and I must say they have been exceeded. Given how they had been exceeded, and in spite of the probable disturbances for practice due to Angels of Plushenko's moving to new premises, I had wild hopes of one 3A either in the short or in the long, but I knew these were wild hopes. I can tell you in fact, her skating at both programs this weekend, quite relieved me : things are getting back in place, and fast. In fact they need to be fast, because, if she doesn't need to be perfect at Stage 5 in less than two weeks, she needs to be excellent (and she needs her 3A back) at Nationals in a month, to be one of the three selected for Worlds (and Europeans if they take place, but I somehow wonder why they would as 4CC was cancelled, while ISU seems to prioritise a replacement "GPF" — where she would be at least — upon a replacement 4CC). She doesn't need to be first at Nationals, but she needs a spot, I agree with the importance of international spots in a pre-Olympic season. Then she will have enough time to come back to the "top of the top".
Also, Shae-Lynn Bourne can work efficiently with Yuzuru Hanyu online because they know each other so well, they've done so many programs (what programs!) and adjustments in person that they can guess and work nearly as well remotely. Not the same goes with Alena Kostornaia, it's a first time collaboration and the first time Alena Kostornaia works with a "non-home" choreographer.
To sum up, catching up with other top Russian Ladies after such a late off-ice period (only Anastasia Tarakanova had worse but she hadn't grown) is really tough but her progression is above my expectations so I have hopes — and I like very much to have this insight every fortnight to get reassured! Plus, it gives me a hint on what makes her such a special skater apart from technical perfection.
 

nussnacker

one and only
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Isn‘t there usually a final to the Russian Cup as well? It‘s going to be a repeat of RusNats, basically, but I think it‘s still relevant as another competition this season.
I think top skaters rarely go there and so far Aliona has only confirmed another Cup stage and Nationals.
 
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