Double blow by Tarasova and Morozov

Today skaters joined the battle for Olympic medals. Team competition kicked off with men’s and couples’ short programs.

Mikhail Kolyada, unfortunately, failed his performance. During the warm-up figure skater from St. Petersburg can easily perform all the challenging jumps, but at the right time he couldn’t to cope with the nerves.

First, the athlete failed to land cleanly on a quadruple lutz, then fell while performing a cascade of quadruple – triple toe loop and above all he had troubles with a triple axel.

It is quite logical that such performance kicked the double bronze prize-winner of the Championships of Europe to the bottom of the standings. Only two athletes out of ten received less points – Fentz (74,36), of Germany and Besegue of Frence.

However, today the ice of the Gangneung Ice Arena was slippery for many. Three-time world champion and two-time silver medalist of the 2014 Games  Patrick Chan failed two jumps and hardly kept balance at performance on a less difficult cascade of triple lutz – double toe loop. However, due to the second scores (for the components), the Canadian managed to take third place behind the Japanese Seme UMO (his nerves were in good order today!) and Israeli Alexei Bychenko.

Thus, after the first round, two main favorites of the team tournament — Canada and the OAR — were separated by 5 points. Not a great gap, of course, but taking into account our personnel problems, it would be better not to give such a head start.

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov were to save the fatherland. While other couples were on ice they couldn’t stop thinking about their, to be honest not a very successful short program at the recent European Championships in Moscow. After Mikhail Kolyada’s failure, another failure could be fatal.

Fortunately, our fears have not been confirmed. Tarasov and Morozov were the last to perform and put a beautiful line under today’s competition! Along the way, I believe, it was a tangible psychological blow to the opponents.

First, these 10 points immediately raised the OAR team from eighth place to third, which we are now sharing with the Japanese. However, we got  only one step closer to Canada, but the Americans are already in range. Secondly, it was a serious bid for victory in the individual event. This season 80.92 points is the highest result for Tarasova and Morozov. When their final score appeared on the scoreboard of the Gangneung Ice Arena, the camera captured the face of Alena Savchenko. The German shook her head, as if acknowledging their defeat. I am sure that the Canadian couple Megan Duhamel / Eric Radford at this point, also broke into a sweat.

It is regrettable that pair free skating and short programs in the team and individual are individual events are  only two days away. It has already been announced that we will use the right of substitution in this discipline. The day after tomorrow Natalya Zabiyako and Alexander Enbert will join the fight.

Although can we be sure that this is not a kind of tactical move on the part of our coaching staff? On war all means are good, including misinformation. Canadian coaches are certainly also puzzled, whether to register Duhamel and Radford for the voluntary program or to give them a break.

The same can be attributed to news about a small injury of Evgenia Tarasova. According to the figure skater, after falling on yesterday’s training, her thigh aches. “I didn’t feel pain on the ice today, thanks to the doctors,” the athlete added, answering the question about health.

We wish Jenya good health! And all same I would not be surprised, if in next time we will see this wonderful couple on ice not on 14 February, but three days earlier…