Takahashi splits with coach Morozov
Renowned coach will now train Takahashi's rival, Nobunari Oda
|Daisuke Takahashi performs during his free skate at the 2008 Japan Open. (Getty Images)|
"I like practicing here [in Hackensack] with so many top skaters," Takahashi said last fall. "Nikolai is a very, very hard worker. He pushes me, and that's good. I need both the Japanese [way] and Nikolai. Both of my coaches work on everything with me. Also, when I am in Japan, [former Japanese champion] Takeshi Honda works with me on my jumps."This past season, Takahashi and Morozov won wide acclaim for the skater's programs, particularly his short performed to a hip-hop version of Swan Lake. After he amassed an astounding 264.41 points in winning the 2008 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, it was widely expected Takahashi would contend for the world title in Gothenburg in March. A poor free skate, however, which included several failed triple Axels, kept him off the podium in fourth place. Morozov has a long association with Japanese skaters. Previously, he coached Shizuka Arakawa to the 2006 Olympic gold medal, the first ever for a Japanese lady. Currently, he trains 2007 world champion Miki Ando. Oda will be attempting a comeback of sorts during the 2008-2009 season. In July 2007, he was cited by Japanese police for driving his moped under the influence of alcohol. Although no one was injured, the Japanese Skating Federation suspended him from international competition for several months. He also performed community service and paid a fine. While Oda was eligible to return to action at the Japanese championships, he elected to sit out the season and did not attempt to qualify for the 2008 World Championships.