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Asada to train with Tarasova

Skater will make short trips to Moscow to work with legendary coach

World champion Mao Asada will skate in France and Japan this season.
World champion Mao Asada will skate in France and Japan this season. (Getty Images)

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By Linda Przygodski
(06/24/2008) - World champion Mao Asada announced Tuesday that she will switch her coaching affiliation to Russian Tatiana Tarasova, beginning immediately.

Asada left coach Rafael Arutunian shortly before the 2008 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in March. Reportedly, Tarasova has been lending Asada some coaching help since then, and Asada has decided to train with her full time.

"She will design a program just for me. That means a lot. She tailored a new program just for me with next season in mind. She has a lot of power," Asada said during a press conference in Japan.

Tarasova's former students include 2006 Olympic gold medalist Shizuka Arakawa, 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen , two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan and three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir. Currently, she has been working with reigning U.S. national champion Evan Lysacek.

Asada, 17, hopes that Tarasova can help her achieve a place on the podium at the 2010 Olympic Games. She was ineligible to compete at the last Olympics, due to her age. The Associated Foreign Press reports that Asada will be based out of Chukyo University in Aichi prefecture but travel to Moscow to work with Tarasova.