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Russian champion Tuktamisheva tackles future

16-year-old phenom hoped for better worlds result but enjoyed season

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva wound up in 10th place at the 2013 World Championships.
Elizaveta Tuktamisheva wound up in 10th place at the 2013 World Championships. (Getty Images)

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By Vladislav Luchianov, special to icenetwork.com
(03/25/2013) - Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamisheva is quite satisfied with her skating season. This year, she achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a national champion. She also claimed the bronze medal at the 2013 European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, where she posted the highest score in the free skate and earned a standing ovation from the audience.

She and Adelina Sotnikova, who took the silver, were Russia's first medalists in the ladies event at Europeans since Irina Slutskaya won the title in 2006.

Earlier this season, she added a silver at Trophée Eric Bompard to her collection of Grand Prix medals. However, Tuktamisheva is extremely motivated and critical of herself. She did not hide her disappointment after the short program at the 2013 World Championships in London, Ontario, where an unfortunate fall threw her into the middle of the standings. Despite that, Tuktamisheva was able to focus on the free skate and finished 10th, a good result for the 16-year-old debutante.

Icenetwork.com talked with Tuktamisheva about worlds, her second season as a senior and her plans for the near future.

Icenetwork.com: In your debut world championships, you reached the top 10. How would you evaluate your results there and the event as a whole?

Tuktamisheva: In general, the championships were pretty good, but honestly, I was counting on a better result.

Icenetwork.com: After worlds, you said that all the tournaments are alike. Does it mean that there aren't any differences to you, for example, between the European championships and world championships?

Tuktamisheva: Yes, it does. Competitions are competitions, and they all are very important to me.

Icenetwork.com: Did an unfortunate fall in the short program strongly affect your inner state?

Tuktamisheva: Yes, it influenced it very much. Such a fall happened for the first time in my career. It was very disappointing, especially after a very good first half of the program. So, I will be more careful with my jumps into the spins in the future. Anyway, it is necessary to look for the positive things in everything that happens with us!

Icenetwork.com: This season, you coped much better with your free skates than with the short programs. What is the cause for that?

Tuktamisheva: I don't know. Probably, it's due to the psychological issues. When I go to a free skate, I feel more liberated. There is so much pressure in the short.

Icenetwork.com: In general, this season was still a good one for you. You took the gold at the Russian championships, the bronze at Europeans and the silver at Trophée Eric Bompard. What is your vision for the second year in senior skating?

Tuktamisheva: Everything is going in the right direction. Generally, I'm glad with this skating year, especially given the fact that at the beginning of the season I was in a terrible state. My coaches and I even could not think that everything will be so good.

Icenetwork.com: Will you now have some rest or you will immediately start preparing for the next competition, World Team Trophy?

Tuktamisheva: I will start it immediately. No time for the repose (laughs).

Icenetwork.com: What are your thoughts on World Team Trophy competitions?

Tuktamisheva: I think that the World Team Trophy gives us the unique opportunity to compete as a team and feel the responsibility not only for ourselves but for the whole team! This gives a different feeling, and I'm very glad we have this tournament.

Icenetwork.com: Doesn't that event generate an additional load for you at the end of such a difficult season?

Tuktamisheva: Well, we have a sport where you have to adapt to everything. Also, we should not think that this is an additional event. There is an annual schedule of competitions, and I just follow it.

Of course, it would be difficult if I started thinking that I've already done everything in this season and now have to go to the additional competitions instead of being on vacation.

In any case, I should always be ready to show worthy performances.

Icenetwork.com: Will you join Alexei Mishin's training camp in Italy and Estonia this summer?

Tuktamisheva: Yes, sure I will! This already became a tradition. We will have three weeks in Pinzolo, Italy, and two weeks in Tartu, Estonia.

Icenetwork.com: How will you prepare for the next, Olympic season?

Tuktamisheva: I'm going to prepare in my full force!