Russia’s renowned figure skating expert Tatiana Tarasova has suggested that Olympic champion Alina Zagitova could return to the ice and restore her leading position only if the age limit is increased.
The legendary coach who has raised several generations of figure skating champions spoke in favor of changing the age barrier for juniors, stressing that adult skaters “could decorate” any competition.
Tarasova hailed Zagitova’s decision to pause her competitive career, as now she is not able to beat quad-jumping teammates who are setting the pace in modern figure skating.
“I think it was the right decision. This is her and her coaches’ wisdom and forward-thinking. They didn’t write her off, but announced that she is taking a break. If now the senior skating age is raised till 18, she would again fight for any possible titles,” Tarasova said.
“I would like her to come back. If the rules are changed, it could happen. If not, then I think she will not resume her career.”
The 73-year-old specialist thinks that raising the age limit would allow skaters to extend their careers which have become short-lived due to intense competition inside the team.
Many extremely talented athletes were forced to retire at a young age after facing fierce competition from juniors who dethroned them from the podium.
“I’m positive over raising the age, but not significantly,” Tarasova said. “Now skaters are allowed to enter senior events at the age of 15, I would raise it to 17-18. Then we would be able to win everything even if the rules are introduced right now.
We have outstanding skaters in that age category: Evgenia Medvedeva, Alina Zagitova and Liza Tuktamysheva. Having extraordinary female skaters we could potentially win all senior and junior events. Eteri Tutberidze has many good girls. I will tell you more: they are super girls!”