Reigning European figure skating champion Alena Kostornaia has joined Evgeni Plushenko’s academy, where she has already taken part in her first training sessions following her departure from Eteri Tutberidze’s camp.
In a series of video clips shared on social media, the 16-year-old is shown working on choreography together with Plushenko and another coach, Sergei Rozanov.
READ MORE: ‘I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to win in Salt Lake City’: Russian skating icon Irina Slutskaya on lost victory at 2002 Games
The skater also took a picture with Plushenko’s son Alexander, who has been training under the guidance of his famous father.
Kostornaia’s decision to leave Tutberidze caused uproar in the Russian figure skating community after her former coach revealed that she didn’t want to share the ice with promising teammates.
“She had her own list of non-grata skaters,” Tutberidze wrote, announcing the shocking split with her leading skater.
Plushenko, who has predicted there will be “more shocks” around Tutberidze’s skaters and her terms of cooperation, said that Kostornaia’s representatives contacted him in June to discuss the possibility of a partnership.
Tutberidze’s team member Daniil Gleikhengauz was surprised by Kostornaia’s sudden move, given that they had already staged her programs for the upcoming season.
Plushenko has said his newly accepted skater will have new programs, describing Gleikhengauz’s routines as ‘awful’ and saying they didn’t fit the skater.
In May, Alexandra Trusova – another of Tutberidze’s stars – parted ways with her former coach and switched to Plushenko, who she believes can help improve her quad-jumping skills.