Soviet and Russian figure-skating legend Tatiana Tarasova, who has brought dozens of athletes to Olympic glory, has said that the International Skating Union’s (ISU) present policy ‘puts the sport back 40 years’
The renowned coach criticized the skating governing body, which introduced restrictions on quads in women’s events, prohibiting female competitors from landing the extremely complicated jump in short programs.
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“In my opinion, nothing should be banned,” the 73-year-old said. “Quad jumps should be allowed in the women’s short program. They should be allowed! Let skaters perform to the maximum of their abilities, which will help to develop the sport. Why should anything be prohibited? It will not bring any victories or success. Why put figure skating back 40 years?”
Under the current ISU regulations, quadruple jumps which have been performed by a few skaters, including Russian sensations Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, could only be demonstrated in a free program.
The strict rule sparked heated debates in the figure-skating community, with many pundits treating it as an attempt to end Russia’s dominance in ladies’ skating.
“I think that the strategy chosen by the ISU is wrong. Some people think that the future of figure skating should be oriented around low-level skaters. But I personally wish the bar to be risen for everyone,” Tarasova added.
Quad jumps have become a burning issue in figure skating, after more and more skaters have acquired the jump skill, substantially improving their technical content.
So far only Eteri Tuberidze’s skaters and American Alysa Liu have confidently landed quads during international competitions.
Some critics who speak in favor of raising the age limit in women’s skating have asked the ISU to ban quads altogether, insisting that young skaters push their bodies to the limit during intense training, which badly affects their health.
Quad queen Trusova lands a beautiful 4T+3T to take the ? at the European Championships! #EuroFigure#FigureSkatingpic.twitter.com/mluLkHIr2P
The emergence of the quad-jumping generation caused a revolution in the sport, forcing the former leaders with less impressive technical skills to retire.
Extremely high competition and rapid change of leaders has intensified speculation over the age-limit changes, after several top skaters finished careers having spent just one or two seasons at senior level.
The ISU, which oversees figure-skating events, is facing a difficult dilemma of how to make athletes’ careers longer while at the same time not halting any progress triggered by the quad-jumpers.