Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko: “For debutants it is a good result!”

Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko

Interview by Vladislav Luchianov
Photo: Polina Mitryashina

Still half of a year back in the Russian figure skating press predominated mainly pessimistic tones. Many considered that this season will be not so successful for the Russian athletes. But time has shown absolutely another situation.

Concerning ice dancing the opinion of many critics have cardinally changed after juniors have occupied with themselves almost all standings at the junior Grand Prix Final. The Russian National Championships in Saransk where a competition among dancing couples and a heat of struggle did not concede to many international competitions became the following optimistic step.

And at last, the European Сhampionships. The Russian ice dancers have shown not only high level performances, but also enormous potential of all couples entering the National Team. One of such duet is Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko.

- Hello Ekaterina and Ilia! The European Championships in Bern was a debut for your couple, on which I congratulate you. What are your general impressions of the competitions?

– Thank you very much! Impressions remained very good! There was very friendly, good atmosphere! Certainly, we are a little upset that we didn’t manage to be selected at the World Сhampionships where we very much would like to perform.

- This Championships will be remembered also by such an unusual phenomenon as not heated arena. How did you cope with these conditions?

– Certainly, all of us has very much surprised that competition of such high level passed, it is possible to tell, on an open skating rink! But it has affected us to some extent less, than those skaters who took place qualification as in the first days there was much colder and all went for a skate in warm jackets and scarves. At us trainings passed on a skating rink which was warmer.

It was very unusual to perform in such cold arena, but during performances we didn’t pay attention to it.

- In my opinion, to take sixth place at your first European Championships is a very good result. But what do you think about your performances?

Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko- Yes, for debutants it is a good result! But I will repeat, we very much would like to be selected on the World Championships. We are very happy with our Short Dance. In our Free Dance, unfortunately, were some errors, but we aren’t afflicted. We will work better.

- In a Free Dance were some mistakes in your spins. What could you tell about it?

– Our Free Dance not so long ago have changed and on trainings all turned out. Naturally excitement has affected, plus we would like very much to perform it well and to show the well done work, but something went wrong.

- What duets, in addition to Russian, will you remember the most and why?

– Well, of course it is the European Champions Natalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat which remembered to us by great skating, charisma and their inspiration! Also, we like very much Italian couple Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali. They are so bright!

- Ekaterina, the style of the South American expression, passion, and cheerfulness very much approaches to you. How is it possible to you to create this image so well?

– Probably, these lines are present at my character, therefore I manage to embody this image easily enough!)

- In this season you performed at the Grand Prix series, including Skate America. Now, after the European championships, what do you think about the general level of ice dancing couples from Western Europe in comparison with the North America?

– Recently the level of dancing pairs in the North America has very much grown. By the way, in many respects it is a merit of Russian coaches and choreographers. But also Europe isn’t necessary on a place!

- What else do you plan for this season?

– Probably, we will compete at the “Russian Cup” (note: a competition among Russian skaters), but for the present we didn’t discuss this question with our coach.

Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko- Do you already have any ideas about your programs for the next season?

– I think that both of our programs will be new. We didn’t think of it yet.

- Figure skating occupies the most part of your time. But when there is a free time how do you prefer to spend it?

– You are right – trainings occupy almost all our time but when there are free minutes we prefer to spend time with friends and relatives. In the end of a season necessarily we try to go in warm edges.

- Thank you for the interview and good luck to your couple!

– Thank you too!

WFS - An independent online sports magazine