Alena Kostornaia does not train with Elena Ilinykh

Elena Ilinykh, Sergei Rozanov, Evgeny Plushenko, Alena Kostornaia (Photo by Visualrian)

A day after it was revealed that Alexandra Trusova no longer works with coach Sergei Rozanov, Russian media is buzzing over more coaching arrangements at Evgeny Plushenko’s figure skating academy.

According to an article by sports news website Sport Express, Olympic gold medalist Elena Ilinykh no longer works with Alena Kostornaia. This is due to an effort to separate the two young figure skating stars – Kostornaia and Trusova – who transferred to the Angels of Plushenko this year.

Trusova transitioned from Eteri Tutberidze’s Khrustalny to Plushenko’s team in May, along with Sambo-70’s coach Sergei Rozanov. In July, Kostornaia made the same change. According to the sources in the Russian media, the two dominant skaters do not get along and not only is their ice time different, but the coaches they work with are kept apart as well.

It is being reported that Ilinykh – who was present near both athletes at the test skates last month – no longer works with Kostornaia, despite the skater’s wishes. This is to minimize any interactions among the skaters on and off the ice.

Trusova was one of the most dominant junior skaters, winning two World Junior Championships and two Russian Junior National Championships. Last season, both ladies made their senior debut but Kostornaia became the higher-placed performer, winning the European Championship, the ISU Grand Prix Final, and was a step higher on the podium at the Russian National Championship.

UPDATE (October 7, 2020):

After this information broke in the Russian media by Sport Express, many figure skating fans rushed to social media to talk about these “rumors.” Some fan even went to Ilinykh’s Instagram account to ask for the truth.

Fan’s comment and Elena Ilinykh’s response on her Instagram post; translated to English:

Fan: Elena, have you really refused to work with Alena in Angels of Plushenko? Why? All of the media is already writing about this…

Ilinykh: I don’t know at all where the media gets it from. But it is funny to read, of course.

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