Russian sports news outlet Sport24 published an interview with Elizaveta Nugumanova after her performance at the Russian stage of the ISU Grand Prix series.
A late addition to the competition following the withdrawal of Evgenia Medvedeva, the 18-year-old from St. Petersburg made her senior level Grand Prix series debut with a top five result.
Nugumanova has had a breakout season with great programs so far: winning the all-Russian N.A. Panin Memorial competition in October, placing sixth at the third stage of the Cup of Russia series in Sochi and fifth at the fourth stage in Kazan.
She spoke to the media publication about
Interview with Elizaveta Nugumanova by Sport24 reporter Konstantin Lesik:
Nugumanova: I am incredibly happy that I was here, because it is my dream to perform at major international competitions. I am grateful to everyone who supported me, helped, who worked with me. Thank you all very much! One thought in my head: “Wow!” I still can’t believe that I’m here.
Sport24: How did you find out that you will go to the Grand Prix? Did you expect it?
Nugumanova: I found out about it not soon before. When it became clear Zhenya Medvedeva will withdraw. Everyone knew that Zhenya was injured and her back hurt. At that moment I understood that I would most likely go. But I still didn’t believe it until the end. When I saw the lists on Monday, I was delighted. I am incredibly happy, this is my life’s work.
Sport24: You took fifth place. How satisfied are you with this result?
Nugumanova: I am extremely glad that I managed to get into the top five. It’s amazing for the first time. Good for a debut. I could, of course, do something better. For example, not a double flip but a triple. I could do the combination in the short program a little better. But at the same time I am glad that I have a season’s best – a record in international competitions. It’s good. The final outcome is positive, so I’m happy with everything.
Sport24: Did you review your performances?
Nugumanova: Of course, I watch right away! After I skated, I went to the locker room and immediately opened YouTube and replayed the live broadcast. Seriously!
Sport24: Then you heard an interesting comparison by the commentator Alexei Yagudin. “Liza Nugumanova for me is a light gentle breeze, a small cloud that covers you from the heat.” How do you like this characteristic?
Nugumanova: Excellent! Alexei comments very well, I like it. Of course, it’s nice to hear this from such a great person.
Sport24: What are your future plans?
Nugumanova: I will have two or three days of rest. Then on December 7 we will go to Sochi for the training camp before the Russian Championship.
In general, we will work, endlessly skate programs, so it doesn’t happen that I do a double flip. This mistake was so random… Everything was great in training, everything worked out perfectly, I was ready. To prevent this from happening, I will work three hundred times more.
Sport24: Alexei Yagudin also said that you have great skating, high components, but there are under-rotations. Do you feel improvements with this problem?
Nugumanova: I’m not the only one who has this problem. All skaters have it. This is really true. But I am working on it and will be better. There are already improvements. Everything will be great. A little more time and, I think, everything will be fine by the Russian Championship.
Sport24: How do you like the atmosphere at the Russian Grand Prix? You live in rooms by yourselves, masks, gloves. Did you manage to feel the festive atmosphere?
Nugumanova: It is very sad that the whole arena was not full, not all spectators came. I love it when there are a lot of people and everyone is watching, applauding, supporting. It helps a lot to skate. But for me it was happiness that I came here. Personally, I felt the whole atmosphere despite the limitations. It was my debut at the senior Grand Prix. And I am happy that it took place.
Sport24: American journalist Philip Hersh criticized Russia for the organization: the presence of spectators, hugs of coaches and students.
Nugumanova: It seems to me that everything was very strict. Let me give you an example. I go out after performing the free skate, I want to breathe, there is a certain lack of air. But then they tell me: “Liza, put on your mask!” In general, everything was very strict.
As for the person who said that everything is bad with us… It seems to me that he is wrong. We, athletes, do not come close to each other, we all wear masks, we live alone, in the locker room we are far from each other. The fact that we are hugging the coach – we train every day, we are always close, the distance between us is exactly less than one and a half meters. So he said incorrectly. What he says is incomprehensible to me.
Sport24: The Russian Grand Prix was in many ways a historical event. Liza Tuktamysheva won in the series for the first time in two years. Did you manage to watch other athletes and feel the historicity of the moment?
Nugumanova: I almost never watch the girls live. I watch later, replays. And I didn’t watch at the Russian Grand Prix either. I saw Liza, Sasha Trusova at practice. Then I saw the replay videos. I rarely watch live shows.
Sport24: Did you see the girls’ emotions after the skates?
Nugumanova: Of course, Sasha was upset. She came to the dressing room very sad. I came up, supported her, hugged her, we spoke. I said: “Sasha, you are generally the best! You do such difficult things! The only girl who does such elements.” In general, I supported her. After that, she seemed to be a little more cheerful.
Sport24: When we spoke in the summer, you said that your dream and goal was to get to the Grand Prix. Your dream has come true. Is there a new one? Did you manage to come up with it in one day?
Nugumanova: Yes, I did. The Russian Championship will soon take place in Chelyabinsk. And there is a goal: to get onto the Russian national team. This is the number one goal. The second goal is more doable. Next year, if the Grand Prix takes place, I will most likely be there due to the season best. Therefore, goal number two: go to the Grand Prix again and show good skating there.
Sport24: To get onto the Russian national team – that is to get to the main competitions?
Nugumanova: Get into the top eight at the Russian Championship.
Sport24: Recently, I noticed that you do not have a Wikipedia page in Russian, only in English. Maybe it’s time to fix this somehow?
Nugumanova: Soon, I will have a contest on Instagram in honor of the fact that I have 30 thousand followers. Whoever makes a page of me on Wikipedia, I’ll give them something good personally from me!