Berlin – The Olympic bar is high on Beijing’s snowy avenues. However, Minerva-Fabien Hasse and Nolan Siegert don’t want to be measured against gold medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot. “They were a great pairing and role model for Germany. But we are far from orienting ourselves to them,” said Hase, shrugging off extremely high expectations.
But the Berlin figure skating couple is too ambitious, resulting in a move from Berlin to Sochi. In the 2014 Olympic City, duets with their coach Dmitry Savin can now compete daily with stiff competition from the Russian Pair Skating School, the undisputed leader in the world of skids.
The connection was broken in Berlin
“We saw that we were slowly lagging behind in Berlin. The atmosphere is super inspiring. You have no days where you can relax,” Siegert told Pirouette magazine. The first important position to be determined was over the weekend in Vancouver “Skate Canada” is the Grand Prix competition.
However, the journey to Canada was arduous and took a total of 27 hours. Due to a technical problem in Moscow, the departure was delayed by four hours, as a result of which the couple missed a connecting flight to Vancouver in Los Angeles.
On a national level, Hase/Seegert has indeed taken a huge leap forward. Unlike their East Berlin training colleagues Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel, last year’s EM Fifth has already exceeded the Olympic standard twice, only to have a German Olympic ticket hardly snatched from them.
New impulses in Russia
Although contact with national pair skating coach Alexander König is less intense than in the past due to Russia’s move, the successful coach, who led Savchenko/Masot to Olympic victory in Pyeongchang in 2018, welcomes both measures. : “If a couple trained together in 2014 and want to go off the beaten track, changing places isn’t the worst idea.”
The German Ice Skating Union (DEU) also supports the Olympic preparation of its top doubles as much as possible. “When athletes say they need new impulses for the Olympics, a federation must be on their side and somehow make it possible,” said Claudia Pfeiffer, the new sporting director of the DEU.
Of course, this investment is not entirely philanthropic, as only German couples in pair skating and ice dancing can at least keep up with the European top. On the other hand, in individual disciplines things are currently looking hopeless: Berlin’s Paul Fentz missed out on an Olympic ticket, pre-designated Nicole Schott (Oberstdorf) still following the Olympic standard in vain.
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