Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova failed to cope with her nerves during her performance at the world championship in Italy, her coach Daniil Gleichengauz said, cited by the Russian Federation of Figure Skating.
"We don't understand why this happened," Gleichengauz said. "But let's not forget that she is 15 years old and this is her debut world championship," he added.
The coach apologized to Zagitova's fans and promised that all shortcomings will be analyzed and worked through.
For his part, a retired Russian figure skater and producer of skating shows, Ilia Averbukh, said that Zagitova's performance could be a useful experience for her, give her more motivation for the future and prompt her to work harder.
"Maybe, in fact, it's even better than if she would have won this world championship, because this is a very good motivation for the next four years, next season. She will now have a feeling that she needs to ‘work harder and harder' and won't rest on her own laurels. I think that such little cold shower could be useful to her, "Averbukh told Sputnik.
At the same time, commenting on the young athlete's performance, honored figure skating coach of the USSR Tatiana Tarasova recommended her to follow a stricter diet.
"Since the Olympic Games, she has grown by three cm, she does not understand this, but there is no puberty — she just needs to eat less. When you grow up, muscles just don't keep up with the growth and this may result in the loss of coordination," Tarasova said.
According to Tarasova, Zagitova was in a good shape ahead of the competition and was ready to fight.
"She must get over this defeat. Such failures happen to the greatest champions," Tarasova emphasized.
The champion of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, Alina Zagitova, ranked fifth at the World Championships in Milan. The Russian athlete had the second best result in a short program, but fell three times during her free skating program.
Fifteen-year-old Zagitova is a 2018 Olympic champion. She notably won the first gold for the Russian team at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Also, the figure skater set a new world record during the short program, receiving 82.92 points for her performance.