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TOKYO, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. With little over a week remaining before the 2014 Winter Games kick off in Russia’s Sochi, renowned Russian figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova hopes to see her Japanese protege Mao Asada taking the Olympic gold in women’s singles, Japan’s The Asahi Shimbun daily reported.
Tarasova coached Asada to the silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver, but for the upcoming Games in Russia she switched from coaching duties to handling choreography of the Japanese skater, who is also the two-time world champion.
“My dream is to have an athlete reach the pinnacle at the Olympics by performing a perfect routine to the great music of Rachmaninoff,” the daily quoted Tarasova as saying. “I’m confident that Mao is the only one who will be able to make my dream come true.”
For Asada’s free skating program in Sochi Tarasova picked as a musical theme “Piano Concerto No. 2” by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. Asada already tried one of Rachmaninoff’s themes at the previous Olympics in Canada, where she skated to silver.
Speaking at a news conference in Japan last summer, Asada said she was going to do everything possible to win the Olympics in Sochi, adding that the Games could be possibly the last in her sports career.
Tarasova, who coached numerous figure skaters to seven Olympic golds and over 40 World and European champion titles, said although she wanted Asada to win the 2014 Olympics she still “cannot predict what will happen.”
“While I do not know who the goddess of victory will smile upon, I believe Mao, [reigning Olympic champion from South Korea Kim] Yu-na, the Russian women as well as Carolina Kostner of Italy all have an equal chance as long as they perform their programs flawlessly,” Tarasova was quoted as saying.
The Russian Olympic figure skating squad puts up for women’s singles decorated skaters, including two-time European silver medalist and four-time Russian national champion Adelina Sotnikova, 17, and 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia, who is the 2014 European champion, the 2013 Grand Prix Final silver medalist, and a two-time Russian national silver medalist (2012, 2014).
Tarasova, who started her coaching career in Russia at the early age of 19, particularly praised the city chosen for the 2014 Olympic Games.
“I fell in love with Sochi ever since I first visited it when I was 7,” said the 66-year-old Russian coach. “I have since returned there a countless number of times. I cannot wait for the Winter Games to be held in Sochi.”