SAITAMA, March 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Olympic gold and bronze medal Sochi Olympics winners Yelena Ilyinykh and Nikita Katsalapov have dismissed rumors of a split in their partnership.
They spoke out after a source told ITAR-TASS on the championships' opening day that Yelena and Nikita, Olympic firsts in the team ice dance at Sochi and bronze medalists in the individual tournament, were performing together for the last time.
“We’ve gone through many troubles recently but we have our goals and did a lot of training for these championships,” Katsalapov said, apparently referring to past problems in the couple's relationship.
“What’s happening around us doesn’t matter for us at all. While we are here, the quality of our performing is the only concern. I just don’t have time to care for other things,” he said.A competition schedule Katsalapov calls "nightmarish" may be more a reason for Saitsama to be a drain on patience, to judge from comments.
“It's the first time we've seen a nightmarish schedule like this one,” Katsalapov said. “We really love to perform here in Japan but the impression we got this time is that someone decided to haze the athletes,” he said, suggesting that problems through deficient night-time accommodation is putting nerves on edge.
Partner Yelena puts it more succinctly, complaining of an excessively early start to training sessions forcing her to make personal preparations for the day uncomfortably close to the ice. “I even had to use a shared shower room,” she said.