25 January 2012

Wounded Savchenko thinks about withdrawing

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy still don't know whether they will compete in the short program today.

Although Savchenko, who suffered a left upper thigh injury a little over a week ago, managed a few jumps in the first official practice, she did no throws, lifts or spins.
"It is hard, and I do not know yet if we can skate," Savchenko said. "My left upper thigh still hurts. I cannot go down even for a spin.

"If it does not work tomorrow, maybe we cannot skate or we will skate our program with a reduced level of difficulty. We will do another practice tonight and tomorrow morning and maybe decide only after the six-minute warmup," she said.

Financial matters may be impacting the decision. The pair is scheduled to perform in Art on Ice shows in Switzerland next month, and if they do so after a withdrawal in Sheffield, they could be banned from ISU competitions for one year.

While Steuer, the team's coach, might prefer not to make a decision based on financial need, it is well-known that his skaters need to perform in as many shows as possible, because Steuer does not receive any funds from the German skating federation due to his distant past as an East German Stasi operative.

"No matter what, they will not skate unless they can do all of their elements," Steuer said, contradicting Savchenko.

At this point, we have only to wait and see.

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