My First Look at Sulej & Chruściński (Torwar II practice report)

The Polish Figure Skating Association is holding consultations in Warsaw for its best skaters (AFAIK Torwar II will be the host for these until Wednesday). I came to see a little bit of the practices on Sunday evening and got my first look at the new pair of Joanna Sulej/Mateusz Chruściński who I was very curious about (like many people I think). All the other pairs from Oświęcim except for Klimczak/Karweta were also present and so were Wilczyk/Snopek from Toruń. Kostia Tupikov and Przemek Domański were also there.
Here’s a short report for those who want to read on…

Joanna Sulej & Mateusz Chruściński
I didn’t see their whole practice - I came in about half way through the pairs practice I think. They seemed to be working on lifts mainly. They already have an axel lasso with a change to one hand and one hand dismount - for a pair that’s only been together a few months that’s very impressive! His footwork is pretty slow on the lasso, but I guess that’s something that will improve with time. The other lift I saw was a hip lift with a change to one hand and a fancy dismount like the one Zagórska/Siudek used to do where he kind of tosses her before bringing her down.
At the end of the practice they did a runthrough of their free program without any elements whatsoever. It’s to Tosca (I can hear the groans), but it does look kind of nice - they’re both graceful skaters. Guessing by the set ups I think they’re going for the following jump elements:

  • side by side 2axels
  • a throw 3salchow - I think it’s meant to be a triple because it’s very early in the program and with a very long set up
  • side by side 2lutzes - I think this is where the jump sequence/combination is going to be but I’m not sure. The set up into these is very nice and seamless and they go into some nice linking steps straight after the jump.
  • a throw 2loop - I think it’s double because it’s late in the program and has a short set up.

The men
Kostia was on the ice with the pairs, working on his flying sit in the corner. They were clearly trying to take it apart and change his technique on it. Nice to see that cause I always thought his flying sit was kind of ugly.
After the pairs left the ice Przemek joined him and they started taking apart their technique on the triple-triple combination and then later on the 3axel. There weren’t exactly many attempts of the elements themselves - most of it were exercises aiming at getting them focused on all sorts of details leading up to the bigger elements (for example jumping 2t/3t/2t), but it was quite interesting to watch.

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