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Sunday, June 17, 2012
Takahashi teams up with Morozov again
The skating world was rocked by a bombshell announcement on Friday, one that many thought was nearly impossible.
Daisuke Takahashi, the 2010 world champion, has decided to train again with renowned coach Nikolai Morozov in the run-up to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, the Russian news agency RSport reported the same day.
The pair worked together previously, including when Takahashi took the silver medal at the 2007 worlds in Tokyo, before parting at the end of the 2007-08 season.
Morozov confirmed the news in an interview with RSport.
"We decided together with Daisuke to continue our cooperation," said Morozov. "I'm very interested to work again with this skater. In addition, I believe that the presence of such a master in our group will benefit my other students in the process of preparation for the Olympic Games in Sochi." he added.
The 36-year-old Morozov is considered one of the top coaches in the world. He led Shizuka Arakawa to the 2006 Olympic gold medal and twice directed Miki Ando to two world titles (2007, 2011).
This past season Morozov coached Russian compatriot Alena Leonova, who earned the silver medal at the worlds.
Takahashi, the bronze medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, is expected to train with Morozov in both the United States and Russia.
Though Takahashi had kind words for Morozov when they parted in 2008, the same could not be said about Morozov and Takahashi's agent, Tak Ihara.
Morozov blasted Ihara in an exclusive interview with The Japan Times at the time, blaming him for Takahashi's poor showing at the 2008 worlds (where he finished fourth despite being favored to win) over a problem with the skater's boots and for placing financial gain ahead of victory.
Ihara and Takahashi declined to comment on the split at the time. Ihara did not return a telephone call on Friday requesting comments on the reunion.
Takahashi enjoyed great success under Morozov in their previous collaboration. In their three seasons together, the Okayama native won four Grand Prix events, three Japan national titles, one Four Continents crown and climbed to the top of the world rankings. He also medaled three times at the Grand Prix Final.