Elizabet Tursynbaeva keeps busy during injury lay-off

Kazakhstan's 2019 world silver medallist says she's been playing music and preparing for university during quarantine as she recovers from a back injury.

By Rory Jiwani

Elizabet Tursynbaeva is keeping busy with music and studies while she's off the ice.

The 2019 World Championship silver medallist has not competed since last October's Shanghai Trophy due to a lower back injury.

She said, "I think it's a really common injury in almost every sport. It's a long process and I'm trying my best."

The Kazakhstani figure skater trains in Moscow, where she was born, under Eteri Tutberidze who coaches the leading two female skaters of last year - Alena Kostornaia and Anna Shcherbakova - with Alexandra Trusova recently leaving to join Evgeni Plushenko.

Speaking to Olympic Channel while completing her own core-oriented version of the Olympic Day Workout on Tuesday (23 June), Tursynbaeva - who became the first woman to land a quad jump in senior competition at the last Worlds in Saitama - admitted she was worried about losing touch with the sport's teen sensations.

"Of course, it’s hard to watch competitions when you are not in them. It was hard but I can just stay positive, that’s all I can do." - Elizabet Tursynbaeva

Tursynbaeva builds fitness ahead of return

Having suffered an allergic reaction the day before, Tursynbaeva sported a pair of dark glasses for Olympic Day.

The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympian started with core exercises due to her back injury, using a band to add resistance.

During the workout she explained, "We are doing core because it’s really important when you jump with a lot of rotations. You need to keep it centred and that's when strong muscles help."

A combination of injury and lockdown restrictions means she has spent a considerable time away from the ice, something she has found tough mentally.

The 20-year-old said, "You're trying to exercise off the ice but it's all so different - the feeling on the ice is totally different from the feeling off the ice.

"All I can do is just keep my muscles strong before I get on the ice, but it’s pretty hard. It's not like different kinds of sports where you can practise some things off the ice."

She also said that this set of core exercises was "probably what I'm doing every day right now".

Elizabet Tursynbaeva skating at the 2019 Shanghai Trophy

An accomplished violinist, Tursynbaeva also revealed that she has been playing music again during COVID-19 quarantine, and getting ready to follow in Nathan Chen's footsteps by starting university.

She said, "I finished music school when I was little but now I've had time, I've started doing music again, playing the violin and piano.

"I try to keep myself busy with music and I have also exams coming up. I'm going to go to university so I have a lot of things to do."

And she's keeping a lid on her expectations when she does finally return to the ice.

"Since I've missed a lot, I'm not expecting much from myself. I hope I’m not going to fall on the ice like a beginner! But I keep my muscles strong so that when I step on the ice I can feel more confident." - Elizabet Tursynbaeva

Elizabet Tursynbaeva acknowledges the crowd after her free skate featuring a quad Salchow at the 2019 World Championships in Saitama