Kolyada : The Russian Championship, which will qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing, will be opened by men. The composition of Russian singles wishing to win three places on the podium is extensive. Mikhail Kolyada remains the undisputed leader of men’s single skating in Russia. But to win, as, alas, each of the supposed seven (at least) the strongest is capable of breaking. How the three winners will look like is beyond prediction.
Mikhail Kolyada is a silver medalist at the 2018 Olympic Games, a bronze medalist at the 2018 World Championship, a two-time medalist at the European Championships, and a three-time champion of Russia. Kolyada at no tournament in his career, where he played, did not turn out to be lower than eighth place. Jumping stability is not Misha’s strong point, but high components always provide the right shoulder. At the World Championships last year, Kolyada finished fifth.
This season, Mikhail was twice the second at the Grand Prix stages, reached the series finals, which ISU canceled now completely. In addition to the traditional quadruple sheepskin coat, he showed the performance of the quadruple salchow.
For the Russian Championship, Kolyada, together with coach Mishin, decided to return the free program of the last season. It was about her that both experts and fans tirelessly and enthusiastically recalled. St. Petersburg will see the heartfelt “White Crow” again.
Many thought that this should happen by the main starts of the season. The program is very good, and Misha performed with it (due to covid restrictions on starts) last season on the international arena only once – only at the World Championship. And the straightforward explanation of Kolyada himself confirms thought. Misha said that he understood perfectly well that if he had been rolling the White Crow without interruption since August, he would soon turn into “a worn, annoying crow.”
By the way, three-time world figure skating champion Nathan Chen, who is going to Beijing to make his dream come true – to become an Olympic champion, is again performing with the programs for the 2019/20 season. This year, the skater performed a short program with Benjamin Clementine’s Nemesis and a free program to music by Mozart, but returned the short program to a song performed by Charles Aznavour and a medley from Elton John’s works in a free program. At least – he will perform with them at the US Championship, and then he will make a decision.
Why? I also didn’t feel 100% comfortable: “Something was wrong with these programs. There are other programs with which I feel a great connection. “
But Chen’s problems with this connection do not prevent him from performing jumps. And the main question of Mikhail Kolyada is still not in the choice of the program, although we all wanted the return of the “White Crow”, but in how Mikhail will be able to cope with the jumps. The Russian Championship is a start that he can win even if he makes mistakes. But ahead is not only the selection for the Olympic Games in the individual competition. The team tournament, the composition of its participants is a question. Russia needs to return the gold in the “commanding officer” lost in Korea-2018. Which of the men in Beijing 2022 will have to skate the short program, and who will have to skate the free program (if one of the two substitutions in the Russian team will be done by men), will have to be decided based on the results of performances at the Russian championship.
True, this question depends not only on how Mikhail Kolyada will perform in St. Petersburg specifically. There are many candidates for medals. And the past starts have not brought anyone to the leaders yet, except for Kolyada.
Dmitry Aliev is still the reigning European champion (last year’s European Championship was canceled due to covid). His first adult season fell on the pre-Olympic season: the third place in the Russian Championship, and then the second in the European Championship made it possible to go to Korea-2018 with Mikhail Kolyada. The skater finished his debut in seventh place, did not participate in the team tournament.
Last year, Dima overcame injuries, the same happened at the beginning of the season. The skater’s performances were shockingly hard. If it was not possible to restore the jumps, Aliyev will not be able to intervene in the dispute over the podium.
Evgeny Semenenko – at the last Russian championship, the athlete suffered a failure, but the clean skates at the Russian Cup sent the skater who was not fired by international starts to the world championship. And not just show yourself, but win the full quota for our singles at the Olympic Games. That he, having performed perfectly (eighth place), and did together with Kolyada.
This season, Zhenya had both good skates and not so much. There was also an injury received at the Grand Prix stage in Canada – he fell and badly bruised a rib. But even in this situation, the athlete was able to take third place.
Makar Ignatov – was the second at the last Russian championship, but just additional starts were sent instead to the world championship of Semenenko. This season, Makar managed to land 6 quadruple jumps in two programs at the Japanese Grand Prix. True, he received a very low second mark. And this, like endurance, is his weak point.
Andrey Mozalev – last year he made his senior ice debut and was eager to impose rivalry on his elders. But I had to overcome problems with my leg, which ended only after the operation. This season, Andrei could not boast of clean and confident skating at all starts, but closer to the Russian Championship he showed the performance of a free program with three quadruple jumps.
Alexander Samarin – it’s hard to believe, but this national start will be the tenth for Sasha. The skater was the prize-winner of the Russian championship four times. The only world championship in which he participated, brought him 12th place.
This season, Samarin pleased with a good form already at the test skates, then everything went not so optimistic. Whether he was able to reach a new peak of form, the St. Petersburg ice will show.
Mark Kondratyuk – in Chelyabinsk-2020 at the Russian Championship, the skater sensationally burst into the top three winners. Performs five quadruple jumps in two programs, shows emotional skating. But he also lacks stability: performances from “good” to breakdowns.
Russian Figure Skating Championship
December 23, Thursday
13.15 – men, short program
16.05 – ice dancing, rhythm dance
19.05 – pairs, short program
December 24, Friday
12.45 – ice dancing, free dance
15.15 – men, free program
18.20 – women short program
December 25, Saturday
15.30 – pairs, free program
18.00 – women, free program
December 26, Sunday
14.00 – demonstration performances
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