Russian figure skaters : The European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn are risky. However, he is not alone, anxiety for top athletes in our time is a companion of every start. It is too late to argue whether it was necessary to exhibit the strongest composition of Russia on the eve of the Olympic Games. Life will show. But our skaters are again capable of winning all the European gold.
For a while, Europe lived without this tournament due to a pandemic. Therefore, the current champions who received titles in Graz-2020 are still Alena Kostornaya, Dmitry Aliev, Alexandra Boykova and Dmitry Kozlovsky, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov. Will our skaters be able to repeat the success and win all the gold now in Tallinn? Only one thing can be said with absolute certainty: the new (but this does not mean that not Russian) European champions will be in both singles disciplines. Kostornaya and Aliev are out of the tournament.
Yes, our skaters are favorites in Tallinn, but each sport has its own intrigue. Of course, the removal of famous foreign figure skaters – and a blow to the dances of the championship was inflicted, for example, by the French Gabriela Papadakis and Guillaume Sizeron, the tournament impoverishes. But everyone overcomes “bubble” moods in their own way.
And the same French did not invent a legend for a “decent” rejection of the tournament. They said how it is – we are afraid to fly, we want to protect ourselves as much as possible from infection, so it will be more prudent. They expressed the hope that the referees later (that is, already at the Games) will not be “unnecessarily strict” because of this. And ours is a positive point in refusal: concentration on training and economy of strength in front of Beijing.
The removal of top athletes from the tournament is, of course, a complicated story. The refuseniks let the organizers down, give them the opportunity to think that they do not want to meet with rivals before the main battle. Everything is so, and somehow not very athletic. True, there is one big “but”: will at least someone remember this if the French, being leaders in dancing in recent years, make their dream come true and become Olympic champions?
Therefore, the French federation did not dissemble: “Gabriela Papadakis and Guillaume Sizeron withdrew from the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn in order to avoid contracting coronavirus before the Olympic Games in Beijing, which are their main goal.”
European Champions Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, who withdrew from their free dance at the Russian Championship due to back problems with their partner, intend to confirm their title in Tallinn and again compete in absentia with the French scores. But for the first time in the season, they will have to fully meet with Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin. This duet made a very strong impression at the Russian Championship, showing the results of the work of the combination of coaches Irina Zhuk and Alexander Svinin with Nikolai Morozov and Alexei Gorshkoy.
Of the foreign rivals, the most interesting are the Italians Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabri. And, by the way, also in absentia, while they won the season against Stepanova and Bukin.
Our third pair at the European Championship – Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin – will have their debut. It is interesting to see how the juniors, who alarmed the Russian championship, will look against the background, for example, of two Spanish duos that gained strength in the season: Olivia Smart – Adriana Diaz and Sarah Hurtado – Kirill Khalyavin or dancers from Great Britain Lila Fir and Lewis Gibson.
For Russian men – Mark Kondratyuk, Yevgeny Semenenko and Andrei Mozalev, who replaced Mikhail Kolyada, who received a foot injury, will perform in Tallinn – everything can be very good. I would like to think so. And I don’t want to think about the unpredictability of our singles at all.
Yes, Europe will confront Semenenko and Mozalev in a new full-time rivalry: at the Russian Championship, Mozalev won the third place, but Evgeny Semenenko entered the national team for the European Championship by decision of the FFKKR. There were no violations of the sports principle here – the third place in the team is always determined by the federation. But Zhenya, despite the stability of the last year and the reputation of a stable athlete, still gave rise to doubts. And Andrei, on the contrary, giving these reasons in the season, showed the result at the Russian Championship.
Mark Kondratyuk, who was sensationalized in St. Petersburg with his energetic performances at the Russian Championship, will also strive to prove the non-coincidence of victory at the home start.
Potentially, that is, in their best skates, our singles are capable of a lot. But none of them has yet convinced that starts are his element, in which forces traditionally arrive, and not vice versa. All three also have foreign rivals in Tallinn, and there are not so few of them. There were also losses: Matteo Rizzo starred due to some “technical reasons”. By the way, an excellent wording, everyone can interpret the words as they want.
But the Italian Daniel Grassl, who knows how to perform the three most expensive jumps in four turns, will let him down, however, they are not very cool. Frenchman Kevin Aymoz is a loser of the last European championship (already 26th place), and even the beginning of this season, but clearly has gained shape by the time of the national championship. Denis Vasiliev from Latvia – he still could not cope with jumps in four turns, although he is trying to do salchow, but without them he is gaining high points. Finally, Moscow Georgian Moris Kvitelashvili won the bronze medal at the last European Championship.
Pair skating in Russia at the European Championship is represented by the strongest athletes in the world. World Champions Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Gallyamov have already repeatedly confirmed their explosive debutant debut, which ended in triumph, last year. But their colleagues in the group, Alexandra Boykova and Dmitry Kozlovsky, showed at the Russian Championship that the struggle for leadership is to their liking.
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov just can’t cope with clean runs. And they still leave a kind of mysterious impression: there is an expectation that they will nevertheless be covered with courage-confidence, on which they will rush forward, only courage is somewhere along the way.
So much has been said about single women in Russia that all the words already seem to be repetitions. But Tallinn must stop all the talk about the fact that Anya Shcherbakova has to prove and confirm her place in the Olympic team to someone, taking third place in the Russian championship. You don’t need to prove anything to Anna, and you don’t even need to take empty talk in your head. Let it go out and conquer, as she knows how to do it. Why do we allow ourselves to involve athletes in our own evaluative fluency (deserved or not deserved) is a rhetorical question. And – nasty.
Has Anya claimed one quadruple jump? Let it be so (although the application is a formality), but more is not necessary. Moreover, it is possible that it will no longer be needed at the Olympic Games. Where medals are needed, not records. This is an old sports truth.
Sasha Trusova will not (upon request) take risks in Tallinn either. The first start after a leg injury she had just in St. Petersburg, the return turned out to be successful, luck must be supported without loss, competently.
Kamila Valieva is an absolute world record holder. She has yet to hold any of the senior titles of major starts in the international season. The Grand Prix final was canceled, it could have brought the first. Camila has now gained such competitive confidence that it is even strange to be afraid for her. She won all the tournaments in which she participated. Each rose higher and higher.
Two axels in three and a half turns in two programs and three quadruple jumps in an arbitrary are her application. No comments needed. And the search for courage is also unnecessary.
European Championship Schedule:
Men, short program (12:50 – Channel One website, 13:30 – Eurosport 1).
Sports couples, short program (19:45 – Eurosport 2, Channel One website, 22:35 – Channel One).
13th of January
Women, short program (12:05 – Eurosport 2, Channel One website, 17:00 – Channel One)
Sports couples, free program (20:00 – Eurosport 2, Channel One website, 22:35 – Channel One).
Dancing couples, rhythm dance (13:00 – Channel One website, from 15:30 – Eurosport 2, 17:00 – Channel One).
Men’s free program (19:00 – Eurosport 2, Channel One website).
Dancing couples, free dance (14:35 – Eurosport 2, Channel One website).
Women, free program (19:30 Eurosport 2, Channel One website, 21:30 – Channel One).
Demonstration performances (16:30 – the site of the First Channel).
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