In figure skating, several major tournaments ended at once, the main of which was the penultimate stage of the Grand Prix in France. In Grenoble, the stakes were higher than ever – for most participants this is the last chance to compete for the series finale, which will be held in December in Japan. Our athletes performed successfully – won gold and silver in women’s singles, a similar result in pair skating and bronze in ice dancing. Perhaps the men could not win the awards, but at the same time they showed very good skates and inspired hope for successful performances in the next competitions. At the same time, strong skaters performed in Poland and Perm, where there were also many interesting stories. But first things first.
Falling from a quadruple
First, about the most exciting – female singles. At the stage in Grenoble, there were three participants from Russia – Ksenia Sinitsyna from the Snow Leopards of Svetlana Panova’s group and Alena Kostornaya with Anna Shcherbakova from the Sambo-70 team of coach Eteri Tutberidze. After the short program, all three first places remained with our girls – the first Shcherbakova, then Kostornaya, and Sinitsyna in third place.
According to the results of free programs, Shcherbakova and Kostornaya held their positions, but Ksenia fell back to fourth place. She performed without mistakes, but did not perform technically difficult elements. While her Japanese rival Wakaba Higuchi performed the triple axel. Alena Kostornaya also went to the element, but she fell due to low-quality ice. Pits and puddles on the ice prevented Anna Shcherbakova from making a quadruple lutz.
“I don’t know what happened there. I played at this skating rink 40 years ago – everything was fine, – said the silver medalist of the Olympic Games Sergei Shakhrai in an interview with Izvestia. – But if the ice was really bad, then that explains a lot. The speed slows down and it is already difficult to perform the element with high quality. But the main thing – what a fighter Anya is! I assembled and then rolled the program without errors. And I really liked her new program, it suits Shcherbakova very much.
Indeed, in addition to falling at the start, there were no shortcomings in the box office of the current world champion. She performed the quadruple lutz, won the tournament and is now calmly preparing with two victories for the series finale. Most likely, Alena Kostornaya will also be in the final – in addition to the “silver” of Grenoble, she has a “bronze” at the Canadian Grand Prix. Sinitsyna has no chances for the final now, and Ksenia will perform at another parallel start in Zagreb.
Controversial refereeing again
Initially, our men, who came to the French stage of the Grand Prix, did not have a chance for the final either. Artur Danielyan, Andrey Mozalev, Dmitry Aliev – all of them are united by the fact that they failed to perform successfully at their previous competitions. They remained without a medal in France, but if you take Mozalev specifically, he managed to please the audience with a good free program. According to a technical assessment, he gave the best result of the second day, and only lost to the champion Yuma Kagiyama in terms of components. True, the unsuccessful short one multiplied all of Andrey’s successes by zero, and according to the results of two rentals, he was only in seventh place.
Danielyan is a talented guy, but so far he continues to solve health problems. Therefore, the 10th place and many mistakes should not be confused. The best of ours – Dmitry Aliev – is on the fifth line. Although there are many questions to his speech. It’s a shame that at tournaments in Poland and at the Russian Cup in Perm, we did not see pure performances from singles. Talents come, declare complex elements, but the execution is lame, as always.
“Our guys are very talented, there’s nothing to argue about,” Sergey Shakhrai continued. – They have everything, but there is no strong leader in sight. One and the same problem and it is very difficult to explain why, despite such talent, the guys make offensive mistakes from time to time.
There were no serious flaws in the skating of our dance duet Alexandra Stepanova and Ivanv Bukinv, nevertheless, according to estimates, their rental in France has become almost the worst over the past few years. Dissatisfaction with the refereeing in the dances was exacerbated by the fact that at the same time the junior pair Diana Davis / Gleb Smolkin went to the personal record at the tournament in Warsaw.
Note that Davis is the daughter of Eteri Tutberidze. Her other athletes also performed in Poland – single skater Maya Khromykh made mistakes, but won, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov won with a clean run. Now, according to Tarasov / Morozov’s estimates, they are the leaders of the season, but Alexandra Boykova and Dmitry Kozlovsky, after the victory in Grenoble, are determined to fight them seriously.
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