Russian Figure Skating Nationals
I was hoping that Ksenia Makarova would repeat as national champion, but that didn’t happen. Having said that, I don’t really like her programs much (which isn’t entirely her fault), so I wasn’t overly disappointed. Ksenia had a small lead over Adelina Sotnikova after the short program, but in the long program she fell out of some jumps and fell during the takeoff of another. The defending champion finished a disappointing fifth. Luckily for her, Biryukova finished behind her both days, so her chances at going to the World and European Championships have not diminished. I assume that she will attend these competitions along with the highest senior finisher, Alena Leonova.
Here is Ksenia’s short program. I wish she could do more with the music.
Adelina Sotnikova ended up winning her second national title by nearly ten points. Adelina has won everything she could as a junior so far this season, and complicated her programs to compete with the seniors here. It didn’t pay off when she fell and finished less than a point behind Makarova, but it did in the long program. She has certainly come a long way since she won her first national title when she was only twelve years old.
Here is Adelina’s long program:
My favorite of the championships was twelve year old Julia Lipnitskaya. Julia is twelve years old (2014 eligible!) and finished fourth overall. She has amazing flexibility in her spins, which are in perfect splits. It often looks to me like skaters have to pull as hard as possible when they hold their leg in front, but it looks natural for Lipnitskaya; her leg goes up to the side of her body. She isn’t a bad jumper either! I think she did a triple-triple in the short program and a double axel-triple-double in the long. I do wonder why her name is translated as Julia instead of Yulia.
Here are Julia’s short and long programs:
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva bombed the short program, but performed well in the long to finish third overall. Hopefully someday, she’ll be able to do a good short program at nationals. That wouldn’t have helped her finish here since she was third in the long program, but if Makarova had performed well she may have not gotten a medal.
Here is her long program:
Polina Agafonova, the junior world bronze medalist, looked like she was coming back well from a rough start of her season and was sixth in the short program. But she had a disastrous long program with three falls and finished only ninth overall.
Here is Agafonova’s short program:
I’m not really sure when the teams will be named, but I’d assume that Makarova and Leonova will be the seniors at Europeans and Worlds. Meanwhile, Sotnikova and Tuktamysheva look like they have sewn two of the three Junior Worlds spots with good performances here and during the Grand Prix, but I think Junior Nationals are still to come. They could be joined by Biryukova, Shelepen, Scheveleva (13th SP/5th LP) or Agafonova. Unfortunately, Lipnitskaya is to young.