Russian Nationals this past week was certainly an intriguing competition – after Evgeni Plushenko’s successful comeback to competition, there was the ladies’ event, which was full of talented young skaters. A few thoughts on the ladies from Russian Nationals.
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Related: Ladies’ free skate video gallery
Lipnitskaia steals the show.
Yes, Adelina Sotnikova may have won her third Russian national title, but it was silver medalist Julia Lipnitskaia who made the biggest splash out of all the ladies. She arguably should have won the whole thing based on Sotnikova’s mistakes in the free skate, but nonetheless, what a strong season so far for Lipnitskaia, who has won everything in the junior international circuit. She might just get some revenge at Junior Worlds should Russia decide to send her and Sotnikova to the competition.
WATCH: Sotnikova Russian Nationals free skate
WATCH: Lipnitskaia Russian Nationals free skate
And then you’ve got Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, who has outskated most of the senior ladies in the world this season but could only manage a sixth-place finish at her own nationals. No doubt, there is likely some fatigue for her after four competitions (Japan Open, two Grand Prix events, and the Grand Prix Final). But the jitters that she faced at the Final carried over to Russian Nationals, and she didn’t look nearly as secure as she did earlier this season.
WATCH: Tuktamisheva Russian Nationals free skate
What’s age anyway?
Here are the ages of the top seven skaters at Russian Nationals: Sotnikova (15), Lipnitskaia (13), Leonova (21), Makarova (19), Radionova (12), Tuktamisheva (15), Korobeynikova (15). There really isn’t any more to say.
Another 12-year old on the rise.
They just keep coming, don’t they? Lest we forget, Sotnikova won her first national title when she was 12. And while 12-year old Elena Radionova did not medal this week, she certainly showed plenty of signs of another star in the making.
WATCH: Radionova Russian Nationals short program
WATCH: Radionova Russian Nationals free skate
As with most young skaters, there isn’t much power in her stroking, but she gets some air in her jumps – it’s not just about spinning really fast in the air while getting about half a foot of height. She was a clean triple lutz-triple toe away from a seven-triple free skate, but she’s got a presence about her already that will suit her well in the future, provided that growth spurts don’t mess with her jumps. She will be too young for Sochi, though, but there’s a whole lot of potential there for the next Olympic cycle.
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