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God's gift and scrambled eggs: Valieva smashes everyone in the world in absentia

2022 Olympic champion in team competition Kamila Valieva won the second victory in the Russian Grand Prix series, becoming the best at the stage in Kazan.

After the short program, where Valieva got 83.30 points and broke away from her closest rival by almost a pure triple axel distance, the intrigue of the Kazan Grand Prix stage fell ill, although it did not die completely. What does a modest 15-year-old girl from Yekaterinburg, Veronika Yametova, need to do to beat the Olympic champion? Content of comparable complexity on the first day of the competition was not even enough to get to a digestible distance. Not to mention something more.

In the free program, Valieva was the only one of all the participants in the stage who declared the element of ultra-c – a quadruple sheepskin coat, finally removing the question of who will be on the first step of the podium. Even the fall could not shake her self-confidence in any way – the gap after the short program is too large, and the judges already habitually support the leaders in all possible and impossible ways. Especially in a situation where the leader becomes the only athlete who even tries to go to ultra-si.In Kazan, it suddenly turned out that tournaments are possible in Russia, where in the women's singles there will suddenly not be a single risky girl, except for the one who does not need this risk to win at all. Purely for comparison – in parallel with the Russian Grand Prix in Kazan, the traditional (that is, international) Grand Prix was held in French Angers. We are used to hearing from experts and hardened people in figure skating that our level compared to the world is like a godsend with scrambled eggs. But this weekend, both in Russia and in France in women's single skating, only one quadruple jump happened (and both, which is typical, the “cheapest” sheepskin coats) – Camila went into it, and they had the Japanese Rion Sumiyoshi.

Of course, this is not a reason to talk about the regression of our women's figure skating, because at the previous and, I believe, at the subsequent stages of the Russian Grand Prix, the girls had an order of magnitude more complex elements. At the same time, the total number of athletes who are able to show stable ultra-si here and now has nevertheless decreased. Therefore, this weekend, the correspondence comparison of our Grand Prix with the ISU Grand Prix turned out to be quite relevant and indicative.Both there and there, the attempt of ultra-si ended in a fall. Only Sumiyoshi received 130.24 points for her rental with a number of technical errors, and Camila – almost 20 points more. And the most unusual thing about this is that such an alignment is no longer surprising to anyone. Therefore, the only ailing intrigue before the start of the free program in Kazan was not “who will win?”, but “how high will the judges rate Kamila Valieva this time?”Rated highly – 158.42 points for arbitrary and 241.72 in total. On the second day of the competition, Kamila was visually a little heavier than at the Grand Prix stage in Moscow, but the judges were still so inspired by the champion's skating that some of them (three out of seven) gave her a GOE score of “-4” for a fall on a quadruple sheepskin coat, although the rules are assigned to set “-5” for such an error by default. It is difficult to answer what caused such a deviation from the rules.

After the performance, Camila tried for an encore to remake the quadruple sheepskin coat to the approving rumble of the public, but both attempts also ended in a fall. However, this did not in the least embarrass either the skater herself or her coaches – they expected the marks for the free program with smiles.”The performance was not 100 percent,” Valieva told reporters after the performance.

The runner-up after the short program, Yametova, made a couple of underrotations in the free program, and in the combination of a triple lutz and a triple salchow through an oiler, she made too much pause after the first jump and was left without an element. This threw her to third place in the free program, but the Yekaterinburg native still retained the final silver (210.34).

“I wasn’t ready to stand on the podium with Valieva,” Yametova admitted to reporters after the performance. “I just had to skate cleanly. The performance was not bad, but there were some shortcomings. I will work on them. br>

The oldest single skater of the stage, 18-year-old Ksenia Sinitsyna, who was in third place after the short program, performed in an energy-saving mode in the free skate – she doubled the rittberger in the cascade with a triple lutz, allowed a couple of quarter-turn under-rotations . It was noticeable that Ksenia was still getting in shape and was not yet ready to skate in a big way, but there was no one to take away the final bronze (207.55).

br>”I missed a lot that season, thanks to the federation for being in the junior team,” said Sinitsyna. I plan to be at the sixth stage of the Grand Prix in Perm.

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