Margarita Bazylyuk became the new Russian champion among juniors. Sports tells what is special about the figure skater from the group of the honored coach of Russia Eteri Tutberidze, who is tipped for fame at the adult level.
Margarita is 12 years old. She is very embarrassed when she comes out to reporters through the small corridor of the Saransk Ogarev Arena, separating the ice from the mixed zone. Just a few meters is enough for this cold-blooded gold miner to turn into a timid lamb, desperately trying to look at least a little more mature. She answers briefly and gives out, as if on command, the stop phrase “the main thing is clean performance, not a medal,” as if at least one person in the world would believe it.
Or even if she believes it, it will only be because it seems that such a question was not before her initially – to take the gold medal. She had it in her pocket long before she went on the ice.
At the skating rink, Margarita slammed ultra-c after ultra-c, as if it were some kind of child's game. Skating in front of her was 15-year-old Alisa Dvoeglazova – like Rita, a debutante at the championship, but by modern age standards she was already an honorary veteran. I have to say, I skated very coolly and, no matter how funny it may sound, maturely. She made a plus with a luxurious quadruple lutz and almost reached the toe loop – not the maximum set for Alisa, but after a relatively recent knee injury it was practically combat-ready.
She received 231.33 points, and at some point it seemed that this might be enough. Well, a 12-year-old child can’t get more? Who actually got that much at her age?
Nobody. She does a triple Axel, two quadruple toe loops, and a quadruple Salchow. Four ultra-cs – the set of prime Kamila Valieva at the Olympics, when all the stars aligned, and the jumps were perfected over many years of training. The main talent of a generation, and even of all modern figure skating, spent a whole career leading up to what 12-year-old Rita achieved at the very beginning of her journey.
But this is not what is much more impressive. We saw the jumps, but they alone can’t surprise us. But the fact that after all the striking jumping power Margarita managed to perform almost flawless rotations is surprising. No, perhaps Bazylyuk is not yet at Valieva’s level in this regard, but the highest possible fourth level on all three elements – excellent centering, clear positions.
For all her splendor, she scored 245.19 points, of which a little more than 170 – only for the free skate. And the paradox is that the judges seem to have to restrain her. She seems to be too good for her time, and if you start betting on her as generously as we usually do on the recognized leaders of the national team… How much will she gain then?
This question freezes in my head while Margarita, almost out of breath after a killer free program, goes to Kiss&Cry to listen to the scores. Then – when she accepts gifts from fans and signs autographs. Then she goes to the mixed zone and says something about the importance of clean work for performances or something like that, and you keep thinking, how does she do it? And, you know, it becomes scary. From how much strength and untapped potential there is in this child. It feels like there is so much that no one else has ever had.
And yet – how does she do it? It seems that the little girl Rita is in no hurry to give the answer to this big riddle. Well, the more interesting it will be to observe and work further.