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Favorites Tutberidze and new Plushenko and Yagudin: juniors have Grand Prix Final

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Junior Final of the Russian Grand Prix starts on Wednesday in Sochi. Sports predict a powerful fight in women's single skating with extreme difficulty and a dispute between the heirs of Plushenko and Yagudin in men's.

Parade of quadruples
This season, one could often hear opinions that the level of Russian sports in the context of suspension is inevitably falling. However, the girls' competition in the Grand Prix Final may call this position into question. More than ten athletes will perform in Sochi and almost all of them performed ultra-c elements, if not in competitions, then in training. The main contender for the gold of the tournament, Margarita Bazylyuk, completely captivated the world community when she performed a cascade of two quadruple Salchows at the Russian jumping championship. Of course, she does not guarantee something like this in the finals, but no one doubts that the figure skater from the group, Eteri Tutberidze, will try to perform her maximum. Considering that her arsenal includes a triple Axel, a quadruple Salchow and a quadruple toe loop, then her rivals have virtually no chance for error.

In Her classmate Alisa Dvoeglazova will fight with Bazylyuk. The athlete entered four quadruples at once for the Russian championship: two lutzes, one of them in a combination, a sheepskin coat and a loop. True, in the end I only performed lutz and sheepskin coat. There were objective reasons for this: in the second half of January, the 15-year-old figure skater had to stop training due to problems with her knee. But even the stated content shows that Dvoyeglazova has enormous potential.
Alena Prineva, a student of Ekaterina Moiseeva from CSKA, will try to intervene in the dispute between the Tutberidze athletes. She didn’t do well at the championship, where she only took 11th place. In an interview with Sport24, Prineva said that she had already tried to perform content of three quadruples in training, she had not yet succeeded, but maybe at the end of the season she would risk doing it at official competitions.

Other girls do not yet have so many quadruples, but this does not mean that they will not be able to compete for prizes. Cleanly executed jumping elements, spins and a track of the fourth level of difficulty will create confident competition. Moreover, many fans have already noted the artistry of Sofia Dzepka, Agata Petrova and Polina Tikhonova.

Confrontation between Fedotov and Lazarev
The competition between 14-year-old Arseny Fedotov and Lev Lazarev, it seems, will soon become as fundamental as the struggle between Olympic champions Alexei Yagudin and Evgeni Plushenko once was. And, perhaps, in terms of intensity it will be even more intriguing and exciting. The thing is that since the rivalry between famous athletes, figure skating has stepped far forward and now very young skaters are churning out quadruple jumps as easily as an adult solves the multiplication table.


This season, Lazarev has already beaten Fedotov at one of the stages of the Grand Prix in Moscow, so the intrigue still remains. The one who has stronger nerves will win.

Ivan Ramzenkov, Eduard Karartynyan, Nikolai Ugozhaev and Nikita Malyutin will not want to give up their positions.

In pairs and dancing without surprises
Due to their specificity, length of service often plays a role in these sports. But when will the judges start to be remembered, if not now? As the season progressed, Anastasia Chernyshova and Vladislav Vilchik asserted themselves confidently. This year they won four starts among sports pairs. Athletes from Pavel Slyusarenko’s group may have a chance to get around them. He has long established himself as a coach whom even seasoned specialists must reckon with. It was his two couples who took vacant places in the Russian national team; another couple, Elizaveta Osokina and Artem Gritsaenko, missed this opportunity due to an unfortunate accident – their partner’s broken lace. Kira Domozhirova and Ilya Vegera, Taisiya Shcherbinina and Artem Petrov probably took note of this incident and will not allow such an oversight.

The dance leaders among juniors are Ekaterina Rybakova and Ivan Makhnonosov, but the duet of Anna Kolomenskaya and Artem Frolova proves time after time that he should not be written off. However, many will also root for the full namesake of the Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova, who is paired with Yegor Goncharov. If Ekaterina Rubleva’s figure skaters have the same character and desire to win as Tutberidze’s student, then sooner or later they will be guaranteed first places.

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