The boldest predictions of Russian figure skating fans came true, the boldest dreams came true. The entire podium at the 2021 World Cup was taken by our girls! Anna Shcherbakova’s gold, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva’s silver, Alexandra Trusova’s bronze.
Three-time Russian champion and student Eteri Tutberidze became world champion on the eve of her 17th birthday. Anna passed a very difficult period of growing up without losing her best qualities. This season was not easy for Shcherbakova. Even the coaches admired the courage of the fragile girl, who came out to compete in the Russian championship, not fully recovering from her illness. And not only came out, but became a champion.
In Stockholm, Shcherbakova was subjected to tremendous psychological pressure. After a short program in which Anna updated her personal record, a flurry of criticism fell upon her. Numerous foreign experts said: Tutberidze’s student is being pulled by the ears to the highest step of the podium. It is surprising that there was no adequate response from numerous Russian experts.
It cannot be said that Anna performed the free program brilliantly, but she performed it in the highest degree professionally. The first of two announced quadruple jumps, a flip, ended in a fall. The second, lutz, Shcherbakova did not perform. But all the other jumping elements were flawless. Considering the margin after the short program and the mistakes of the competitors, this was quite enough for a confident victory.
None of the medal contenders were without mistakes at the 2021 World Cup. The hyped Japanese Rika Kihira generally fell back to the seventh line in the final protocol. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva fell while performing a triple flip, and the cascade with a triple axel turned out to be imperfect. But the second “Trixel” is exemplary! Stockholm again turned out to be a happy city for the student of Alexei Mishin. Six years ago, she won the European Championship in the capital of Sweden, and has now added the silver of the World Championship to her collection of awards.
Alexei Mishin’s student has a very interesting free program this season. It is based on the ballet performance of the Petersburg choreographer Yuri Smekalov “The Chronicles of a Clockwork Bird” to the music of the composer Bhima Yunusov. Initially, it was staged for the soloist of the Mariinsky Theater in Japan, Mei Nagahishi, on the floor. Tuktamysheva transferred the illustration for Haruki Murakami’s book to the ice.
The experienced skater and her wise coach managed to some extent to get rid of the excitement that reigned around the performance of Russian skaters in Stockholm. Tuktamysheva simply did not perform a completely competitive program in the morning warm-up, so as not to give reasons for unnecessary conversations. Yes, there were some mistakes during the rental at the 2021 World Cup, but the silver of a 24-year-old figure skater in the era of the young and early is worth a lot.
Bronze was literally jumped out by Alexandra Trusova. Although she and her young coach Evgeni Plushenko just lacked experience and wisdom. Russian Rocket went all-in, claiming five quadruple jumps. If Alexander performed them cleanly, she could have become a champion in general. Even three would be enough with the flawless execution of the remaining elements. Only out of five declared quads, Trusova perfectly performed only two.
Of course, the desperate bravery of the Russian Rocket deserves admiration. Behind the smile in the zone of tears and kisses after the performance in Stockholm is hard labor. There is also a huge amount of work on the components.
They are very different, our girls who conquered the world. At the same time, it was probably harder for them to break into the Russian national team than to repulse the attacks of competitors on the podium at the 2021 World Cup. No matter what numerous foreign experts say, there is no equal to Russian figure skaters in the world.
We also note the magnificent (and also different) productions of programs for the winners of the 2021 World Cup. Against the background of simple compositions of competitors, they stood out noticeably, and not all foreign figure skating fans, alas, appreciated the work of Daniil Gleichengauz, Yuri Smekalov and Sergei Rozanov. Someone even wrote that “these Russians are tired of their complex performances.” We will just admire our girls!