Competition in Russian women's figure skating is such that sometimes athletes are enough for only one or two seasons. Before you know it, at 18 you are being replaced by younger, more jumpy and more flexible girls.
Everyone is in awe of our trio now: Alexandra Trusova, Anna Shcherbakova and Alena Kostornayawho won all international competitions last season. But few people realize that a new generation of future figure skating stars has already lined up behind them. We get to know them better and remember the names.
Age: 14 years old
Trainer: Eteri Tutberidze (Sambo-70)
A native of Kazan Kamila Valieva together with her parents, she moved to Moscow in 2012, when she was six years old. At first she studied at the Moskvich school, and two years ago she successfully passed the screening at the Sambo-70 school with Eteri Tutberidze.
In March 2020, Kamila won the Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn. Moreover, she managed to set a new world record, gaining a total of 227.30 points.
Camila has already won the right to compete at the senior level in national tournaments. Experts predict a great future for her and believe that it is she who will be able to move in the near future one of our three leaders in women's singles figure skating.
Valieva is surprisingly unlike any of ours or any foreign figure skater: her movements are incredibly smooth and graceful. She skates as if by herself, without looking back at the complexity of the elements. It seems that all these quadruple jumps that other athletes have been working on for years are just a joy to her.
If nothing unexpected happens in the development of her career and there are no more cataclysms on our planet like a pandemic, then Camila is the main contender for the Olympic gold in Beijing in 2022. It must be her time.
Age: 13 years old
Trainer: Sergey Davydov (CSKA)
Coach Sergei Davydov from the CSKA school in the world of figure skating is already called one of the main competitors of Tutberidze. The former figure skater, who has two trips to the Olympic Games and 4th place in the European Championship, is now working with two very promising girls.
One of them is 13 years old Sophia Samodelkina - already confidently jumping triple axel at competitions, and in training performs quadruple salchows and sheepskin coats with might and main. The plans include a quadruple lutz. It is still too early to speak about a long-term perspective to go global. However, it is clear that the junior has all the data for this.
Age: 13 years old
Coach: Eteri Tutberidze (Sambo-70)
Another potential star is growing up in the depths of "Khrustalny" at Eteri Tutberidze. At the beginning of the year, young Sofya Akatieva in one wicket won the Moscow Junior Cup, which was held at the skating rink in Medvedkovo. Her quadruple toe loop in a cascade delighted all the experts and just fans. The girl's plans are to bring the quadruple salchow to the ideal, which will bring her to a new level.
Curiously, Sophia was born on July 7, 2007, which means that according to the rules of the International Figure Skating Federation (ISU), she will not be able to count on a trip to the 2022 Olympic Games due to her age. Now, if six days earlier - before July 1 - then she would have passed the age limit. Thus, for her, the nearest Olympic prospects will open only in 2026. Perhaps this is even for the best: the competition in women's figure skating is too high now.
Age: 12 years old
Trainer: Evgeny Plushenko ("Angels Plushenko")
This spring, the name of the skater Veronica Zhilina thundered in the media: after Alexandra Trusova from Eteri Tutberidze, she went under the wing of Evgeni Plushenko.
The girl was born in Arkhangelsk and quickly got on skates as her mother worked as a figure skating coach. For the first time they started talking loudly about Veronica last year, when she perfected the quadruple salchow in "Khrustalny" and became the youngest figure skater in history (11 years old), who performed it cleanly.
Last year she also took part in the filming of the second season of the project “Ice Age. Children". Well, in 2020, she confidently won the junior tournament "New Year 2020" in Moscow.
Veronica also has unique flexibility and stretch. She is now practically the only skater who is capable of performing a jump into a negative split in competitions. Another element in which it has no equal is the cantilever.
Age: 12 years old
Coach: Sergey Davydov (CSKA)
Another girl who jumped a quadruple jump at the age of 11 - Elizaveta Berestovskayastudying at CSKA with Sergei Davydov. It was more than a year ago, now the skater has noticeably improved.
Like Zhilin, Elizaveta became famous for her participation in the children's "Ice Age", where she managed to attract attention. It was she who got the main prize from the organizers. Thanks to this, she also had her first personal fans.
Excellent technique, desire to improve and a competent coach can contribute to success in the near future. The starts are not far off among adult athletes, so it is necessary to bring the execution of key elements to perfection.