Doronina catapults to gold at Russian Nationals

Ksenia Doronina, who was 13th last year, rose from fourth place after the short program to win the title. Alexandra Ievleva won the silver, while Elena Sokolova had to settle for bronze.

All medalists have earned a spot at the upcoming European Figure Skating Championships.

Lilia Biktagirova and Yana Smekhnova did not compete. The reasons were not confirmed at the time of this article, however it was suggested by officials that they withdrew due to injury.

Doronina, who stood in fourth after the short, opened her routine with a solid triple Lutz and a triple flip (both à la Tano-style). The 16-year-old also produced two more triple jumps and a double Axel, but underrotated a triple loop and singled a toeloop (in combination with a triple Lutz). She was awarded 98.11 points, placing first in the long and overall with 146.20 points to win the title.

Despite being clearly the best skater of the night, Doronina later said at the press conference that she could have skated even better. “I was hoping to do a more difficult spin and a 3-3 combination,” said the newly-crowned Russian Champion. She added that she did not expect to win, but was hoping for a clean skate and a medal. “I am so happy!” she continued “I dreamed of competing at Europeans and Worlds and now my dreams are coming true!”

Sokolova displayed more attack in her long program, delivering a double Axel, a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, and a triple loop. However, the 26-year-old two-footed the landing on her opening triple Lutz, singled a loop, and doubled a Salchow and a toeloop. Despite the mistakes, the 2006 European silver medalist earned 91.79 points for a second place finish in the long and placed third overall (144.89 points).

Following the performance, Sokolova admitted that she hadn’t skated as well as she had hoped. She added that her actual performance did not matter much in the end, because it’s clear that Russian Figure Skating Federation has made a decision to promote younger skaters.

Ievleva singled a Lutz, underrotated and fell on a triple loop, underrotated a triple Salchow, and singled a toeloop (in combination with a triple Salchow), but otherwise presented her program well, delivering a solid triple loop-double toeloop combination, a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, a good spiral sequence, and a double Axel. She was awarded 89.97 points for a third place finish in the long and but slipped to second overall (145.72 points).

Volchkova delivered a triple flip, a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination, and a double Axel, but underrotated and fell on a triple Lutz and a triple toeloop. The 24-year-old placed fourth (82.12 points) in the long and fifth overall (129.27 points).

Martinova underrotated her first triple Lutz (in combination with a double toeloop), fell on another later in her routine, and doubled a flip and a Salchow. The 16-year-old, who stood in third after the short, earned 81.39 points for a fifth place finish in the long and fourth (129.93 points) overall.

Naidenova, who stood in 10th after the short, delivered a good double Axel and two triple jumps, but underrotated three of her triples – all of which were in combination with a double jump. The 19-year-old, who was fourth last year, placed sixth in the long (78.41 points) and overall (113.81 points).

Kozireva skated well to a lyrical and soft long program which suits her well, showing good speed, attack, and power. The 2006 JGP Mirecurea Ciuc bronze medalist produced two triple jumps and a double Axel, but singled a Lutz, underrotated a triple flip, and stepped out of two Salchows. She was awarded 75.06 points, placing seventh in the long and sixth overall (118.92 points).

Tertichnaia, who looked solid during the warm-up, showed good speed in her routine, but fell on a double Axel and a triple Lutz. Though she had a good spiral sequence, the 15-year-old also put her hand down on a triple flip and underrotated two other jumps to place ninth (74.43 points) in the long and eighth (116.32 points) overall.

Leonova, who stood in 10th after the short, produced four triple jumps, but singled a toeloop and a flip (in combination with a double toeloop). She also landed a good triple Salchow and double Axel, however, they weren’t counted since they were considered a 7th and 8th jumping pass, respectively. The 2006 Junior Coupe Internationale de Nice Champion received receive 74.91 points for an eighth place finish in the long, moving up three spots to seventh overall (116.47 points).

Petushkova, who was sixth after the short, landed two triple jumps and a double Axel, but fell on her triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, as well as a a triple loop. The 14-year-old placed 10th with 70.14 points, dropping to ninth overall (114.78 points).

Zhidkova dropped from eighth to 11th place overall, while Gerboldt and Stepanova finished in 12th and 13th place, respectively.

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