Golden Skate

Ievleva leads ladies at Russian Nationals

Skating to a blues medley, Alexandra Ievleva was playful and expressive, landing a triple loop-double toeloop combination, a triple toeloop, and a double Axel out of a twizzle. The 19-year-old also produced a level three straight line footwork sequence, a good layback spin (featuring unusual blade-to-head variations), and a good level four spiral sequence to earn 55.85 points for a first place finish.

Ievleva later commented that she felt she did well. “I’m not too surprised about my lead because my coach said if I skate up to my potential, I would place well,” said Ievleva. She added that she changed coaches a couple of months ago [moving from Tchaikovskaya to Gromova]. “I like the change. The coach doesn’t treat me as “special” and gives the same amount of attention to everyone.”

Ievleva also stated that she would “upgrade” the jumping content of her program should she finish in top three and qualify for the European Championships.

Elena Sokolova opened her short to Turandot with a triple lutz-double toeloop combination, but then doubled and stepped out of a triple loop. The defending national champion also landed a double Axel, but the program itself appeared to be weak and uninspired. She placed second with 53.10 points.

Sokolova later explained at a press conference that she had concentrated too much on landing the opening combo, which up till now, had been a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination. Sokolova also commented that it was cruel to schedule Nationals right after the New Year. “I must have been too relaxed after landing the triple Lutz-double toeloop combination,” she added, referring to the mistake on the triple loop.

Arina Martinova displayed excellent lines, flexibility, and good choreography in her Otonal routine, but was unable to tackle the jumps. Although she produced good spins and footwork, the current junior champion had a tight landing on her triple lutz-double toeloop combination, fell hard on a double Axel, and singled a flip, placing third with 48.54 points.

“Horrible!” was Martinova’s reponse when asked how she felt about her skate.”I don’t know what happened on the Axel. It’s an easy jump.” She added that she also changed coaches earlier this year [from Sokolovskaya (CSKA) to Kudriavsteva]. “Things are getting better in practice now,” said Martinova.

Ksenia Doronina stepped out of a triple flip, but landed a triple Lutz (Tano-style)-double toeloop combination and a double Axel in her routine to Spanish rhythms, placing a close fourth with 48.09 points.

Viktoria Volchkova had a strong start to her program when she landed a very good triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, but then underrotated and stepped out of a triple flip, stepped out of a double Axel, and missed the flying sit spin entirely after landing the entry jump on both feet. The reigning national silver medalist finished fifth with 47.15 points.

Nina Petushkova was the only other skater besides Ievleva to land all her jumps. However, her spiral sequence and final combination spin didn’t receive credit as the positions were not held long enough and she placed sixth with 44.64 points.

Ekaterina Kozireva showed excellent speed and attack, but had problems on the jumps. The 13-year-old landed a good triple flip, but two-footed her triple loop and popped her double Axel to a waltz jump, placing seventh with 43.86 points.

Elena Zhidkova landed a triple flip-double-toeloop combination and a double Axel, but fell out of her change combination spin, placing eighth (42.18 points).

Margareta Tertichnaia fell on a triple flip and underrotated a double Axel, placing ninth (41.89 points).

Alena Leonova produced a good level four spiral sequence, a nice layback spin, and a double Axel, but fell out of a triple Salchow and underrotated a triple flip to place tenth with 41.56 points.

Katarina Gerboldt was eleventh (37.32 points), followed by Olga Naidenova (35.40 points) and Kristina Stepanova (32.65 points).