Home Figure Skating News Ksenia Makarova crowned new Russian Champion

Ksenia Makarova crowned new Russian Champion

by Anna Kondakova
Anna Kondakova

Ksenia Makarova performs her long program to The 13th Warrior at the 2010 Russian National Figure Skating Championships.

Ksenia Markova of St. Petersburg (SPB) won the ladies event in a tight field of four. Alena Leonova (SPB) rose two spots to to claim silver, while Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (SPB) catapulted from 10th to third overall.

Tuktamysheva skated first in the second  warm-up group, and the standard she set proved to be unmatched  throughout the event. The performance of the Glazov’s native was  marred only by an uncharacteristic fall on a triple Salchow in the second  half of the program, but she was otherwise clean.

Tuktamysheva, who will  finally be able to compete at Junior international competitions next  year, delivered six clean triple jumps which included a solid triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and an impressive double Axel-triple toeloop-double loop with excellent flow out  it.

Compared to her performances last year, Tuktamysheva improved the quality of  her jumps, which are higher and cover more distance than before. In  addition, her flamenco was full of little hand gestures to sell the  theme and the skater never fell out of character throughout the  routine. The 13-year-old placed first in the long with a score of  124.57 (73.69/51.88) points and third overall (173.53 points) to win the bronze.

“It was easier for me to skate today than yesterday,” said the student  of Alexei Mishin after the end of the competition. “On one hand, I  like my long program more. I feel more comfortable in it. On the  other hand, after the disastrous performance in the short program, I  had nothing to loose, so I tried to relax and just enjoy myself on the  ice. I think today I gave 95%. Unfortunately I had that one fall,  but I skated well otherwise.”

The coaches, Svetlana Veretennikova and Alexei Mishin, agreed that  their student excel in the long program. “She pushes herself too hard,  getting all eight elements in a short program clean is too much of a  pressure. The long program give you more freedom, you can do you what  you want, you could be creative and we do just that.”

“The mistake on Salchow was a fluke,” said Mishin. “She has  great consistency with the jump in practices. I guess today she lost  her focus for a while. But overall the way she skated today, she could  have challenged for a medal at an international event of any level. I  believe the judges were a bit cautious with their mark. Had she skated  in the last warm-up, she would have scored much higher.”

Leonova also improved on her performance, finishing second in  the long program and overall to win her first  medal of the National  Championships. The student of Alla Piatova did not attempt a  triple-triple combination as the landing of her opening triple  toeloop was not secure enough, however, she  avoided serious mistakes on all  other jumping elements.

The choreography of Leonova’s Chicago program was  excellent. After her two opening passes, she was able to relax  enough to truly express the style and the character of her music and  do all the intricate connecting steps without a glitch. Without  bonuses, however, she only received 120.19 (58.42/61.77) points for the long and had to  settle for silver with a total of 175.89 points.

“I am happy with my performance today, even though I did not perform a  triple-triple combination,” said the 19-year-old. “I think I gave my best effort. After the  yesterday’s disaster, I had to pull myself together and I think I  skated 100% today.”

Leonova  was not upset about not winning the title. “Ksusha  [Makarova] skated really well  today. She was ahead of me after the  short and she remained ahead. That’s sport.”

Makarova finished third in the long program, and with a total score of 178.90 points,  captured the  title. The daughter of Larisa  Selezneva and Oleg Makarov opened her routine to The 13th Warrior with a  strong triple toeloop-triple toeloop combination, but fell on her  triple flip attempt a few seconds later. The 17-year-old also underrotated her triple  loop, however, two clean triple Salchows combined with good  non-jumping elements and +3.00 bonus allowed her to score  116.15 (58.55/58.60) points and hold off the rest of the competitors.

“I am very happy to be here,” said Makarova. “I skated ok. This year I train also in  New Jersey with Galina Yakovlevna Zmievskaya and Johnny Weir and they  help me a lot. They teach me how to skate better and how to present myself  better.”

Makarova, who has not attempted a triple Lutz in competition so far,  promised to do it the nearest future. “The jump is ready, but I was  feeling a bit jet-lagged here, so I have not tried it yet. But I will  do it at the later events.”

Makarova’s immediate goal is skating clean at her first European  Championships. “I really want to go to the Europeans and skate two  clean programs. I hope it will be enough to qualify for the Olympics, because I would love to skate in Vancouver.”

Last year’s champion Adelina Sotnikova of Moscow (MOS) placed fourth in the  long program (112.92 points) and overall (172.69 points) after she fell on her opening   triple Lutz-triple loop combination. She also later fell on a second triple Lutz in her intricate program to Scherezade. However, the 13-year-old landed a  double Axel-triple toeloop combination and two other triple jumps,   and received good grades of execution for most of her elements.

Anna Ovcharova (MOS) placed fifth in the long (102.36 points) and overall (157.53 points). The 13-year-old   attempted ambitious jumps, skipping easier toeloops and  Salchows in favor of the Lutz and flips, but she failed to achieve  good grades of execution. Though she underrotated a loop and a flip, her performance to Don Quixote was as exciting and inspiring as her short program.

Overnight leader Sofia Biryukova (MOS) slipped to sixth overall (154.56 points) after placing seventh in the long. The student of Viktoria Volchkova  appeared tense and nervous, and while she landed her opening  triple toe loop-triple toeloop combination, she struggled with her  other jumping passes.

Oksana Gozeva (MOS) turned out to be the third highest age-eligible skater by  pulling up to seventh place overall with four rotated, but flawed  triple jumps. Her main rival, Katarina Gerboldt (MOS), rotated only two and  finished in the ninth place.

The event continues with the Original Dance and the Pairs Short Program.

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