Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Perfect Pair

Anastasia Martiusheva and Alexei Rogonov of Russia took the silver medal at the 2009 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in their first and only appearance at this event.

The team stood in 11th following the short program, but their balletic "Nutcracker" free program was performed so beautifully that the attending journalists shared knowing glances amongst each other - this was the best program they were probably going to see that evening.

And they were right.

Martiusheva and Rogonov won the free skating portion and moved up to second place overall - just behind their teammates and friends, Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze, who train with them in Moscow under Natalia Pavlova and Alexei Sokolov.

"We've learned that you never should give up after the short program and that you have to pull yourself together to deliver in the free skating," Martiusheva, a tiny 14-year-old blonde, summed up.

"Yes, no matter what mistakes happened, you just have to move on and do your job," Rogonov added. "It happens that something goes wrong and the athlete falls apart. However, the judging system now makes it possible that even if you miss an element, you still can make up for it with others. That's how you can vault from 11th in the short to first in the free skating. That's perfectly normal now," the 21-year-old continued.

The 2008-09 season was the first international season for the young Russian couple and they drew attention right away. After winning two medals on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit, they proceeded to the Final where they finished fourth. They went on to win Russian Junior Nationals, placed fifth at senior Nationals, and then took the silver medal at Junior Worlds.

Full article.

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