Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ksenia Makarova crowned new Russian Champion

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."

Full article.

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