The Figure Skating Federation of Russia released the preliminary list of participants who will take part in the final of the Cup of Russia series next week. Three-time Russian champion Anna Shcherbakova and two-time World Junior champion Alexandra Trusova were not included.
This season, the Russian figure skating federation decided to change the selection process that they normally use for the World Championships and only the gold medalists at the national championships qualified to represent their country in Sweden this upcoming March. The remaining participants will have to qualify at the Cup of Russia Final. 16-year-old Shcherbakova already qualified to Worlds by winning her third national title in December.
Trusova’s coach Evgeni Plushenko informed RIA Novosti that his student is recovering from an injury, but is preparing for the World Championships as well. In a phone call, the two-time Olympic gold medalist stated, “After the Russian Championships, she (Trusova) had an injury, so she is recovering and preparing for the World Championships.”
The General Director of the Russian figure skating federation, Alexander Kogan, did not comment on whether Trusova is guaranteed a spot on the national team at Worlds; however, the country’s honored coach Tatiana Tarasova told Russian news agency TASS that she believes Shcherbakova and Trusova have been given time to rest after competing all season.
Throughout the season, which has looked very different than usual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Russia has organized incredibly high level competitions. Shcherbakova won the first and third stages of the Cup of Russia series, won the Russian Championships in Chelyabinsk, and delivered a top two ranking performance at the Channel One Cup team competition. Trusova won the second and fourth stages of the Cup series, finished fourth after a difficult free skate at the Rostelecom Cup, won the bronze medal at the national championships, and skated a top three performance at the team competition earlier this month.
Kogan announced that the composition of the national team for Worlds will be determined the day after the Cup of Russia Final.
The ladies scheduled to participate at the competition are Kamila Valieva, Anastasia Guliakova, Alena Kostornaia, Elizaveta Nugumanova, Sofia Samodurova, Maria Talalaikina, Anastasia Tarakanova, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Daria Usacheva, Anna Frolova, Maiia Khromykh, and Ksenia Tsibinova.