Kamila Valieva leads after short program in Russia; Mark Kondratiuk wins, Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin retain national title

Kamila Valieva at the 2021 Rostelecom Cup on November 26, 2021 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

On the second day of the 2022 Russian Figure Skating Championships, the much awaited women’s event commenced – which will be a major criteria to help determine the three Russian women who will participate at the upcoming Winter Olympics – while the men’s and ice dance disciplines decided new national champions.

2020 World Junior champion Kamila Valieva has had an outstanding debut season on the international senior level circuit – winning each event and setting new world records every time. The 15-year-old Olympic favorite began her short program at the national championships with a successful triple axel, later completing a triple flip and a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. Valieva received a score of 90.38 points for the performance – nearly three whole points more than her own world record – and will head into tomorrow’s free skate as the leader.

Three-time national champion Anna Shcherbakova remains in close contention heading into the free skate event. The 17-year-old reigning World champion presented her short program routine to Dangerous Affairs and Total View by Inon Zur – Shcherbakova completed a double axel, a triple flip, and the difficult triple Lutz-triple loop combination. The Moscow native earned a score of 81.46 points.

A winner of the Austrian stage of this season’s International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix series, 15-year-old Sofia Muravieva finds herself in third place after the short program of the intense women’s discipline. Skating to Ne Me Quitte Pas by Celine Dion, the representative of Evgeni Plushenko’s Angels of Plushenko began her performance with a triple axel and later completed a triple flip and a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. She received a score of 80.87 points – over seven points more than her official career best score.

Following the event, Muravieva was in second place with a score of 81.87 points but her short program score was adjusted to 80.87 points – meaning Anna Shcherbakova moves into second place – because of a one point deduction for a delayed start. Each figure skater has 30 seconds to take their starting position but Muravieva took 32 seconds.

Results after short program:

  1. Kamila Valieva – 90.38
  2. Anna Shcherbakova – 81.46
  3. Sofia Muravieva – 80.87
  4. Sofia Samodelkina – 76.74
  5. Alexandra Trusova – 74.21
  6. Adeliia Petrosian – 73.29
  7. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva – 71.28
  8. Kseniia Sinitsyna – 70.75
  9. Maiia Khromykh – 69.36
  10. Anastasia Zinina – 68.94
  11. Sofia Samodurova – 68.30
  12. Anastasia Morozova – 62.28
  13. Valeria Shulskaya – 61.63
  14. Veronika Peterimova – 61.18
  15. Veronika Yametova – 59.72
  16. Polina Sviridenko – 59.05
  17. Arina Onishchenko – 57.51
  18. Ksenia Gushchina – 53.61

Judges’ Scores

Mark Kondratiuk at the Nebelhorn Trophy at on September 24, 2021 in Oberstdorf, Germany. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

Bronze medalist last season, in his debut appearance at the senior level of the national championships, 18-year-old Mark Kondratiuk won the national title – 0.67 points ahead of favorite three-time champion Mikhail Kolyada.

Second after the short program, Kondratiuk began his free skate performance with a quad toe loop, a triple axel, a triple axel-double toe loop combination, and a triple loop. Skating to music from Jesus Christ Superstar, he also completed a quad Salchow-double toe loop combination, a solo quad Salchow, and a triple Lutz-triple Salchow in a sequence. All of his spins and his step sequence received level four ratings. Kondratiuk received the third best free skate score of 186.80 points and earned a total competition score of 284.37 points.

2018 World bronze medalist Kolyada received the highest free skate score in the competition and took the silver medal in his hometown today. Fifth after the short program, the 26-year-old figure skater began his performance with a quad Salchow, a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination, a triple axel, and a triple loop. Skating to music from The White Crow – last season’s free skate program, for the first time this season – Kolyada completed a triple toe loop, a triple axel-double toe loop combination, and a triple Lutz-Euler-double Salchow combination in the second half of the routine. He received 189.44 points for the free skate and earned a total score of 283.70 points.

Eighth after the short program, 2020 World Junior champion Andrei Mozalev began his free skate program with a quad toe loop-double toe combination, a quad Salchow, a triple loop, and a triple axel-triple toe loop combination. Performing to music from 1492: Conquest of Paradise, the 18-year-old native of Saint Petersburg later landed a quad toe loop, fell on a triple axel, but successfully completed a triple Lutz-Euler-triple Salchow combination. Mozalev received the second highest free skate score of 187.30 points and earned a total competition score of 283.70 points.

Final Results

  1. Mark Kondratiuk – 284.37
  2. Mikhail Kolyada – 283.70
  3. Andrei Mozalev – 278.28
  4. Evgeni Semenenko – 274.28
  5. Petr Gumennik – 267.45
  6. Alexander Samarin – 264.73
  7. Alexey Erokhov – 261.48
  8. Gleb Lutfullin – 251.53
  9. Dmitri Aliev – 251.40
  10. Makar Ignatov – 250.77
  11. Vladislav Dikidzhi – 250.17
  12. Artem Kovalev – 249.07
  13. Artur Danielian – 248.35
  14. Ilya Yablokov – 243.71
  15. Roman Savosin – 225.40
  16. Kirill Sarnovskiy – 221.92
  17. Andrei Anisimov – 213.08
  18. Egor Rukhin – 184.95

Judges’ Scores

Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin at the 2021 Internationaux de France on November 20, 2021 in Grenoble, France. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

The ice dance event at the Russian Nationals appeared to be an emotional rollercoaster ride – multiple emotional performances, a withdrawal by the reigning World champions, a difficult outing for a beloved couple, and last year’s champions retained their title.

Prior to the final warm-up group taking the ice, it was reported that Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov – leaders after the rhythm dance – have withdrawn due to an injury. Katsalapov has been suffering from a back injury throughout the year and it worsened over the day, so the World and European champions came to the difficult conclusion that it is better to withdraw.

Silver medalists behind Sinitsina and Katsalapov in 2019 and 2020, Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin ended up celebrating their second consecutive national tile. Second after the rhythm dance, the four-time medalists at the European Championships presented their free dance to We Have a Map of the Piano by Múm and A Time for Us by Nino Rota. Having had a tougher first half of the season, their fortunes appeared to turn in Saint Petersburg and they looked back in top form. Stepanova and Bukin received a score of 134.61 points for the presentation and earned a total competition score of 223.37 points.

In their debut domestic and international senior level season, Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin claimed silver medals and are looking as one of the main candidates for a spot on their nation’s Olympic team. Third after the first day of the competition, they received a free dance score of 123.71 points – over five points more than their official personal best score – and earned a total score of 207.70 points.

Sixth after the rhythm dance, the second-year team of Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Egor Bazin found themselves on the podium in their second attempt, after finishing fifth last season. Performing their free dance to a combination of Lose Yourself, performed by David Garrett, and Rain, In Your Black Eyes by Ezio Bosso, Khudaiberdieva and Bazin received a score of 117.84 points and earned a total score of 195.75 points – 0.10 points ahead of Annabelle Morozov and Andrei Bagin in fourth place.

Widely believed to be the third best ice dance couple in Russia, Tiffany Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro performed in only their first competition this season because Zagorski suffered from pneumococcal meningitis – a life-threatening infectious disease that causes inflammation of the layers that surround the brain and spinal cord – since October. Zagorski began struggling halfway through the performance and Guerreiro told the media following the free dance that he offered to stop the routine but Zagorski insisted to complete the program. They placed eighth.

Final Results

  1. Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin – 223.37
  2. Diana Davis & Gleb Smolkin – 207.70
  3. Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva & Egor Bazin – 195.75
  4. Annabelle Morozov & Andrei Bagin – 195.65
  5. Elizaveta Shanaeva & Devid Naryzhnyy – 187.19
  6. Anastasia Skoptsova & Kirill Aleshin – 185.72
  7. Arina Ushakova & Maxim Nekrasov – 180.23
  8. Tiffany Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro – 179.50
  9. Elizaveta Pasechnik & Dmitry Blinov – 166.48
  10. Ekaterina Mironova & Evgeni Ustenko – 163.29
  11. Vlada Pavlenina & Aleksnadr Aleksanyan – 154.24
  12. Angelina Lazareva & Maxim Prokofiev – 152.49
  13. Ksenia Ermakova & Vladislav Panteleyev – 112.17
    WD – Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov – 1st after RD (93.61)

Judges’ Scores

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