Beijing 2022: Russian figure skaters dominate European Championships

Mark Kondratiuk of Russia in action in the men’s free skating during the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, Jan. 14, 2022. /AP

Mark Kondratiuk of Russia in action in the men’s free skating during the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, Jan. 14, 2022. /AP

Just 24 hours after Kamila Valieva wowed audiences with her sparkling performance in the women’s event of the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia; another Russian teenager, Mark Kondratiuk, produced the skate of his life to win the men’s title on Friday night, showcasing the country’s enviable pool of talented skaters three weeks out from the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Despite finishing second in the short program, Kondratiuk managed to regain his composure in the free skate section. The 18-year-old impressed many with his phenomenal musical interpretation on the ice and marked his Euro debut with three quadruple jumps, scoring a total of 286.56 points.

Italy’s four-time national champion Daniel Grassl finished a distant second with 274.48 points, while 2020 Nebelhorn Trophy champion Deniss Vasiļjevs of Latvia took bronze with 272.08.

Mark Kondratiuk of Russia wins the men’s title at the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, January 14, 2022. /AP

Mark Kondratiuk of Russia wins the men’s title at the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, January 14, 2022. /AP

Kondratiuk’s compatriot Andrei Mozalev, who was a former world junior champion and came out on top in the short program, struggled with his free skate landings and found himself in fourth place, while the national champion Defending Russian junior Evgeni Semenenko languished in fifth place.

However, nervous performances from title favorites Mozalev and Semenenko paved the way for the rise of a promising talent.

“It was unexpected. I was just hoping to be in the top three, like I was hoping for at the Russian National Championships. Some kind of miracle happened,” Kondratiuk said in a press briefing after becoming the unlikely new champion.

“It’s good to have been able to be at a higher level than before. I’m happy with the elements I did but I’m not very happy with my skating. I wanted to show more emotions but I don’t I couldn’t do it,” he added.

Russia’s Kamila Valieva is considered the main contender for the figure skating title at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing. /APC

Russia’s Kamila Valieva is considered the main contender for the figure skating title at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing. /APC

The Russians have dominated the tournament so far with Valieva setting a new short program world record on Thursday night.

Such was Valieva’s supremacy, in which the 15-year-old’s 90.45 points put her more than 14 points ahead of Loena Hendrickx, who is the first Belgian Grand Prix medalist in women’s singles and a two-time women’s singles champion. the International Challenge Cup.

Earlier, Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov won the title as a pair in a Russian sweep of the event. The duo finished with a total of 239.82 against compatriots Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov 236.43. Her teammates Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii took bronze with 227.23.

Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov win the gold medal at the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, January 13, 2022. /International Skating Union

Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov win the gold medal at the European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, January 13, 2022. /International Skating Union

“We skated well and we were able to overcome all the problems we encountered here and in training,” observed Galliamov.

“I’m not feeling too well, I was cold in my room, but that doesn’t play a role and doesn’t stop us from skating at the highest level. It doesn’t matter if you feel sick or not, you have to go out and do -just it,” he added.

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