Graz (Austria) (AFP)
The wind of "quads" will rise on Graz: the free ladies program promises an explanation between Russian teenagers with quadruple rotations on Saturday, something never seen before at the European Figure Skating Championships.
Since the start of the season, the whirlwind has been so powerful that it has gone so far as to confuse the defending Olympic and world champion, Alina Zagitova, to the point that the Russian puts her career on pause, at just seventeen .
At the origin of this revolving pace, the very young Alexandra Trusova (15 years old), third (74.95) after the short program, behind her compatriots Alena Kostornaia (84.92 points) and Anna Shcherbakova (77.95 pts).
Produced, like Zagitova before her, and like Kostornaia (16) and Shcherbakova (15), from the Moscow championship factory of the severe Eteri Tutberidze, she established herself in less than two years as the queen of "quads ".
Previously, the quadruple jumps remained in the boxes of women's skating for a long time.
The first to tackle it is the French Surya Bonaly, in the 1990s. In vain. It was not until twelve years later that the Japanese Miki Ando became the first skater in history to succeed in one in international competition (a Salchow, in the final of the 2002 Junior Grand Prix).
Then, for more than fifteen years, nothing. Until the Trusova router spins out.
In March 2018, during the Junior Worlds, the young Russian joined Ando at the "quads" club, at only thirteen. Better, it becomes the first to ask two in the same program, different as a bonus (stitched loop and Salchow). Then six months later, the first to integrate one into a jumpsuit.
- Turning is not enough -
When she added the quadruple Lutz to her bow in the fall of 2018, Trusova was still skating in the junior category.
For her first winter in seniors, the still childish Russian continues to sharpen her arsenal: first to achieve three quadruple jumps in a program last September, first to sign a quadruple Flip and first to successfully combine three different "quads" in a performance last December (out of five attempted).
Trusova does not intend to slow down the pace: she could try five again in her free program on Saturday evening to try to catch up on Kostornaia.
Shcherbakova, she plans three, including one (Flip) that she has never posed before.
Kostornaia, who does not skip any for the moment, puts it on the triple Axel, another complex rotation of three and a half turns that she is the only one of the trio to master, to maintain herself at the top.
"Anja (Anna) and Sacha (Alexandra) fight to succeed in new elements, I just try to skate as cleanly as possible," says Kostornaia.
Between the trio, the games are not made: successful, a "quad" pays big, but missed, it is expensive. Because turning and turning again is not enough. We must also land, properly in the ideal. And, beyond the technical elements, do not neglect the artistic qualities. In this game, it was Kostornaia who triumphed in the Grand Prix final last December.
Before them, another Russian trio, in pairs, will decide between him on Friday evening.
© 2020 AFP