The last of all the participants in the European Championships in Graz have tested the girl’s competitive ice. You need to understand this statement literally - for many skaters, rolling out before the Friday short program and the rental itself were the first opportunity to get acquainted with the arena. In the morning and two days before, the girls were allowed to train only in the alternate arena with completely different ice quality. At the beginning of the week, the competitive arena was open to athletes, but many by then had simply not arrived in Austria. Among those who were in no hurry to arrive and had to fight for medals on completely unfamiliar ice, there were Russians.
Perhaps this is how the organizers of the tournament wanted to make at least some intrigue in women's competitions. It is unlikely that anyone would dare to enroll someone other than Anna Shcherbakova, Alena Kostornaya and Alexandra Trusova among the favorites. Their advantage over other Europeans this season was colossal - even their worst rentals, they blocked the personal records of all declared rivals.
And even to recall the failure of Kevin Aymoz, who also seemed to be the main contender for gold, but did not qualify for the free program, was inappropriate. The first groups of athletes who showed a short program did not score the points that students of Eteri Tutberidze receive for only one technique. No matter how strange it may sound, but on Saturday they could perform arbitrary rentals even without performing short jumps.
However, the athletes were not going to deprive the fans of such a spectacle anyway. On the roll-out before the performance, the Russian skaters stamped one jump. It was noteworthy that only Kostornaya trained the triple axel - Trusova did not dare to include him in her program, limiting herself to an easier version of this jump.
After rolling on ice, Anna Shcherbakova remained. The champion of Russia performed impeccably, with emphasized ease in every jump, the main of which was the Lutz - Rittberger cascade in the second half. The judges put Shcherbakova the highest components in her career - she entered the small club of athletes, the second score of which exceeded 35 points. The premiums of the Russians were not so generous, so the personal record stood - she took the lead with a score of 77.95 points.
⛸️ Anna Shcherbakova is the full package! She finishes the Ladies Short in second place ✌️
Full results: https://t.co/b4bheqKguX#EuroFigure#FigureSkatingpic.twitter.com/Tp17uV5pdM
Alena Kostornaya such figures obeyed this season many times, and all thanks to the triple axel. Surprisingly, at the European Championships this jump has never been performed by any girl. The 16-year-old Russian woman became the first - her attempt was impeccable and with a confident departure.
But more important than this historic achievement was that Kostornaya performed the rest of the program with the same enthusiasm and inspiration. For this, she also received record components, but did not update her world record - 84.92 points.
What extension! 😻 Alena Kostornaia skates a smooth Short Program to take 🔝 in the Ladies Short Program https: //t.co/ctxkhKToHA#EuroFigure#FigureSkatingpic.twitter.com/pwYy40Fkuw- ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) January 24, 2020
German Nicole Schott and Azerbaijani representative Ekaterina Ryabova habitually did not intervene in the disputes of the Russians. According to them, Alexandra Trusova had time to gather her thoughts, as she herself admitted more than once that she was more comfortable speaking after rivals. But the skater still failed to tune in - she started her program under Per Gunt from a U-turn after landing on a double axel. Such a mistake could cost one and a half points and already ruled out any fight with Shcherbakova for a small silver medal.
But Trusova showed character and at the highest level she proved the rest of the program, not only performing the triple flip and cascade of the Lutz-sheepskin coat cleanly, but also earning fourth levels on tracks and spins, which happens infrequently. Of the entire trio of Tutberidze, she was the only one to update her personal record, not due to technology, but thanks to the components - in this Trusova won a big victory, although she remained third with a score of 74.95 points.
Alexandra Trusova showing off her cantilever and the crowd is LOVING it !! 😍🥰 She takes third in the Ladies Short Program
Full results: https://t.co/b4bheqKguX#EuroFigure#FigureSkatingpic.twitter.com/XNdUsnOq6c
On Saturday, athletes will complete the draw of medals showing arbitrary programs. According to their results, Russians can still change places in the top three, but it is unlikely to fall out of it. Their closest pursuer, Alexia Paganini from Switzerland, was six points behind the “queen of four jumps” Trusova.