For the free program, Alexandra Trusova announced four quadruple jumps, and this meant that if they were successfully performed, the skater was going to compete in her own league without looking back at her rivals.

Something like this was also a year ago, when the debutante skated in the coaching group of Eteri Tutberidze.

In the first half of the season, the skater quite successfully demonstrated an arbitrary program with two quadruple sheepskin coats, a lutz and a salchow at the Grand Prix stages in Canada and Russia.

Despite the fact that she did not succeed twice, who opened the Salchow program at those stages, Trusova won both tournaments, ahead of Rika Kihira and Evgenia Medvedeva, respectively.

How much this girl wants to be the first was shown by the first adult Grand Prix final, in which Trusova even decided to put a raw and under-rolled triple axel into the short program.

However, the adventure was not crowned with success: in the short program, Trusova remained fifth, losing 14 points to the leader Alyona Kostornaya, and in the free program she fell from the last quadruple (there were four of them in the program again).

Well, a month later, the sportswoman's sports form, judging by her skating, began to decline: at the European Championship, Alexandra could not cope with two quads, in both cases falling on landings.

There was no question of trying the triple axel again in the short program.

Over the summer, a lot has changed in Sasha's life, first of all she herself.

The skater grew up, matured, changed her style and entered the season without any discounts for the pandemic. 

If Trusova had decided on another adventure in Kazan, having inserted a quadruple rittberger into an arbitrary program, this would have completely and completely corresponded to her character.

More precisely, the character of the former Sasha.

By the way, the story with the quadruple lutz, which the athlete mastered and recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, even when she was a junior, became quite indicative.

Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova chased that lutz during the Junior Grand Prix like hunters for a wounded pheasant: the girls repeatedly missed their catch, but everyone who watched this race from the side, it was clear that the trophy would not go anywhere.

Experts close to the Khrustalny coaching staff gossiped that the coach of both athletes really wanted Anna to get into the Guinness Book of Records as the first performer of an ultra-difficult jump, because Sasha had already twice become the author of historical achievements.

It looked like the truth: at the first stage of the Grand Prix in Bratislava, Shcherbakova performed only triple jumps in an arbitrary.

But Lutz appeared in her program only after Trusova made an unsuccessful attempt to execute this element at the stage in Kaunas.

The first pancake came out of Anya's lump: at the stage in Richmond, Canada, she fell, respectively, the implementation of the revolutionary element for women was not counted for her.

And at the very end of the junior series in Yerevan, Sasha achieved her goal: she completely tightened up the momentum and stood on the road.

There was no point in rushing to present the quadruple rittberger to the world in Kazan: hardly any other girl in the world would dare to try this element in the near future, which means that nothing will prevent Trusova's intentions to record herself as the first performer of this jump.

But it was not without a surprise: in Sasha's program, a quadruple salchow appeared again, and the purest one.

The Kazan tournament, in fact, showed how much Trusova managed to work out during that part of the season that many athletes are inclined to consider thrown out of life: jumps became more powerful, higher, more spanning, with clearly traced lines on the road, and all this without visible effort.

However, verbal compliments are useless here - just look at the ratings.

For salchow (with a base jump cost of 9.70) Sasha received 13.39 points.

For a quadruple lutz (11.50) - 15.87.

From the third quadruple, Trusova fell on landing, regularly tightening the speed, and for the cascade with a quadruple sheepskin coat - an oiler and a salchow (base 15.73), performed in the second half of the program, she scored 18.77.

The skater did not avoid another fall in the Lutz - Rittberger cascade, but even so it could not be said that any of the jumping elements of the program looked like an unjustified risk.

Rather, the audience was shown absolutely working rental.

A kind of open training for the most amazing figure skater in the world.

There was no question of any kind of rivalry that evening, although after the short program it seemed that the fight for medals would go on equal terms between Trusova, Kostornaya and Khromykh.

The 22-odd point advantage of Trusova over Kostornaya should not be taken literally (do not forget that six bonus points were added to the winner's result), but even if you subtract the allowances, Sasha's victory over Alena, whom Trusova had never won before, looks like more than convincing.

Commenting on the rental of the strongest skater in Europe, Olympic champion Alexei Yagudin spoke in such detail and for a long time about the problem of rolling out new shoes, which she faced shortly before her debut in the competition, which became clear: they were not proud of such a performance.

They are looking for an excuse for him.

Compared to her sample of the last season, Alena has matured noticeably, she began to look heavy on the ice, and therefore no longer cope with the usual complexity.

I refused the triple axel, doubled the second jump in the lutz cascade, although this bunch was almost at the very beginning of the program, received the second level of difficulty for the step sequence.

In a word, the athlete has balanced on the verge of the very trap, into which more than a dozen talented figure skaters fall every year, regardless of how many titles they won in their previous, "childhood" life.

To repeat the already sore mantra that Kostornaya is distinguished by the best gliding in the world is pointless here, if only because the not so long-standing example of Medvedeva is fresh in my memory: the speed with which Zhenya began to lose the level of the second mark after the Games in Pyeongchang speaks for yourself.

The second estimate cannot be held for a long time if it is not supported by the first, this is an axiom.

In other words, if Kostornaya manages to return last year's difficulty by including one triple axel in the short program and two in the free program, and does not sacrifice other elements, she will remain competitive.

There is no other option here.