The result, recorded by Valieva on Saturday in the short program (88.71), was more than three points higher than the official highest achievement of Alena Kostornaya, and this looked deeply symbolic.

Last year's Grand Prix Final, which became not only a record for Kostornaya, but also a victorious one, then left a persistent feeling of an abyss between Alena and the rest of the skaters.

And at the same time, the inner confidence that such an arrangement may well be preserved for the next season.

Now it remains to state that success in women's figure skating, as well as its inherent confidence, is an extremely short-lived commodity: in Kostornaya's first performance at Megasport there was neither one nor the other.

You can look for an excuse: Alena was sick for a long time and quite seriously, together with the change of coaches, this delayed her return to the ice.

Plus the excitement that is always overwhelming after a long time out of competition.

But is it worth looking for excuses now?

Probably, nevertheless, no.

The Russian Cup final is the only and last chance for Kostornaya to qualify for the 2021 national team, and it looks like this chance after Saturday's skating has become rather illusory: you don't need to wait for an arbitrary program to understand that the skater did not manage to return to her previous positions.

After completing the short program, Alyona is separated from Elizaveta Tuktymysheva by 7.6 points, in addition, the 2015 world champion has two triple axels in her free arsenal, while Alena does not.

Whether Kostornaya will be able to return to the next season her crown jumps, thanks to which she won the Grand Prix Final and the European Championship last season, is an open question.

We can only say with confidence that it will be very, very difficult: over the summer, Alena's figure has changed, her body has become a little wider, and this immediately reduced the speed of rotation.

That, in fact, became the main obstacle to the restoration of former jumping conditions.

Nevertheless, the whole intrigue of the women's tournament was reduced to the battle of Kostornaya and Tuktamysheva for the only vacancy at the World Cup.

Everything else could be safely attributed to the category of battles of local importance, if not for the absolutely amazing rental of Valieva.

On the one hand, this tournament seemed to be of no use to Kamila: she does not apply for a place in the national team due to her age, and the junior season was ended ahead of schedule, but in fact it did not even begin: first, the International Skating Union (ISU) was forced to cancel stages of the Junior Grand Prix, and then the world championship.

In other words, Valieva, like other skaters of her age, could generally remain behind the scenes for the whole year.

Instead, the whole world was left behind the scenes.

Well, or almost all: the rules of good manners prescribe to make an exception for the current champion of Russia Anna Shcherbakova. 

Having mastered the triple axel during the current season and including it in the short program, Valieva did what Kostornaya and Trusova should have done.

And having saved the quadruple sheepskin coat in an arbitrary and learned the salchow, Kamila, without wanting to, outlined the access zone to the national team for the same Tuktamysheva: it is clear that it was not easy to count on a more or less competitive result without quadruple jumps already this season, and after year this will become even more relevant.

Plus two wonderful Valiev programs, one of which has already been officially declared Olympic.

Plus great natural glide.

Taken together, all this forms the very gap between Camila and her rivals (nationality is completely secondary here), which is already tightly hammered into the minds of the arbitrators.

International including: extremely poor tournament calendar in Europe, USA and Japan attracted maximum professional attention to Russian competitions.

Tall and quite adult, thanks to this, Valieva's appearance is a separate trump card of the skater, which you can start swinging in all directions if ISU once again raises the question of raising the age bar.

You just need to ask your opponents a question: "Are you sure you need to deprive women's skating of such beauty?"

And there are hardly many people willing to answer in the affirmative.

Summarizing what has been said, it can be argued that the undisputed leader of the Olympic season is already known and that the rest of the formally adult rivals do not have so many chances to win a serious title until Valieva entered the Olympic warpath.

And the title, by and large, there was only one - the crown of the world champion-2021.

Further it will be much more difficult.