Monday, December 27, 2010

Russian Nationals: Young Divas Short Program

Many anticipated a changing of the guard at this year's Russian Championships.  With the success of the Junior Russian Ladies this fall, many anticipated that the seniors might find themselves out of the top three.  While Ksenia Makarova did not attempt a flip or a lutz in her short program, her overall quality and sophistication won out.  It would not be wise to diminish the legitimacy of the skaters who will compete at worlds.  Ksenia's skating appears stronger than it did during the Grand Prix.  One must wonder if a few of the skaters are a bit spent after numerous fall competitions.

1. Ksenia Makarova (64.16)
2. Adelina Sotnikova (63.79)
3. Alena Leonova (60.14)
4. Sofia Biryukova (59.49)
5. Julia Lipnitskaya (59.13)
6. Polina Agafonova (58.42)
7. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (56.30)
8. Maria Artemeva (54.63)
9. Polina Shelepen (53.89)
10. Polina Korobeynikova (53.62)

Videos after the jump.

Ksenia Makarova

Adelina Sotnikova

Alena Leonova

Sofia Biryukova

Polina Agafonova

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva

Polina Korobeynikova

Julia Lipnitskaya

Polina Shelepen


  1. I hate Ksenia's program. It's so empty. Not to say she didn't deserve the lead, but eh, it's a traditional Zmeskaya blahness, just like Weir.

  2. ...Galina isn't Ksushas coach!

  3. The 2 wunderbabies- Adelina S. and Liza- looked quite tired. Take a looonng nap kids!
    Adelina's lutz is decidedly borderline flutzy, I wonder if she will start getting calls. But that 3f was gorgeous and delayed. She may have the best ladies flip aside from Yuna and Christina Gao.
    Liza's 3lz had none of her usual height, you could see that fall a mile away. Although her jumps look fundamentally more secure than Adelina's, Adelina looks like a stronger jumper (physically) in general.

  4. I live for someone saying Yu-Na has the best flip ever when she just corrected it and still struggled with its consistency.

    Ksusha uses Nina Petrenko as her choreographer who worked on Johnny's 2008-09 programs and was around the rink to tweak his programs the other seasons.

  5. Ksusha's skating - at least at this point - is very blah, imo. She might improve in the future, but for that she needs .... Frank Carroll? Plus a real choreographer. Fcuk the divaness, learn flip and lutz.

  6. I don't find Ksusha's skating that diva. She is just a good performer...not out of this world by any stretch of the imagination.

  7. OlympicEffect:

    Read again, I never said Yuna had the best flip EVER- she still has one of the best in the world (lip issues look corrected), great height and flow, can tack on that 3t, mutiple transitions directly out of it(see Gerschwin LP). Adelina's is a marvel, but she had very little flow coming out of the jump. The exit is part of the jump.

  8. Lipnitskaya is fabulous

  9. When is Lipnitskaya old enough for even Jr Intl competition? I kind of love her. She seems too good for someone not eligible for anything yet!

  10. She'll be old enough for the JGP. Just barely, I think she turns 13 in June.

  11. Yuna never corrected her flip. she didn't have to do it because her flip was technically a textbook. Her lutz and flip had no problem from the first.

  12. I guess she deserves to be in 1st place but I find Makarova's skating to be too 'straight-ahead'and without nuance to be compelling.

    She didn't have a great skate but I kind of love Elizaveta - although its a concern with these coltish young russian girls that they'll retain their skater's bodies after puberty gets through with them.

  13. I dont get the whole yuna corrected her flip talk,when as i recall it brian said they didn't fix anything,it just that when her flip was in combo she went a little on the outside edge,when she did it has a solo jump it was fine they didn't fix anything.

  14. Julia Lipnitskaya's flexibility is interesting in a kind of freakish sort of way, but for me, it goes beyond artistic and becomes a distraction. The line looks less ballerina or even anything toward modern dance, and tends more toward "I broke my Barbie."

  15. The Russian wonder babies would get eaten alive by the Japanese Ladies - and even a clean Alissa would beat them easily.

    So much hype - the truth remains that Russian Ladies are second rate.

  16. I agree that Ksenia is not compelling but I expected them to put her in first. I was just hoping for different results but she's more experience on this stage. She just rushes through the movement and doesn't look smooth. By now I expected her footwork to look more natural.

  17. Makarova's 2nd triple-toe was cheated! And her skating using very few edges and is very linear.

  18. Makarova's 2nd 3T looks fine to me... takes off and lands parallel to the near boards ... I prefer "understated" to lackluster for the program: the music cut has a good and all-too-rare example of subtly integrating a beat to move the music forward; there IS a zmievskaia vibe to her skating, her camel totally channels oksana

    tarasova points out on the commentary that tuktamysheva's ice coverage and flexibility have both noticeably improved in the last year, she seems to have added some pretty intense stroking too... sotnikova's costume is as meh as her music... girl is great though

    are we officially calling this crop the russian wunderbabies? can we make them vunderbabies and eschew all articles when speaking of them?

  19. Makarova - Blah! And I truly despise front-loaded programs because the athletic suspense is destroyed. First place deserved tho. Tragic.

    Sotnikova - 3Z/3T fell but surprisingly fully rotated. I liked but too bad it completely missed the music. Nice Charlotte! She has the WOW factor with gorgeous extension used to spectacular effect. Her Beillman sucks and I expected better from her bcuz of all that buildup. Okay program but she SELLS it. Did she do two 3Z's? That "flip" was really a Lutz.

    Leonova - I was about to skip but I decided to be serious. 3T-3T was surprisingly good, opened up early on the first jump. Impressive. 3F fallout. Death drop YUCK. Ah! There's the Slutskay--er, Alena I remember. Then the sloppiness creeps even more as the music speeds. I zone out.

    Biryukova - Ode to Yuna Kim. 3T/3T very nice in the air but sloppy landing. All these Russians have the tech content on lock unlike Americans. Very fast skater. I remember her from positive impression she left on my from GP. Sloppy and slow takeoff on Loop. The worst layback and Biellman. She's very sloppy and skates as if she's on speed, no extension and no polish. Everything seems rushed to the extreme. No attention to music. WTF final spin! Music made me miss Kwan and Yagudin.