She is only fifteen years old and is living her first winter as a senior, but the Russian Kamila Valieva is already flying from record to record, like her short program at the European Figure Skating Championships, Thursday in Tallinn. Promising three weeks from the Beijing Olympics (4-20 February).
Student of the severe Eteri Tutberidze in Moscow and still undefeated in this Olympic season, Valieva became the first skater to cross the bar of 90 points after a short program.
In pairs, European gold was awarded Thursday evening to young Russian Anastasia Mishina (21 years) and Aleksandr Galliamov (22 years), already reigning world champions and ideally launched towards the Olympic deadline.
With a total score of 239,82 points, new world record, Mishina and Galliamov climbed on the first step of a 90% Russian podium, completed by Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (236,43) and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii (227,23).
With precisely 90,45 points collected after with an impeccable performance, Valieva did better than her 87,42 points obtained at the Russian Grand Prix at the end of November. And, above all, much, much better than its opponents: the closest is pushed back more than fourteen points.
“I really had the feeling of being in my program today ( Thursday), to tell a story, it’s a nice feeling when you skate and you forget your body, it’s so intoxicating,” said Valieva, who seems to be heading towards her first international title. The free program is scheduled for Saturday evening.
– Towards a first coronation –
Surprise, it’s not another Russian behind her, but the Belgian Loena Hendrickx (82,25).
“I still can’t believe it, Russian skaters are so strong”, she wonders.
Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova, Valieva’s two compatriots also trained by Tutberidze, “only” finished third (76,) and fourth (69,15). The first fell on her triple Axel, the second, reigning world champion, was deprived of a jumpsuit by a fall. And the two confessed to being “upset”.
Russian Kamila Valieva during of the short program at the Figure Skating Euros in Tallinn, on 13 January 2022 (AFP – Daniel MIHAILESCU) “When I got on the ice, it brought back two years back to the Junior Worlds” in the Estonian capital already, where she had adorned herself with gold, remembers Valieva. “It’s as if I had never left, I feel like home, maybe it helped me.”
The young skater also grabbed the free routine world records (90,29) and the total score (239,22) this season.
“Getting these scores means I’m going in the right direction, that I work as it should, and that motivates me to continue”, she believes.
In 2021, the European competition had been canceled in due to the Covid-pandemic-19.