‘Grandmother of figure skating’: European champion on 22-year-old Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
Two-time European pair skating champion Alexander Smirnov has said that former Russian champions like Elizaveta Tuktamysheva have already become veterans of the sport with the emergence of immensely gifted junior athletes.
Tuktamysheva was the world champion in 2005 and made a stunning comeback to elite skating last year after restoring her signature triple axel – a move that helps the 22-year-old to be competitive on the international stage.
“Liza is just 22, but she is already a grandmother of figure skating,” Smirnov said. “I retired from sport at 32-33, I was a dinosaur of figure skating. The sport has become much younger. If an age limit is introduced, the ISU will need to promote junior skating, they show really brilliant results and extraordinary technique.”
Smirnov said, however, that quad-jumping skaters who have made revolutionary changes in modern sport are exposed to a high risk of sustaining injuries while learning ultra-c elements.
“Those quad-jumping skaters are risking sustaining injuries, taking into account insane physical load put on their bodies. Even a skater with a light weight can fracture bones despite having safety equipment,” Smirnov added.
The first two Grand Prix events in October were won by first-year seniors, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, who confidently landed quad jumps in their free programs.
Tuktamysheva finished third at Skate Canada despite throwing trixels in both routines.
Her next Grand Prix appearance is set to take place next week at the Cup of China.