Tutberidze v Tutberidze: Who will win 2020 European figure skating championship?
While the name of the future champion remains unknown, one thing is almost predetermined – the gold medalist will more than likely represent Eteri Tutberidze’s team.
The competition will kick off on Wednesday in Graz, Austria, where four sets of medals will be up for grabs for all the competitors representing four different events: pairs, ice-dancing, and men’s and ladies’ singles.
Out of all the events scheduled to take place during the one-week tournament, one competition stands out, in which all of the gold-medal contenders have been trained by the same coach.
Alexandra Trusova, Alena Kostornaia, and Anna Shcherbakova, who went through the selection process to earn spots on the national team, will soon be in action, charming the crowd with their technical content and stunning choreography.
It is widely believed the trio will sweep the podium at the European tournament, where they won't have to face the stiff competition from Japan, South Korea, and the USA.
The girls, who have mastered extremely complicated elements including triple axels and multiple quad jumps, will lose only if they falter in their trademark elements and allow their rivals with simpler but cleaner jumps to climb the podium.
However, the recent national tournament showed that Tutberidze’s quad-jumping army is in excellent shape and ready to conquer international heights.
So, who out of the three immensely-gifted teen sensations has the best chance of taking the European crown in Graz?
The 15-year-old Trusova, who wants to redeem herself for a third-place finish at the nationals, will have the most technically complicated program, including a whopping five quad jumps in her free routine. She will also attempt to land a triple axel in the women’s short program.
Having sensational jumping skills, Trusova’s weak point is stability, as she often falls on her staggering quads, receiving huge deductions which deny her victory at major competitions.
Kostornaia, on the contrary, is solid but lacks difficulty in terms of technical content, with no quadruple jumps in her arsenal.
However, her insane triple axel, which she has been immaculately performing throughout the season, makes her a contender to win gold at her first senior appearance on the European stage.
alena kostornaia + triple axel 🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/VP1lnIO8rT— gymnast relate (@gymnastrelate) November 22, 2019
First-year-senior Shcherbakova, who will also make her debut at the European championship, has perhaps the best chance of winning, with her perfect balance between artistry and difficult jumping.
The skater, who chose Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’ ballet music for her free program, will attempt to land two quad lutz jumps along with a quad flip and a breath-taking triple lutz-triple loop combo which will be placed in the second part of her routine.
Having three top-class skaters at her disposal, it’s probably safe to say the winner of the 2020 ISU European championship in the women’s event will be none other than Russia’s renowned coach, Tutberidze.
By Elena Dilber