‘Pain is your price for victory’: Russian sensation Kamila Valieva on record-breaking win at figure skating Junior Worlds
The 13-year-old produced a near flawless performance on Saturday, solidly landing two quadruple toe loop jumps in her free program, winning gold at her first major world tournament.
Valieva not only won the world title, but also posted a new world record (227.30 points), beating her second-place compatriot Daria Usacheva by almost 20 points.
The highly anticipated battle between Valieva and American prodigy Alysa Liu wasn’t as thrilling as expected, with the Russian dominating the event and gaining the highest scores in both the short and free programs.
💎 The perfect spin to finish a program with when you become the new World Junior Champion! Kamila Valieva 🥇 skates to victory in Tallinn, Estonia!Full results: https://t.co/9eGEtCs2c5#WorldJFigure#FigureSkatingpic.twitter.com/dt7oBF2uTK— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) March 7, 2020
Liu, who was one of the favorites to win gold in Estonia, fell on her quad lutz in the free routine, in which she landed two triple axels.
The US star won bronze in Tallinn, finishing behind the two Russians, Valieva and Usacheva.
The newly-crowned junior world champion, who recently recovered from a serious leg injury, said she doesn’t feel pain when she is skating.
Kamila Valieva 🇷🇺 wraps up the World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2020 in Tallinn 🇪🇪 with 🥇💐👏 Daria Usacheva 🇷🇺 takes 🥈 and Alysa Liu 🇺🇸 wins the bronze 🥉Full report 👉: https://t.co/SnyUP4Mg4N#WorldJFigure#FigureSkatingpic.twitter.com/5NKJplDuOf— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) March 7, 2020
“When you are skating, you don’t feel any pain. You concentrate on other things. This is sport and pain is your price for victory; you simply need to accept it,” Valieva said.
In October, she sustained a serious leg injury during a training session, which forced her to stay out of competition for more than a month. Despite the hiatus, Valieva won the Junior Grand Prix final in December, in which she didn’t risk doing any of her signature quads.Also on rt.com Ballerina on ice: Meet Kamila Valieva – the up & coming Russian star aiming to dethrone figure skating leaders
The talented junior, who has been training under famed Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze, said her senior teammates, who have won all the international events this season, give her extra motivation to improve.
“I’m trying to learn new quads while watching Sasha [Alexandra Trusova] and Anya [Anna Shcherbakova] training. Sasha can do some elements better than Anya, while Anya is stronger in other aspects. [Alena Kostornaia] has brilliant skating skills; I’m learning from her how to skate well.”
Valieva, who will be able to perform at the senior level in the 2021-22 season, is widely regarded as one of the most technically-gifted skaters of her generation, and can potentially win at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
For her beautiful lines and elegant skating, she is often likened to a ballet dancer who simply floats over the ice.