‘Literally unbelievable’: Teen queen Valieva sets TWO world records to win Skate Canada as Russia sweeps podium (VIDEO)
Russia’s Kamila Valieva laid down a formidable marker to her rivals as the 15-year-old swept to victory at the Skate Canada Grand Prix, with countrywomen Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Alena Kostornaia completing the podium.
Making her senior Grand Prix debut, Valieva routed the competition by racking up a world record score of 180.89 for her free skate routine on Saturday in Vancouver.
That gave her an overall tally of 265.08 for the event – another world record mark and besting the previous records she had set at the Finlandia Trophy earlier this month.
Russian ‘Empress’ and former world champion Tuktamysheva, 24, was also impressive in Canada, recording an overall score of 232.88.
Kostornaia, 18, ended with 214.54, which was good enough to see her clinch bronze.
But the event belonged to Valieva, the 2020 world junior champion who is now tipped as among the hot favorites for the women’s title at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games in February.
🏆 Medalists for Women‘s event at the ISU GP Skate Canada International 2021 in Vancouver:🥇 Kamila Valieva🥈 Elizaveta Tuktamysheva🥉 Alena Kostornaia 🔗 https://t.co/tf6fYKpGTy#GPFigure#FigureSkatingpic.twitter.com/pk2nNlmou4— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) October 31, 2021
After Valieva completed her free skate to the soundtrack of ‘Bolero’, the commentary team hailed the Russian starlet as “literally unbelievable” and gushed that she he “blown her rivals out of the water” with an inspired routine which included three quadruple jumps and a triple Axel.
It was even posited that the majestic Valieva would be a match for the men's competition, such was the dominance of her performance.
Kamila Valieva crushes the previous high-score records (that she set a few weeks ago at Finlandia). Her 180.89 in the free gives her a 265.08, bettering her 174.31 and 249.49 from Finlandia. Her free included three quads and a triple AxelMASSIVE stuff #SCI21— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) October 31, 2021
It was a tremendous night of skating in Vancouver. Nathan Chen🇺🇸 put any doubts to rest, Liza Tuktamysheva🇷🇺 was regal in every way & KAMILA VALIEVA🇷🇺 was epic on a scale so tremendous, she’s the only one on it. Our coverage will appear next week on @olympicchannel! @NBCOlympics— Johnny Weir (@JohnnyGWeir) October 31, 2021
#SCI21 Kamila Valieva's 265.08 point total here would have put her second in the men's event -- only Nathan Chen, with 307.18, outscored the 15-year-old.— Lynn Rutherford (@LynnRutherford) October 31, 2021
Perhaps the only shortcoming from Valieva – who is trained by the renowned Eteri Tutberidze – was when she stepped out of a triple Axel.
Ominously for her rivals, Valieva said she would tighten up her routine even more.
“I’m happy today. I almost completed my task. I had blots, but they were small,” Valieva told Sport24.
“I tried to do everything planned in my program. This was the main task for me. Of course, I’m very happy with my scores.
“I’ll try to skate a little better. And about the marks... They will be decided by the judges.
“There is always room to grow. For example, don’t step out on the Axel. I won’t complicate the program for now. I want to skate this content well.”
The competition for the three places on the Russian Olympic Committee team for the Beijing Games promises to be stratospherically high.
Veteran fan favorite Tuktamysheva continues to delight with her elegant routines and has looked solid against her younger rivals.
Just last weekend, Russian ‘quad queen’ Alexandra Trusova defied injury to win the opening ISU Grand Prix of the season at Skate America in Las Vegas, and will also challenge fiercely for a place, should she remain fit.Also on rt.com ‘Russian Rocket’ Trusova cruises to US Grand Prix title despite injury restricting her to ‘easier version’ of routine (VIDEO)
Kostornaia is in the running, as are the likes of Anna Shcherbakova, Daria Usacheva (who finished second behind Trusova in Las Vegas), Sofia Samodurova, Maya Khromykh, and Kseniia Sinitsyna.
Such is the staggering current level on display from Russian female skaters, some observers have suggested that they could take all six spots for the showpiece Grand Prix Finals in Osaka, Japan, in December.