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16 Jan, 2022 17:48

Coach of figure skating starlet Valieva in plea to fans (VIDEO)

The Beijing Games contender's choreographer made an appeal after she became European figure skating champion
Coach of figure skating starlet Valieva in plea to fans (VIDEO)

Winter Olympics hopeful Kamila Valieva survived a fall to take the European title in a clean sweep for Russian stars – and her coach sent a message to followers of the national team after watching the 15-year-old storm to glory.

Russian national champion Valieva recovered from hitting the ice on her triple axel attempt and delivered a Salchow and a combination of a flip and a triple toe loop to beat compatriot Anna Shcherbakova by a mammoth 22 points at the 2022 European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn.

The 17-year-old world champion beat fellow Russian Alexandra Trusova, who hit back from falling twice during her free skate.

"I can say that it's a work in progress skate – not everything worked out," Valieva reflected. "I couldn't switch off some of my emotions and that prevented me [from being at my best]. I will try to skate [more] calmly."

Shcherbakova described herself as "very upset" with a short program that was short of her best, although she was happy with the free skate that earned her silver.

"I have a lot of positive emotions overall," she admitted. "In the end, I am pleased with how the competition ended."

Trusova was also self-critical despite posting a season's best score. "I am only satisfied with my quad Salchow," she said. "I brought it back to the program and it worked out. I will keep working more."

Russian coach Daniil Gleikhengauz shared a snap of the triumphant team posing at the Tondiraba Ice Hall and sounded a rallying cry for encouragement to his Instagram following of more than 121,000.

"I won't go into details, but people: be kinder," he said, taking the self-portrait with the trio who are likely to be part of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team in China in February.

"Each girl is beautiful in her own way. Each of them devoted her whole life to our sport, like everyone else in our Russian national team.

"The most important tournament for every athlete is ahead. We have been dreaming of going to the Olympics since childhood.

"Please support everyone who [is] deservedly selected [to be] there and will represent our country. Thank you all – love."

World champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov successfully defended the European ice dancing title they won in Austria in 2020 to complete a near-perfect weekend of silverware for Russia.

The pair finished ahead of Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, who are also likely to take ROC spots at the Games.