Russia makes key Olympic decision on all-conquering Valieva
Russian figure skating bosses have announced the roster for the upcoming Olympic team event, revealing who will represent the country in the short programs.
As expected, the line-up includes world and European title holders, who will also vie for individual prizes in Beijing.
Newly crowned European champion Mark Kondratiuk will open the competition for Russia during the men’s short program event on Friday.
Reigning world and European gold medalists Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov will perform their rhythm dance, while their compatriots Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, who also have world and continental titles under their belt, will represent Russia in the pairs short program.
One of the most technically gifted female skaters, Kamila Valieva, who is widely considered the main contender to clinch the individual gold in China, will skate for Russia in the women’s short program.
Russian athletes who are not allowed to use the national symbol due to WADA sanctions will perform under the name of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
The figure skating team event will begin on Friday, with the winners crowned on Monday.
Russia’s roster for free skating is expected to be announced later.
On Thursday, it was revealed that Germany will take part in the figure skating team competition without a pair.
The country’s only duo, Minerva Hase and Nolan Seegert, were forced to withdraw from the team event after testing positive for Covid-19 for a second day.
The team event made its Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Games. During the three-day competition, 10 nations will have one competitor in three or four figure skating disciplines, and they will try to earn as many points for their teams as possible.
The skater with the highest result gets 10 points, while the lowest-ranked competitor receives just one.
These rounds are then followed by the finals, with the top five teams qualifying for the free skate. The team with the highest scores wins.
In Beijing, ten nations will fight for the prestigious title, which made its Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Games: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, ROC, Ukraine, and the USA.