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16 Aug, 2022 11:07

Russian Olympic champion reassures fans over shock news

Anna Shcherbakova announced on social media that she will have surgery
Russian Olympic champion reassures fans over shock news

Russian Olympic figure skating gold medalist Anna Shcherbakova has announced that she will undergo surgery for a knee injury, but reassured fans that “everything is going to be good.”

Shcherbakova, 18, won the women’s singles title at the Beijing Winter Olympics back in February, adding the Olympic crown to her 2021 world title and a host of other accolades.

But the teenager will now be sidelined after revealing the injury news on social media.      

“Professional sport is a full dedication. Unfortunately, because of my old knee injury, I can’t train in full force. In several days I will have a surgery. Anyway, I am sure that everything is going to be good,” Shcherbakova wrote in a message to fans.

According to Russian Figure Skating Federation general director Aleksandr Kogan, as quoted by Match TV, Shcherbakova will undergo her operation in Germany and will fly out on Wednesday.  

Shcherbakova and her fellow Russian skaters remain banned from competition by the International Skating Union (ISU) because of the conflict in Ukraine, meaning she would have been set to miss the 2022-23 Grand Prix season in any case.

The Moscow-born Shcherbakova is among the biggest stars of her sport, alongside fellow current Russian teenage talents Kamila Valieva and Alexandra Trusova. All three are trained by renowned coach Eteri Tutberidze at her base in the Russian capital.

There had been speculation that Shcherbakova could retire following her Olympic success, with the competition life of Russian female figure skaters often short. However, she later confirmed that she was intent on pursuing more titles.

Shcherbakova has had to contend with injury before, including a broken leg while still a junior in the 2017-18 season.

She bounced back to win the 2019 Russian Championship, later defending her title twice and claiming the 2021 world senior title in Stockholm, before her crowning glory in Beijing earlier this year.

Even though Russian skaters remain barred from international competition, sports figures inside the country have said domestic events will be arranged to compensate while demand remains high for the likes of Shcherbakova to appear in exhibition shows.

Last month, Chinese businessman Li Jun of Beijing Global Dynamic Media said the company was keen to organize a tour for Shcherbakova, Trusova and Valieva, adding that they had legions of fans in the country clamoring to see them perform.