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9 Oct, 2009 07:00

Russia’s best figure skaters too young for Vancouver

Russia was always known for providing world-class figure skaters, but the latest cast of rising stars, present at the Russian Figure Skating Cup in the Siberian city of Perm, are something very special.

Adelina Sotnikova is only 13 years old, but she’s already the reigning Russian women’s singles champion.

With a nearly flawless performance the young Muscovite kept proving her dominance at the second leg of the Russian Cup. But having taken the lead after the short program, she’s far from resting on her laurels.

“Today I’ve done pretty well. We have fulfilled our plan for the short program despite a number of difficult elements in it. But there’s still the long program, so it’s too early to relax,” Adelina Sotnikova said.

Sotnikova’s compatriot Elizaveta Tuktamysheva is even half a year younger and already the Russian second-highest ranked Russian.

“I like both the music and my suit. They are beautiful. I believe, as soon as a figure skater enjoys the music he or she will skate soulfully and perform well. That’s the main point for me,” Elizaveta Tuktamysheva said.

Unfortunately, the two little diamonds of Russian figure skating are too young to be allowed to perform at the upcoming winter Olympics in Vancouver…

Meanwhile, according to the team’s coach, Valery Artyukhov, they could reinforce it significantly.

”I’m sure their performances today meet the world’s highest standards of figure skating. I’d even say this is the level of the top five. But there are rules. We cannot, and are not, going to break. Any figure skater has to be at least fourteen-and-a-half years old before performing at the Olympic Games. So it’s just a matter of time. We have to wait a little bit,” Coach Artyukhov said.

The first day of the event also saw some more ambitious figure skaters in action, competing in the girl’s event.

And in spite of the fact that most of them are not well-known at all, some of them seem to have everything needed to reach the top in future.