Rivalries: The Young Russian Divas

One of the most exciting developments this season was the addition of two very interesting competitors to the senior ladies’ field: the young Russian divas, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Adelina Sotnikova. In the junior field, these two were great rivals and we had no doubt that they’d make a splash in the senior ranks (even though they can’t go to Euros Worlds this season AND next season). The questions on everyone’s minds was: how well would they stack up to the somewhat weak ladies’ field and how would they would stack up to each other once they were on the senior stage. Because let’s face it: other than Mao and Carolina, the ladies field is pretty wide open at this point and it only takes a little bit of Mother Russia bullshit judging and/or mistakes from either of the aforementioned skaters and Mother Russia can take over most of the podium spots with the young divas.

In the last few years, it looked as if Adelina had the upper hand, beating Liza at Russian Nationals, the GPF and Junior Worlds. However, Adelina suffered from a leg injury over the summer and lost a month of training and possibly some momentum as she went into her senior debut. Then she came out with two programs – one with overused music (not to mention a fugly costume)…

… and another which used the same music as Mao Asada, whose version was clearly superior – that probably didn’t show her off as well as they should have.

 

Liza’s programs weren’t any better but Adelina’s rival knows how to work her programs and use her charisma to enchant a crowd. It became clear that in their senior debut, Elizaveta was having the upper hand with wins at Skate Canada and TEB as well as a slot in the GPF. (That and the fact that she beat veterans and World medalists such as Akiko Suzuki and Carolina Kostner.)

 

 

Adelina, sadly, did not fare as well, though she did get some respectable results – a bronze in both the Cup of China and Cup of Russia but no GPF spot. Adelina’s season, it seemed was not as good as some predicted it to be, especially in regards to how her results stacked up against Liza’s. But then came Russian Nationals and Adelina redeemed herself by winning the competition while Liza bombed and placed in 4th.

Adelina seemed to be regaining her upper hand and then the cheezfest known as the Youth Olympics came along and Liza won gold over Adelina. Only time can which of these Russian ladies Mother Russia will support. The results of junior Worlds this year doesn’t really help as Liza withdrew to train for next season while Adelina only won bronze after Julia Lipnitskaia and Gracie Gold.

Who do you prefer in this rivalry?

~The Rinkside Cafe

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