ussia’s spectacular Kamila Valieva stormed to the lead in the Women’s Short Program at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn (EST) on Thursday, setting a new highest score en route. Loena Hendrickx of Belgium managed to break through the Russian phalanx to come second while Alexandra Trusova of Russia is currently ranked third.
Valieva put out another mesmerizing performance of her program to “In Memoriam” and nailed a triple Axel that garnered 11.54 points alone, a triple flip, triple Lutz-triple toeloop as well as level-four spins and footwork. The 15-year-old set a new personal best and record score for the Women’s Short Program with 90.45 points.
“Today I really felt that I am in the program, that am telling the story, it’s a nice feeling when you skate and you forget about your body, you are all in the program, in the audience, in the judges and it’s so inspiring and you are so high after – you are even higher after the skate,” the 2020 World Junior Champion shared. “It (setting a new highest score) means that I work right, that it’s not for nothing that I go out there every day and work on the elements. It’s a motivation to go on working. I am thrilled I was able to score 90 points in the Short Program,” she added.
Skating to “Caruso”, Hendrickx reeled off a triple Lutz-triple toe, double Axel, triple flip as well as a triple flip and difficult spins and footwork. The Gran Premio d’Italia bronze medalist posted a new personal best with 76.25 points.
“I still can’t believe it, I am so emotional right now,” the Belgian Champion said. “I was really nervous so maybe that’s why the emotions coming out now. There are small things I could do better so I didn’t expect a new personal best. Now I know I can score more.”
Trusova fell on her opening triple Axel in her program to “Frida”, but recovered to produce a triple flip and triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, earning 75.13 points.
“I am upset that I didn’t do the Axel. I didn’t have a good attempt (of the triple Axel) during the run-through, but that’s not an indicator. What I did in the morning during training before the competition is not so important. In any case, I’ll manage to do it one day and this moment will be even happier. It’s a shame, of course, that I have failed so many times and I can’t do it yet, but I hope I will.”
Reigning World Champion Anna Shcherbakova (RUS) missed her combination jump and finished fourth at 69.05 points. Ekaterina Kurakova (POL) follows in fifth with a strong performance (67.47 points) and Anastasia Gubanova (GEO) is currently ranked sixth (67.02 points). Thirty-six Women competed in the Short Program and the top 24 advance to the Free Skating on Saturday.