MOSCOW: Russian ice skating queen Evgenia Medvedeva leads an all-star forged at this week’s European championships which carry particular significance with the Olympics barely greater than a triple axel away.
The Pyeongchang Video games begin in simply over three weeks and two-time world champion Medvedeva shall be out to press house her claims on the ladies’s Olympic title that has been left vacant after the season-ending damage that dominated out 2014 champion Adelina Sotnikova. Spaniard Javier Fernandez goes for his sixth straight males’s European title in Moscow forward of his final shot at Olympic glory after he narrowly missed the rostrum 4 years in the past on the Sochi Video games. In pairs, native hopes Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov goal to defend their title whereas report-breaking French duo Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron are set to dazzle within the ice dance.
Medvedeva is unbeaten since 2015 however is recovering from a damaged foot which dominated her out of the Grand Prix finals and Russian nationals. “Evgenia is coaching at full power,” Russian determine skating chief Alexander Gorshkov informed TASS.
“She is absolutely targeted on her preparation for the European Championships and different forthcoming competitions. She has virtually recovered from the damage. Considering her character and tenacity, we hope she is going to come again to the ice in wonderful form.”
With Russia underneath an Olympic ban for state-sponsored doping, Medvedeva is predicted to be amongst a gaggle of Russians accepted to compete in Pyeongchang as independents beneath the identify “Olympic Athlete from Russia”. The 18-yr-previous Muscovite should be close to her greatest this week to see off the menace posed by her compatriot, Alina Zagitova.
A mere 15 years previous, Zagitova has swept all earlier than her on this her debut senior season.The world junior champion is unbeaten, culminating in titles on the Grand Prix Finals and Russian nationals. “I’m set to point out my greatest on the Europeans on my residence ice,” the teenager stated. The 2 Russians might be maintaining a tally of Carolina Kostner, Italy’s 5-time former European champion who claimed her first European podium in 2006 when Zagitova was solely 4 years previous.
Fernandez, though solely 26, is one other awarded veteran standing. The 2-time former world champion has danced off with the lads’s European title yearly since Zagreb in 2013.He’s hungry to complete his aggressive profession on a excessive, each in Moscow and at Pyeongchang, even when the years are taking their toll.
“My power is type of going away already,” he advised the web site of the game’s ruling physique ISU just lately. “I’ve been right here, it looks like ceaselessly.” Of a possible sixth title he added: “To maintain making historical past, additionally in determine skating historical past, I feel is basically necessary and particular for me. So, I’m undoubtedly going to attempt to make it occur.”
With the likes of American Nathan Chen and Japan’s defending Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu mendacity in wait, Europe’s males seem up towards it in South Korea. However Russian champion Mikhail Kolyada might be placing his greatest quadruple lutz ahead after his bronze behind Fernandez in Ostrava 12 months in the past.
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