Valieva wins Moscow title before opening up about ‘hate’ — RT Sport News
Russian teenage figure skating prodigy Kamila Valieva has won the first of a series of Grand Prix tournaments held in her homeland as an alternative to international competitions, before opening up about the doping ordeal she suffered at the Games Beijing Olympics.
Valieva, 16, finished first in the women’s individual event at the « Golden Skate of Moscow » event which ended on Sunday at the MegaSport Palace in the Russian capital.
Valieva earned 160.74 points for her free skate routine, adding to her total of 83.92 from Saturday’s short skate program.
Valieva’s total of 244.66 points was enough to finish ahead of 15-year-old Sofia Akateva.
Akateva totaled 236.68 points over the two days of competition, collecting 163.98 for her free skate routine and a short skate score of 72.70.
Anastasia Zinina, also 15, finished third on the podium with a total of 200.43 points. Zinina scored 130.24 points for Sunday’s free program, added to 70.19 for her short routine.
The Moscow Grand Prix is the first of six tournaments to be held across Russia in the coming weeks, as compensation for the ban on Russian figure skaters at official ISU events due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Valieva’s performance came amid the ongoing doping saga that surfaced at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in February.
The teenager helped Russia win gold in the figure skating team event in Beijing, before it was reported that she had tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine, on the basis of a sample taken during the Russian championships in December 2021.
Valieva was cleared to compete in the individual event in Beijing by a panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but finished a disappointing fourth despite being the overwhelming favorite for gold.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has continued to investigate the case since the Winter Games, with a conclusion expected in the near future.
RUSADA officials announced last week that they intended to keep details of the case confidential, citing Valieva’s age and status as a « protected person ».
Valieva has unveiled new routines this season that take inspiration from her Olympic event – in particular a free skating performance that ends with the teenager covering her face, just as she did under intense media scrutiny at Beijing.
Valieva admitted on Sunday that the routine was « emotional. »
« It’s not that I feel bad or it’s hard for me, it just comes down to my performance. I was fine. I read a lot of hate about my coaches and myself, so let’s leave that. Valieva said, quoted by RIA Novosti.
“Of course, I’m ready to skate this program all season. If I wasn’t ready, I would say so. I only care about the opinion of my coaches and the people around me. I am not a flower to please everyone.
Valieva said on Saturday she was getting back into shape after an injury, and the teenager fell while attempting a quadruple toe loop in her free program on Sunday – the only ‘ultra-C’ element included in her routine.
His scores over the weekend were also a far cry from the world records set by Valieva last season.
“I don’t know which turned out better. I can’t say that I liked everything, like after any performance. Valieva told Russian media.
“Coaches will already tell you what worked and what didn’t. Basically, I’m glad I got into the toe loop. It was exciting, as if I was jumping for the first time…
“There was no thought of not taking risks. Those kinds of thoughts were in the Olympic season. Now, on the contrary, I want to make jumps”, Valieva added.
“Slowly, we will continue our preparations, I will restore the triple axel and the quadruple salchow. I will slowly get back into shape.
« At the Kazan stadium we will see what will happen, » said Valieva, who is already anticipating November’s performance in Tatarstan, which will be her second appearance in the Grand Prix series.
The Russian Grand Prix series continues in the Olympic resort of Sochi at the end of October.