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Dec 10, 2010

It's Official: Russia is taking over the world (/short JGPF Day One recap)

...the figure skating world, that is.

I for one tremble in fear and anticipation for what Mother Russia will unleash upon the figure skating world at Sochi in 2014. The Junior Grand Prix Final this year is but the first preview...

If you thought the Japanese were impressive in qualifying three skaters each in the ladies and men's discipline at the Senior GPF, think again. Mother Russia managed to qualify six out of eight teams (!) at the Junior GPF this season. And the top 4 teams after the short dance are all Russian as well. Victoria Sinitsina and Ruslan Zhiganshin lead with 55.58 currently:

Although they do not quite show the same brilliance of  Ilinykh/Katsalapov, not yet, there is definitely some potential in there.

Mother Russia also leads the charge in the ladies' division of the JGPF, qualifying three skaters for the event...who all are dominating by commandeering the top three positions after the SP. Current leader Adelina Sotnikova skated quite well, only two-footing the back end of her 3(f)Lz-3T:

Overall, Miss Sotnikova is incredibly promising (despite her flutz) and looks to be a tour de force in the future alongside her compatriot  Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, currently second after the short. Miss Tuktamisheva, trained by the guiding hand of Alexei Mishin himself, has a rumoured 3A in the works (though not in the SP today):

Miss Tuktamisheva has superb jumps and a true lutz, but her basic skating and spins is rather less impressive than Miss Sotnikova's. Miss Sotnikova is also on the whole more polished--for a junior skater--than Miss Tuktamisheva, but the only cure for that for Miss Tuktamisheva is probably leaving Mr. Mishin, who is not known for his packaging of both men and ladies skaters. But for all their flaws, both Miss Sotnikova and Miss Tukamaisheva are very young and have years to improve--look for them to be the new Mao Asada and Yu-Na Kim this Olympic cycle.

Polina Shelepen, the third Russian wonderbaby, is unfortunately rather overshadowed by her peers, but she shows grit and determination--qualities essential for any successful figure skater. But, as we all know, the career of a third-ranked skater is an uphill climb all the way.

LP recaps later today!

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