Fri, 21 Jan 2022

Russian teenage figure skating sensation Kamila Valieva smashed another world record as she produced a stunning performance at the Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix in Sochi.

The reigning World Junior Champion achieved her feat on Friday evening in her homeland.

Racking up 87.42 points for her short program, the 15-year-old Valieva broke the record of 85.45 previously set by her compatriot Alena Kostornaia.

With her latest feat, Valieva is now a world record holder in three areas after achieving the honor in the free skate (180.89) and total points (265.08) in late October.

On Friday, Valieva produced a triple Axel, triple flip, and triple Lutz-triple toe combination in her routine in Sochi to delight the home fans as her coaches Eteri Tutberidze, Sergei Dudakov, and Daniil Gleikehngauz showed their approval.

Valieva leads the pack ahead of Russian fan favorite and 2015 world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who scored 80.10 to secure second spot, and the USA's Mariah Bell, who notched 69.37 to lie third.

"Today I am satisfied with my skate, happy that coaches said good words to me," Valieva said modestly.

"I enjoyed my skate and there is always something [more] to aspire to.

"Today I did my absolute maximum, [but] there is always room to grow," she concluded.

Earlier this season, the Kazan-born Valieva won the Skate Canada International - where she broke her other two world records - and clinched the CS Finlandia Trophy in what was her international senior debut.

Elsewhere in Sochi on Friday, there was disappointment for Valieva's training partner, 15-year-old Maiia Khromykh, who is down in fifth place after the short program on 64.72 points. Khromykh fell on triple Lutz and was unable to complete her jump combination.

Valieva will be expected to seal the title when she takes to the ice for her free program on Saturday, at what is the last Grand Prix of this season's series.

The Grand Prix finals should then beckon in Osaka, Japan, in December.

Valieva has already been described as the "runaway favorite" for the women's figure skating gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

With just three places on the plane available for Russian women in the singles skating event, competition among the team is set to be formidably fierce.

(RT.com)

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