At the end of September, at the Nebelhorn trophy tournament, Russia will have to defend its third ticket to the Olympic Games in Beijing. The thing is that only two of our singles competed at the World Cup in Stockholm – Mikhail Kolyada and Evgeny Semenenko… Someone not from this two was supposed to go to Germany, but he should get there in the top 7 of those who apply for a trip to China.
Initially, there was a 2020 European champion in the application. Dmitry Aliev… However, shortly before the open skates, information appeared that the skater would definitely not perform in Oberstdorf. Based on the results of the performances in Chelyabinsk, the federation decided that Mark Kondratyuk… Sport24 explains why this choice is justified.
Fans are already accustomed to the fact that watching a male loner is impossible without validol. You never know who will fail. Although in the Olympic season, of course, I would like to see more confidence. Moreover, there is a chance not to repeat the history of Pyeongchang with the team silver.
At the open skates, only three people performed with dignity – Evgeny Semenenko, Alexander Samarin and Mark Kondratyuk… Since Zhenya cannot perform at Nebelhorn due to participation in the 2021 World Cup, the main drama was the choice between Mark and Sasha.
Samarin restored the crown quadruple lutz and demonstrated a brilliant cascade of it and a triple toe loop in both programs. After failures last season, this is definitely a big step forward. In an arbitrary of serious mistakes, Sasha only has a step-out on a triple lutz, which should become a quadruple by the season.
Mark performed a little dirtier, but went for much more difficulty. In the short, he made two quads – with a small blot on the quad-salchow-triple toe loop cascade in the second half. On the second day, Kondratyuk started with a quadruple toe loop, in the middle of the arbitrariness he got a little lost, making a double axel and a triple rittberger with a step-out. However, by the end, he again gathered and imprinted two cascades with a quadruple salchow into the Chelyabinsk ice.
The 2020/21 season was a real breakthrough for Mark. After an unexpected bronze medal at the Russian Championship, he consolidated his success with an enchanting performance at the Channel One Cup, where he bypassed Mikhail Kolyada and brought the team captain to tears Evgeny Medvedev… Even though not everything went well with the selection for the World Championship, the athlete proved his right to be in the top of the Russian figure. Chelyabinsk rentals are another confirmation of this.
Initially, Kondratyuk planned to perform at the stages of the UGP in Courchevel, so in mid-August he already showed his programs at the junior skates and received the first reviews from specialists. The Russians were not allowed into France, ISU allocated additional seats in exchange for the next two stages, but Mark was not sent there. “Since we failed to perform in Courchevel, we immediately switched over and started working on ‘master’ programs, where more complex content is allowed to perform quads in a short program”, – explained Svetlana Sokolovskaya in an interview with FFKKR. The extra time was a trump card for Mark, thanks to which he showed better readiness – if you look at the balance of complexity / quality.
Samarin has an obvious advantage in the form of the title of vice-champion of Europe and experience in international performances. But a component pillow may not be needed in Oberstdorf. Of the serious competitors, only an American is there. Vincent Zhou, owning many quads. The rest of the rivals are quite passable for Kondratyuk as well. And also performing on the Challenger will help Mark to get a technical minimum for potential participation in major competitions and earn a good season best for the adult stages of the Grand Prix in the post-Olympic season.
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