Paradise and Junost become the Russian national champions 2021


Paradise are National champions 2021 (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021)

The Russian Nationals 2021 are over. The competitions were very exciting and eventful. All you need to know about the second day and final results!

The second day of the Russian Nationals changed the balance of power. After the short programs, the team Junost was 2 points behind Crystal Ice Juniors.

However, Junost's perfect performance in the free program to the music from Rimsky-Korsakov's ballet "Scheherazade" allowed them to catch up and overtake the Muscovites. The performance was powerful with continuous movement from element to element and an increasing speed at the end of the performance. The level was really high. As a result, the three-time World Junior Champions delivered three and a half minutes of beauty and magic. The team scored 143.05 points for their free and 216.64 points in total.

The team captains of Junost Evgenia Soboleva and Viktoria Afanasyeva with their coach Natalia Sannikova and the Officials (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021)

The team Crystal Ice Junior showed a whole different side this time around with an expressive and colourful performance. 

The bronze medalists of the Junior Worlds 2020 entered the ice with a clear intention to keep the lead, but the loss of levels in several elements dropped the Moscow team only to third place in the free program (134.98). The mistakes could have led to the loss of the silver medal, but the advantage after the first day allowed Crystal Ice to keep the second place. 

The team Crystal Ice Junior during their free program (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021)

Sunrise-1 from St. Petersburg has not been so close to silver for a long time. The last time the St. Petersburg team became the second in the national championship was in 2013, so it has long been striving to regain its lost positions.

Learn more about Sunrise teams in our special article

The free program dedicated to the Siege of Leningrad during the Great Patriotic War could not have been better suited to this goal. The program is filled with interesting variations of familiar elements and unusual transitions.

For example, the team performs synchronized spin in a difficult upright position, and their signature transition "flower" this season was even more complicated. After the free program, the skaters received 136.13 points and took the second place, but the total amount of points (209.02) let them finally finish in third place. 

Sunrise-1 in the end of their free program (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021) 

Paradise has consistently won the Russian National Championship since 1999. During this time, the team has gained great prestige and has become a real team of athletes from all over the country: there are skaters not only from St. Petersburg but also from Yekaterinburg, Moscow, Samara and other cities.

Although the team members are representatives of different figure skating schools, "Paradise" does not lose its unique style. A soft glide, as if they skate without touching the ice, incredible artistry and classic performances, as in the best theatres of the world.

Paradise won 158.13 points fort its free program. (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021)

This season, Team Paradise's free program is to the music from Tchaikovsky's great ballet "Swan Lake".

At the Russian Nationals, the team performed excellently and received 158.13 points for the free skate. Team Paradise earned a total of 238.26 and won the event easily.

Created in 2018, the Moscow team Crystal Ice Senior became the Nationals silver medalist for the first time. The free program "Kill Bill" by Ivan Volobuev was performed at a high technical and emotional level. The athletes put all their efforts into their skating, which became the best in the season.

With 145.53 points for the free skate and 221.66 in total, Crystal Ice became the second team in the country. The Muscovites’ breakthrough was decisive for them and could have opened them the doors to the World Synchronized Skating Championships in Zagreb, Croatia if they had not been cancelled. Paradise and Crystal Ice would have defended the Russian Federation's honour at Worlds in a normal season.

The emotion of Crystal Ice Senior after their free program. (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021)

For the Kazan team Tatarstan, bronze medalists of the Universiade 2019 in Krasnoyarsk and multiple silver medalists of the Russian Nationals, this competition was a real challenge.

After the short program, the skaters lagged behind Crystal Ice by 10 points, which is almost impossible to win back with two clean performances. Nevertheless, Tatarstan selflessly and fearlessly entered the fight.

Tatarstan perform their free program (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021) 

In general, this season turned out to be heroic for the team. Having passed the pandemic test, which especially seriously affected the representatives of team sports, the skaters began to prepare hard for the competitive season. They became the only senior team that did not leave any of last year's programs.

In the new free program, the athletes were Amazons and went belligerently through the season. Having skated wonderfully, Tatarstan beat the Moscow rivals with a good score for components, however, technically they were weaker. As a result, the skaters got 144.88 points for the free program and 212.27 points in total, winning bronze medal of the Russian Nationals 2021.

Results - TOP 3

Russian National Championships 2021
Saransk (RUS)
JAN 27, 2021 - JAN 28, 2021

TEAM Score
1Junost (RUS)216.64
2Crystal Ice (RUS)210.18
3Sunrise 1 (RUS)209.02

TEAM Score
1Team Paradise (RUS)238.26
2Crystal Ice (RUS)221.66
3Team Tatarstan (RUS)212.27