The team Paradise completed its competitive season with a victory


The team Paradise in the Kiss&Cry. (Credits: Team Paradise - 2021)

The final stage of the Russian Cup and the Russian Novice Nationals that took place in Syzran from March 18-20 was super exciting. The confident leadership of the team Paradise in Seniors, the Team Idel's victory in Juniors, and the emotions during the Russian Novice Nationals made this event's success.

Two amazing days, three wonderful teams and six unique programs. The competitions between Seniors were bright but went in a calm atmosphere, so the fans' nerves were saved this time. The Final of the Russian Cup was the last competition of the season for the athletes.

Leading after the short program, the team Paradise from Saint-Petersburg confidently took the lead from the first day. The performance of the passionate tango "Por una cabeza", and the mesmerizing free program "Swan Lake" ensured the team an unconditional victory with a total score of 232.90.

"This season has been a real challenge for our team"
Anna Shkurdai, Team Paradise's captain, shared her impressions after the competition and the season that ends:

"For the second year in a row in Syzran, we managed to end the season positively, and we've been able to show two good performances. We are pleased! You know, this season 2020-2021 has been a real challenge for our team.

Anna Shkurdai and Viktoria Proshina with their coaches Irina Yakovleva, Alexandr Yakovlev and Elena Chernova on the awarding ceremony after the Russian Nationals 2021 (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021)

Because of the pandemic, things didn't go according to our plans. Almost the entire team, including the coaching staff, suffered from the coronavirus, and we had to practice without control of our head coaches for more than a month just before the Russian Nationals. 

The cancellation of some events and the absence of international competitions also affected the motivation of the team. However, these difficulties united and strengthened us even more, and our performances at the Final of the Russian Cup have proven this and showed our mastery. Well, the end of the season 2020-2021 turned out to be excellent," said Anna.

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The Moscow team Crystal Ice also competed in the Senior division.

Since the last competition, the team has supplemented and strengthened both of their programs. So, having complicated the angled intersection, an already tricky element of synchronized skating, the athletes were ready to surprise the judges. However, the mistake could not be avoided, which led to a decrease in the judge's scores for the element.

In the free program, on the contrary, this intersection was executed perfectly, but an offensive fall in the no-hold element still did not allow the skaters to catch up with their rivals from St. Petersburg. After making two emotional, energetic, but not quite perfect performances, Crystal Ice Senior took the 2nd place (212,40).

The team Crystal Ice Senior during their free program "Kill Bill" (Credits: Olga Timohova - 2021)

The team Orlyonok from Perm finished 3rd with 154.17 points. The young team presented two clean programs.

The athletes did not make any serious visible mistakes, but due to a lack of experience, they were weaker than their rivals in terms of technical scores and scores for the components.

Seven junior teams came to Syzran to take part in the competition. Due to the lack of international competitions, this year's start has become a long-awaited event for athletes, coaches and fans. The organizers, as always, warmly welcomed the participants, providing them with the most comfortable and safe conditions.

According to the results of the competition, the team Idel from Kazan won (195,07). The athletes sought to correct the mistakes that had happened at the Russian Nationals and hadn’t allowed them to climb the podium and completely coped with their task. The team's full emotional involvement and the clearness of the execution made Idel take not only a leadership position and increase their scores.

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The silver medal of the competition was awarded to the team Zhemchuzhina from Togliatti (180.68).

The judges noted the team's skills, especially appreciating the presentation of the athletes, their individuality, involvement in the process, the accuracy of movements, and the composition of the program. The scores for the components of Zhemchuzhina reached 8.75.

The ambitious team Aquamarine from Omsk (155.64) entered the fight for getting into the top five of the Russian strongest junior teams.

Although the athletes have not yet succeeded at the last Russian Nationals, they continue to improve their results. Their confident performances in Syzran showed that Aquamarine is not standing still and is getting closer to their goal with each exit to the ice.

The Russian Novice Nationals
The Russian Novice Nationals, held in Syzran on March 20, 2021, turned out to be truly sensational.

For the first time, the team Kazanochka (87.76) rose to the top of the podium of the Russian Nationals in the Novice category. Sunrise-2 from St. Petersburg took the silver medal (87.10), and Junost-2 from Yekaterinburg finished third (84.55).

There was a real fight for the leadership. During the season, the team Kazanochka has been moving quite steadily from one start to another. The athletes were fully prepared for the most important competitions of the season and skated brightly and dynamically.

The skaters were very happy with their performance, but they did not even suspect it would be victorious. When the scores were announced, the team fell silent for a moment, as if realizing what they had heard but then burst into shouts of happiness. The result exceeded all their expectations.

Sunrise-2 has consistently won the last few years, but this time they made an offensive mistake: two athletes snagged and fell during the execution of the angled intersection.

Even though all the other elements were executed perfectly, the fall could not affect the final judges' scores. Having conceded less than a point to their rivals from Kazan, Sunrise-2 finished with the silver title.

Finally, the bronze medals of the Russian Novice Nationals were awarded to the team Junost-2 from Yekaterinburg.

The skaters performed at an excellent technical level and received the highest scores for their elements. However, the final score did not allow Junost-2 to get ahead of Kazan and St. Petersburg's contenders.

Results - TOP 3

Final of the Russian Cup 2021
Syzran (RUS)
MAR 18, 2021 - MAR 21, 2021

TEAM Score
1Team Paradise (RUS)232.90
2Crystal Ice (RUS)212.40
3Team Orlenok (RUS)154.17

Novice A
TEAM Score
1Kazanochka (RUS)87.76
2Sunrise 2 (RUS)87.10
3Junost (RUS)84.55

TEAM Score
1Idel (RUS)195.07
2Team Pearl (RUS)180.68
3Aquamarine (RUS)155.64