Evgeni Plushenko’s figure skaters have been at the center of public attention this week for contrasting reasons, providing footage of a remarkable young talent as well as disappointment for fans about Alena Kostornaia’s condition.
On Monday, renowned skater turned-coach Plushenko shared a video of 12-year-old prodigy Veronika Zhilina performing an incredible jumping combo which only a few male skaters are capable of achieving.
The Russian effortlessly landed a quadruple Salchow in combination with a triple toe-loop, repeating the latter move at the end of her mindblowing performance.
“Princess of quads, 12 years old – Veronika Zhilina 4S -3T-3T”, Plushenko captioned a video of Zhilina’s incredible jumps, proudly sharing the feat on Instagram.
Plushenko’s son, Alex, also showed his admiration for Zhilina on her Instagram account, where she thanked the three-time world champion, her coaches and her mother for their support.
A groundswell of pride and respect for Zhilina turned to less positive news after it was confirmed that reigning European champion Alena Kostornaia won’t compete at the national championship in Chelyabinsk this week.
“Kostornaia has pulled out of the Russian nationals because she hasn’t yet gained decent competitive shape after Covid-19,” the general secretary of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia, Alexander Kogan, said.
The winner of last year’s ISU Grand Prix final contracted Covid-19 in November after taking part in the home Grand Prix event, the Rostelecom Cup.
Despite being seen back in training at the Angels of Plushenko academy, the showpiece has arrived too quickly for the 17-year-old.
The skater is said to have fully recovered, but an enforced pause in training impacted her readiness to compete at the national tournament.