Sergei Voronov on Russian Team for European Championships 2018
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Russian skater Sergei Voronov skated great the whole season till Russian nationals. This Season - except at Grand Prix Final - he won medals at every international competition he entered, including a gold medal at NHK trophy. He qualified for the Grand Prix Final (GPF) in December 2017 in Japan, where he placed 4th with two clean skates without major errors. The audience loved him. Only the skaters ranked top six at the international Grand Prix Events are allowed to participate in the GPF. Except Mikhail Kolyada, winner of Russian nationals, no other Russian men qualified.
Till nationals Sergei presented himself as most stable of all Russian skaters. Among Russian skaters only Mikhail Kolyada had shown slightly better results at international competitions. Apart from that Sergei’s international results were far ahead from any other male Russian single skater. Admittedly Sergei skated below his abilities at Russian nationals, possibly due to feeling pressure that other skaters will be preferred by judges / officials no matter how he skates. This was very well displayed by the marks of this competition, as the men’s free skate was a complete mess, still some skaters placing ahead got decent PCS for disastrous skates. You can well argue that Sergei might have placed higher than 4th at Russian Nationals and there is already criticism on the outcome of this event by well known experts. He might also have been exhausted from the GPF, the long flights to and back from Japan and acclimatization as this event took place just two weeks before Russian Nationals. The winner of Russian Nationals, Mikhail Kolyada, who placed 3rd at GPF, but also gave subpar performances at Russian Nationals, stated during the press conference that it was difficult to compete at Russian Nationals quite shortly after the GPF. This did not apply to the skaters placing 2nd and 3rd at Russian Nationals as unlike Sergei they simply didn’t skate well enough to qualify for GPF.
Taking into account the results of the rest of the season so far – and Russian figure skating federation always reserves the right to nominate the 3rd person on the team based not only on results of Russian nationals – it would be a fair decision, to send Sergei to Euros and not a skater who is young and very promising, but was struggling with injury and thus subpar results the whole season. The 3rd spot on the team should be decided based on sport principles and thus on results of nationals reflecting fair judging (which didn’t happen) plus reasonable consideration of the skaters’ competitions results so far this season and not on possible desire of skating officials to eliminate older skaters from the team on behalf of their younger aged favorites. Considering all these factors, performance at nationals, the judging there and the great achievements Sergei Voronov has shown this season, Sergei shall be given a chance to compete at the European figure skating championships in 2018. This is a petition for him being nominated as one of three male single skaters for the Russian team for Europeans.
Side note: this is not a petition against Dmitri Aliew, whom I personally from deep heart wish full recovery from injury and a very successful and long-lasting career. It is a petition for fair treatment of Sergei.
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