At just 16, the new star of the winter sport has already won three grand prix in a row and has also set a new world record in the short program in Japan.
Russia is losing count of young talents on the ice rink. At the 2014 Winter Olympics, the world praised Yulia Lipnitskaya, at the 2018 Olympics - Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva. All three girls used to train under Eteri Tutberidze, considered one of the most successful skating coaches ever who was even awarded with the Order of Honor from President Putin.
But this year, a new - and even younger star - has risen, also under Tutberidze’s tutelage. It’s now Alena Kostornaia who is collecting medals and beating records.
Alena's family is connected with sport, as her father was involved in athletics and her mother was a figure skater, too. They sent Alena onto the ice rink at the age of 4 and, according to her parents, at first the girl didn’t seem very keen.
However, they didn't give up and as Alena managed to do her first jumps, she began to get very excited about skating, after all. In 2016, she changed her coach and began training with Tutberidze, not least because Tutberidze’s skaters always ended up on the victory podium - and that's what young Alena also dreamed of doing, as well.
Kostornaia got her first international gold medal in the 2017-2018 season, winning the junior grand prix in Poland. Because of this, she won the chance to perform in the Junior Grand Prix Final in Japan, but only managed to win a silver medal.
That same season, she performed successfully in the Russian national competitions: she won second place at the Junior Championships. Then, at her first ever senior championships, won a bronze medal, while becoming a gold winner at the next serious competition - the national Figure Skating Cup.
During the following 2018-2019 season, Alena won two stages of the Grand prix, however, only took bronze in the final. Meanwhile, the 2019-2020 grand prix is her latest achievement.
During the Japan stage of Grand Prix (the NHK Trophy) Kostornaia fell during rehearsal, but still went on to win gold, setting several personal records, as well as a world record in a short program (85,04), in the process.
Alena Kostornaia (RUS) The reigning ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion missed out of Junior Worlds in the past season due to injury, but came back stronger than ever. In the fall, she finally got the triple Axel under her belt, a jump that she has been working on for two years. It was the weapon she needed.
The 16-year-old combines the triple Axel with her solid other triples, notably her triple flip-triple toe combination and her exquisite skating that took her right to the top of the ISU Grand Prix standings. The 2018 World Junior silver medalist has the complete package of technical skills, skating skills and expression. If she skates clean, she’ll be very hard to beat.
Event SP Score FS Score Total Score 2019 CS Finlandia Trophy 77.25 157.59 234.84 2019 Internationaux de France 76.55 159.45 (PB) 236.00 2019 NHK Trophy 85.04 (PB) 154.96 240.00 (PB) 236.95
The results of the ISU Grand Prix Final for the 2019/20 season just came in and it looks good for Russian female figure skaters.
Russian figure skaters took the whole stage in the ladies’ discipline in the senior-level of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Torino, with Alena Kostornaia setting a new world record in the total number of points with a striking 247.59 score.
All three medalists are trained under the same team of coaches – Eteri Tutberidze, Sergey Dudakov, and Daniil Gleichengauz, with 16-year-old Alena Kostornaia being the last one to join the winning team. The young figure skater set the world ablaze earlier this autumn with her winning performances at the Grand Prix stages in Grenoble, France and Sapporo, Japan. In Torino, Kostornaia also managed to set a new world record in the short programme by earning an unprecedented 85.45 points – an improvement on her previous record-breaking 85.05 score.
The other two outstanding Russian figure skating stars, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova, came in second and third places respectively. Shcherbakova was the first female figure skater in the history of women’s senior championships to execute a quadruple Lutz, but this time she fell on her quadruple flip and underrotated the second quadruple Lutz during the Free Skating programme, scoring only 240.92 points overall.
Alexandra Trusova, who previously set a still unbeaten world record in the Free Skating programme in the Grand Prix stage in Canada with a striking 166.62 points, won the bronze medal in the Grand Prix Final this time, after landing only three out of her five quadruple jumps.
Eteri Georgievna is not just called the Snow Queen. On ice, she really is. Demanding - first of all to herself, and then to us. He wants us to be the best. I met her at the Russian Championship in St. Petersburg: I got to her workout and realized that everything I had done before was a kindergarten. Right after she took me to her group.
In the 2019/2020 season, I debuted at competitions among adult athletes. I remember the November stage of the Grand Prix in Grenoble. Then I won, however, there was an embarrassment: the gold medal was mistakenly awarded to the American figure skater Mariah Bell, who took third place. But she quickly orientated herself and put a medal on my neck herself.
Then I set my personal record for the number of points. She skated to her favorite song from the Twilight saga. Probably, of all my programs, this is my favorite: I adore the image of Kristen Stewart in this film and it's pretty easy for me to get used to it. Like Bella Swan, I have two conditions: either I don’t want anything at all, or energy is breaking over the edge.
Although training and occupy most of my life, now I try to devote as much time to study. Next year I have to pass the exam and go to university. And I still can not decide: journalism or medicine. I know for sure that I don’t want to become a coach, but I’m happy with a sports observer or a neurosurgeon. I rarely appear at school and send all assignments to teachers by mail.
In my free time from the rink, that is, in the summer, I go in for jumping. I master the basic elements with the trainer, and in the aunt's stables on her horse, Rocky, I practice the learned techniques. In addition to winning the upcoming world championship in Montreal, I have one more goal: I am saving up prizes for buying my own horse. I want a frieze or tinker. The horses of both of these breeds are very beautiful, but the tinker is slightly stronger in terms of jumping, so for now I am more inclined to him.