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Kamila Valiyeva confirmed she’s a runaway Olympic favorite by winning the Russian Championships, the world’s deepest women’s figure skating competition, by the largest margin in the event’s history.
Valiyeva, a 15-year-old undefeated in this her first senior season, landed three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate.
She totaled 283.48 points, prevailing over Aleksandra Trusova by 34.83, more than doubling the largest women’s margin in Russian Nationals history since the scoring system changed 15 years ago.
Valiyeva is headed to the Olympics, though Russia may not name its full three-woman team until after January’s European Championships.
Trusova, who landed three quads Saturday and fell on a fourth, and third place Anna Shcherbakova, the world champion who fell on her lone quad attempt, are the front-runners to join her.
Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2015 World champion, was the next highest finisher of skaters who are old enough for the Olympics. She was seventh overall, finishing behind two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old who doesn’t turn 16 until after the July 1 cutoff for Olympic eligibility.
Tuktamysheva, at 25 trying to become the oldest Russian Olympic women’s singles skater since 2006, could be handed a second chance to prove herself if she’s named to the three-woman team for the European Championships.
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Kamila Valiyeva wins Russia figure skating nationals by record margin originally appeared on NBCSports.com