Over a year ago I did an article about the top Russian girls figure skating prospects. Some things have stayed the same, some thing have changed. The situation is actually even better now though. Some girls who were borderline prospects a year ago have made huge strides this past year.
So lets do a run down of who I would currently consider the best Russian girls prospects. For the purposes of this edition I am limiting things to girls who have not yet appeared in a Junior Grand Prix event and are at least 12 years old.
Anastasia Gubanova born December 2 2002
I personally continue to rate Anastasia Gubanova as one of if not the best young female talent in the world. She simply has a great combination of powerful jumps and artistry.
Because of her birthday being after July 1st she was not able to compete in Junior Grand Prix this past season. This probably had to be a bit frusterating because shes ready to win at that level.
Her season started out very strong with scores of 200 and 191 then had a podium slump before looking strong at the end of the season. You have to understand that Russian domestic competitons are a million times more competitive than similiar competitions in other countries. There is so many good girls that if you make one mistake you will be off the podium.
Elizaveta Nugumanova born August 25 2002
Elizaveta, often called Liza, continued to make her case for being the best young figure skating talent in the world. Theres really nothing she does not have. Great jumps, great artistry, great flexibility and spins. And has the outgoing personality to be the face of Russian female skating.
Just as in the case of Gubanova, she was not able to compete at Junior Grand Prix this past season because her birthday is after July 1st. You begin to wonder if the ISU purposely changed that rule because of Russias young talents.
Alisa Lozko born June 1 2002
The next two skaters would get an award for most improved skater if there was such a thing. In the past I would decribe Alisa Lozko as a decent skater. Someone that has ability but a 2nd tier prospect.
This season that all changed. She went from being a borderline prospect to arguably having the best season of any of the Russian girls prospects.
I think I could count on one hand the amount of mistakes she made this season. Her emergence means Russia will be adding at least three great prospects to the upcoming Junior Grand Prix.
Stanislava Konstantinova born July 14 2000
Stanislava Konstantinova is the other girl worthy of a most improved skater award. The previous season she was very inconsistent. So inconsistent that she was not given any Junior Grand Prix assignments despite being age eligible.
It looked like she would disappear into the shadows as a failed prospect. Then this season happens and shes like a brand new skater. Rock solid jumps, great aritistry, and podiumed almost every event she competed in.
By looking at her birthday you will see she is by far the oldest prospect I am listing as she will turn 16 this Summer. Its an unusual situaton because usually Russian prospects are competing in Junior Grand Prix by 14 and in Seniors at 16.
Her being a late bloomer has given Russian skating a gift. It now gives Russia another great skater they can add to Junior Grand Prix. And actually, if there were injuries she could be moved all the way up to Seniors.
Anastasia Mukhortova born May 17 2003
She is eligible for Junior Grand Prix this coming season but will likely be held back one more year because the Russian team is so loaded and shes younger than most in her age group. It will also give her time to fine tune her 3-3 jumps.
She is a good athlete with great flexibility that has a real prescense on the ice. Her program to Polina Gagarina’s Kukushka is my favorite of the season.
Anna Shcherbakova born March 28 2004
She is the young protege of Eteri Tutberidze. After establishing herself the previous season she has continued to progress and really started hitting her stride at the end of the season.
She will be eligible for the Junior Grand Prix in the 2017/2018 season.
Alena Kostornaya born August 24 2003
Alena Kostornaya really came out of nowhere this season and flashed some serious potential. The previous season I barely even noticed her.
She is one of the biggest jumpers I have ever seen for her age and could quickly rise in Russia skating. Unfortuantely I believe her season was cut short due to injury. Hopefully she can come back healthy and continue her development.
Alena is eligible for Junior Grand Prix in the 2017/2018 season.
There is many other Russian prospects I could include on this list such as Anna Tarusina and Sophia Samudurova who were very good this season and will provide the Russian junior team with a crazy amount of depth this coming season. As well as all of the promising younger girls Russia is developing.
Between some of these girls on the list and returning girls like Polina Tsurskaya and Alisa Fedichkina, this has to be considered the strongest Junior Girls figure skating team in the history of skating.