Ultimately, she couldn’t deal with the strain.
The younger Russian figure-skating sensation Kamila Valieva, on the heart of an enormous Olympic doping struggle, misplaced out on the prospect of a second gold medal on the Beijing Video games with an error-strewn free skate that noticed her twice tumble onto the ice and out of the medals.
The 15-year-old, who led Russia to the crew occasion gold final week, earlier than it emerged that she had failed a drug take a look at, was final to skate after ending on the prime in Tuesday’s brief program.
Valieva launched herself onto the ice to the strains of Ravel’s Bolero, realizing that she must skate at her best possible to remain forward of her teammate Anna Scherbakova, the 17-year-old world champion. She landed a quadruple Salchow and in management earlier than a fumbled toe-loop.
Her nerves destroyed, her program fell to items, the younger Russian falling from first spot to fourth and Scherbakova claiming the gold forward of teammate Alexandra Trusova.
The end result left Valieva in tears, her coaches doing their finest to console her at rinkside.
But it surely additionally implies that the Worldwide Olympic Committee may, in any case, hand out the ladies’s determine skating medals in Beijing—though Trusova needed to be cajoled onto the rostrum because the medalists have been handed Olympic mascots earlier than tomorrow’s formal medal ceremony. “I hate everybody,” she was heard saying to a coach. “By no means in my life. By no means. I hate this sport.”
After dropping an enchantment earlier than a world arbitration panel, which determined that Valieva needs to be allowed to skate in Beijing regardless of testing constructive for the angina drug trimetazidine, the IOC determine that Valieva’s ends in Beijing can be provisional: no medals, no flowers, not even a duplicate Olympic torch for the younger skater from Tatarstan.
Had she received gold, her identify would have gone into the document books with an asterisk beside it, to clarify she might be stripped of any medals if anti-doping chiefs determine she has cheated intentionally.
First up from Russia’s “Quad Squad” was Trusova, the fiery 17-year-old who landed no fewer than 5 quad jumps, together with a surprising quad lutz-triple toe-loop mixture, to leapfrog previous Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto.
At that time, a Russian sweep of the medals seemed all however sure. Scherbakova skated with energy, grace, and pleasure to go nearly a transparent lead, though her free skate didn’t rating fairly as extremely as Trusova’s.
With Valieva tumbling, Trusova claimed silver and Sakamoto, the 21-year-old from Kobe, took bronze.