Sotnikova seeking redemption at Rostelecom Cup

Coach of two-time Russian champ says young talent can beat anyone

Adelina Sotnikova earned the bronze in her Grand Prix debut at Cup of China.
Adelina Sotnikova earned the bronze in her Grand Prix debut at Cup of China. (Getty Images)


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By Vladislav Luchianov, special to
(11/09/2011) - Reigning world junior titlist and two-time Russian champion Adelina Sotnikova scored 159.95 points and finished third in her Grand Prix Series debut at the 2011 Cup of China behind veterans Carolina Kostner of Italy and American Mirai Nagasu.

One of the most promising skaters to emerge from Russia in years, Sotnikova believes she can perform much better than she did in Shanghai.

"I'm not very happy with my performances in Shanghai, because I couldn't execute everything that was planned," Sotnikova admitted. "In my short program, I fell on an important jump [her opening triple Lutz]. Also, I think my excitement affected my performance."

The 15-year-old admitted to being intimidated by the more experienced skaters in the event.

"Honestly, before this Grand Prix event, I thought that to compete at the senior level in an international event would be much harder," she said. "This event showed me that the skaters, who are older than I am, do not do anything extraordinary, and if I had not made my mistakes, then I would have won."

Sotnikova promises to have a more positive mindset for her second Grand Prix assignment, at the 2011 Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Nov. 25-27.

"Certainly, now I feel a little disappointment. I am able to do much more, and I will show it [in Moscow]," Sotnikova said. "In reality, third place at my first senior Grand Prix event is not a bad result."

Her coach, 1983 world bronze medalist and three-time European medalist Elena Buianova (formerly Vodorezova), considers her student's showing at the Cup of China a successful one.

"I think making the podium at this event is a great debut for Adelina," Buianova told the media. "Of course, everyone always wants to be the best, but we are working on it."

Following her bronze-medal-winning performance in Shanghai, it was revealed that Sotnikova missed about a month of off-season training time because of a leg injury, which caused her to withdraw from the Ondrej Nepela Memorial.

"The mistakes she made in the programs were caused by emotions," Buianova said. "Adelina is still very young and she is only just starting to compete with senior skaters."

Still, despite Sotnikova's inexperience, Biuanova believes her pupil can beat anybody.

"If you talk about her prospects, what soldier does not want to become a general?" Buianova said wryly. "Adelina is a very serious, hard-working girl with a great desire to win, and I believe in her."

"Everything depends only on her."