Olympic champions left off Russian team for World Figure Skating Championships

Adelina Sotnikova
AP
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Neither of Russia’s Olympic figure skating champions were named as part of the nation’s three-woman team for the World Championships in Boston later this month.

Olympic singles champion Adelina Sotnikova and team event champion Yulia Lipnitskaya were passed over in favor of Anna Pogorilaya for the team’s third spot behind national champion Yevgenia Medvedeva and silver medalist Yelena Radionova.

The full Russian team for all disciplines is here.

The decision was not shocking, given Pogorilaya was third behind Medvedeva and Radionova at both the Russian Championships in December and the European Championships in January.

However, Pogorilaya finished well behind Medvedeva and Radionova at Europeans, by more than 20 points, opening the door for the Russian federation to sit her for Worlds. Pogorilaya, 17, finished fourth at the 2014 World Championships and 13th at the 2015 Worlds.

Neither Sotnikova nor Lipnitskaya performed consistently well this season.

Sotnikova, 19, returned to top-level competition for the first time since Sochi, where she became the first woman to win an Olympic singles title without a prior Olympic or Worlds medal.

Sotnikova placed third at the Rostelecom Cup in November and sixth at the Russian Championships, her worst result in seven senior Nationals appearances.

Lipnitskaya, 17, was sixth at Skate America in October and second in the short program at Trophée Bompard in November (before the free skate was canceled due to the Paris terror attacks).

At Nationals, Lipnitskaya was third after the short program, behind Medvedeva and Radionova, but 10th in the free skate, plummeting to seventh overall.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2015 World champion, placed eighth at Nationals. Her coach said earlier that Tuktamysheva would not attempt to defend her World title in Boston.

Medvedeva and Radionova will be medal favorites in Boston. Pogorilaya will also be in the mix, along with U.S. Olympians Gracie GoldAshley Wagner and Polina Edmunds, plus Japan’s contingent.

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