Anna Shcherbakova, the two-time reigning Russian national figure skating champion, withdrew on the morning of the start of Rostelecom Cup due to illness, according to Russia’s skating federation.
Shcherbakova, a 16-year-old early 2022 Olympic medal favorite, has pneumonia, according to Russian media reports.
Her absence means there will not be a showdown among the world’s top three female singles skaters at Rostelecom Cup, an annual Grand Prix Series event in Moscow. Peacock Premium live streams the competition here. NBC airs coverage Saturday and Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.
Last season, Shcherbakova and fellow teens and then-training partners Aliona Kostornaya and Aleksandra Trusova combined to win all six Grand Prix stops, then swept the medals in the year’s biggest competitions — the Grand Prix Final, the Russian Championships and the European Championships.
Kostornaya, 17, and Trusova, 16, are entered in Rostelecom Cup.
Shcherbakova, known for changing her costume mid-program last season, was the only one of that trio to stay with coach Eteri Tutberidze for this season. Kostornaya and Trusova each moved to the camp of retired four-time Olympic medalist Yevgeny Plushenko.
This season, Shcherbakova and Trusova combined to win all four of the domestic Russian Cup stops so far, though they never went head-to-head.
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