Aliona Kostornaia entered pairs skating at the second stage of the Grand Prix in Omsk. It was her first performance with Georgi Kunitsa in a real competition, after preliminary performances and test rides. Previously, the newly formed couple just demonstrated their skills in front of the judges, but did not participate in real competitions.
Although Aliona and Gosha are not clearly aiming to win a podium, they have every chance to medal in their debut tournament. The scores obtained for their short program (68.06 points) look more than encouraging.
Of course, the gap between them and the favorites Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Galliamov (73.50 points) is quite significant. But now the main task for Kostornaya and Kunitsa is to compete with the best, not to try to catch up with them.
When Aliona Kostornaia announced her transition from singles to pairs skating, many were skeptical. Some thought it was just another extravagant move of hers that wouldn’t lead to real competition. She was known for her independence and being active on social media, where she posted videos of her performing pairs elements.
However, over time, Aliona seriously approached this decision, officially announced the creation of a couple with Gosha and even married him. They prepared for the control rolls and performed decently, given their lack of experience. Alyona was especially amazed by her success, showing significant progress in a new sport in just a few months.
Nevertheless, it was undesirable to talk about Aliona’s return to professional sport before the start of the real competition. Fans and journalists were eagerly awaiting this very moment.
Finally, Kostornaia and Kunitsa entered the real competition. Although there were few opponents, they faced Olympic team skating champions Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Galliamov. With no goal to catch up with them, Alyona and Gosha strived for better results.
At the competition in Omsk, Aliona presented an updated outfit for the short program, which was improved after criticism from the Figure Skating Federation. The new outfit was completely dark green and emphasized her figure.
After the performance of the first three pairs, there was a lot of pressure on Kostornaia and Kunitsa. However, they rose to the challenge and delivered the best performance of the short program so far. Their performance started with a parallel triple flip, which was executed without any serious errors. Although the triple backspin was only performed at the first level, it means that they will need to pay more attention to it in training. Aliona impressed the audience with her triple rittberger throw, which showed her rapid progress in pairs skating.
Aliona also coped with the pairs element – todes, which is considered to be one of her weaknesses. She clearly performed a circle on the ice around Gosha.
At the end of the performance, Aliona lifted her spirits by shouting into the camera, “Mom, I’m on TV!” Their performance was rated by the judges at 68.06 points, a very encouraging result for a relatively inexperienced couple.