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Estonian skating news

Results of Estonian skaters from 2000/2001 season:

23-26 August Junior Grand Prix event in St. Gervais, France
Viktoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals, 3rd in Pairs

5-8 September Nebelhorn Trophy 2000
Alexei Kozlov 4th place in Men's
Olga Vassilyeva 8th place in Ladies'

21-24 September Ondrej Nepala Memorial
Ekaterina Golovatenko 15th in Ladies'
Olga Vassilyeva 14th place in Ladies'
Alexei Kozlov 9th in Men's
Roman Martynenko 22nd in Men's

13-15 October, Finlandia Trophy, Finland
Olga Vassilyeva 9th in Ladies'
Alexei Kozlov 11th in Men's
Anna Mosenkova/Sergei Sychov 9th in Dance

19-22 October ISU Junior Grand Prix Ostrava, Czech Republic
Maria Levitan 26th in Ladies'
Alexei Saks 16th in Men's
Maria Timofeeva/Evgeny Striganov 18th in Dance

26-29 October ISU Junior Grand Prix Gdansk, Poland
Maria Levitan 27th in Ladies'
Alexei Saks 16th in Men's
Viktoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals 6th in Pairs
Maria Timofeeva/Evgeny Striganov 12 in Dance (very good for them!)

23-26 November ISU Grand Prix Trophee Lalique
Shklover/Mintals 9th in Pairs. Dead last but they are somewhat juniorish still.

21-28 January European Championships in Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Alexei Kozlov finished 18th in Men's Singles
Olga Vassilyeva finished 29th in Ladies' Singles
Viktoria Shklvoer/Valdis Mintals finished 10th in Pairs
Anna Mosenkova/Sergei Sychov finished 25th in Ice Dance

7-15 February Winter Universiade, Poland
Alexei Kozlov 12th in Men's Singles
Margus Hernits 17th in Men's Singles
Ekaterina Golovatenko 10th in Ladies' Singles

February World Junior Championships,
Alexei Saks 30th in Men's Singles
Maria Timofeeva/Evgeny Striganov 23rd in Dance

New Pair???

Some days ago I was walking in the rink and saw a young couple doing camel spins in synch. I recognised the boy - he's the brother of Kristina Kiudmaa who had a growth spurt last year therefore lost all his double jumps and falling low in standings. He looks a bit like Alexei Yagudin (both face and build), if you want to get an impression. I know I have seen the girl too but cannot recall her name (she's blond and very slim, even if she isn't all that short). So, they were using really weird ice time for that (synchronized skating) and trying to do camel spins in synch. They'd probably young enough to be a novice pair and I am thrilled to see that there might be some hope for continuing pair skating in Estonia. I'll keep you up with their doings.

New Rink

Was opened. However, the ice price is the highest there and it's freezing cold. Also, the public skating ice is awful. Honestly. That's probably because they don't zamboni it enough. Mainly ice is rented by hockey players and once a week curling. Skaters rarely attend, probably because of the temperature. But the rink is big, that's for sure and hockey players probably could not ask for anything more since they tend to wear a lot of equipment to keep them warm during practice.

New rink will open

In the nearest future a new rink will be reopened with 3 ice sheets (no stands though?!). Hockey officials (Hansa Sport?) are leading this project and most likely it will put some life into Estonian near-death hockey and somewhat dead figure skating. The nearest future does not look too good but the perspective is good when we look further. We have some very promising novice and younger skaters and there is somewhat a boom for young kinds to get into skating. New hockey teams are being created too. Ice dancing is getting more popular all the time. We need some junior level pairs teams too, we probably will have to import them (or at least the guy).

Spring Cup - local international competition for young skaters

The competition was held for singles skaters and ice dancers for the Chicks up to Novice (or Springs) levels. We had skaters from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland and a dance couple from Germany. While the level of the singles skaters didn't impress me very much (OK, one girl from Latvia attempted a 3 Salchow which would have gotten her a sure first place had she landed it) but the ice dancers were pretty impressive. The Polish team who won its level skated very fast and with a lot of attack. I did not like the free dance musics for the oldest group as a whole but the middle group had pretty interesting music and dances. I was a bit dissappointed with the lack of speed and sureness of the Estonian teams though. Even the team from the oldest level would lose to the Polish team from the middle level because of their speed. I enjoyed the Ukraine dance team too. All in all Estonians did not win many medals, which I suppose is good because it shows to our skaters who have won the local competitions all the year long that they're not the best in the world and makes them more humble and willing to work. Too bad the season is pretty much over with this and on 23rd the rink will be closed for the summer and only reopened on the 1st of September.

World Figure Skating Championships 26 March - 3rd April 2000

Estonian team consists of:
Margus Hernits - Men's singles
Olga Vassilyeva - Ladies' singles
Viktoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals - Pairs
Anno Mosenkova/Sergey Sychov - Ice Dancing
After day 1 Margus Hernits has done his part on this competition. He had a bad knee injury in the weeks leading to the Worlds and wasn't sure if he would go at all. Still decided to take part and see what happened. Apparently the only 3 jump he landed was the Salchow. All in all he ended up 43 - I don't think he has ever been this low on any competition. It would have been better for everyone had he stayed at home and healed.
Our pair Shklover/Mintals did pretty well in the short program. They skated fourth and that might be the reason why they are where they are. Had they skated in the last group they might have been a couple of spots higher (but not too many). Yet that would have allowed them to skate in the second group on Wednesday which could have made all the difference. He was clean but she landed forward in the SBS 3 Toeloop and had a very slight 2-footed landing in the throw 3 Salchow. The good news is that she has started to land the 3 Toeloop and the throw Salchow clean in the practices. Good news for next season, that's sure.

Junior World Championships 6-12 March 2000

Our junior team is not doing as well as our senior team did at Europeans. Especially awful is the situation in junior men division. Estonia has 2 junior men - Alexei Saks and Dimitri Antoni. While I prefer the skating style of Antoni, Saks obviously has a better technical arsenal as he gets sent everywhere. However, he hasn't proved himself on any competition yet. What can you really expect if he doesn't have all the triple jumps while so many of the juniors perform quads. Estonia really needs to do something about the jumping ability of the skaters. The only ones who can really jump well are Margus Hernits and Alexei Kozlov and both of them train by international coaches frequently. I don't think our coaches really can teach triple jumps.
Well, about Junior Worlds. Alexei Saks did not make it out of the qualifying round and finished 35th (18th in his group). Also, Maria Levitan did not make it out of the qualifying round and finished 37th alltogether (19th in her group). However, our ice dancers aren't doing that bad. They finished 30th. Our pair is probably very tired right now (after Euros and Tallinn Cup) and that's probably why they finished only in 9th place. I hope next year the officials won't make them compete so much right before major competitions - like Worlds and Euros.

Inter-Club competition 26-27 February 2000

From beginners up to Junior skaters. Featuring only local skaters. I must say that the overall level is pretty low. What can you expect if no triples were landed and the gold medal winner in Junior Ladies cannot do a double Axel. I have to say that the 2nd place winner did land the 2 Axel though. Only some 9 year olds did good programs for them with a couple of double jumps and 1 Axels. And overall boys are so much worse than the girls. Ice dancing left a good impression though, with our new Star team winning the Cubs level. The Star team consists of a girl of about 6 years and a guy of about 7 or 8 years and everyone just adores them. They definitely get the biggest applause and they are just amazingly cute together. And they skate extremely well into the music.

Tallinn Cup

An overall interesting and good competition featuring all of the best Estonians and some international skaters. But you better go and read about it on my Tallinn Cup page

2000 European Championships

From Estonian Nationals the following skaters advanced to the European Championships: Margus Hernits, Olga Vassilyeva, Viktoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals and Anna Mosenkova/Sergei Sychov. As of now their placements are:
Viktoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals - finished 11th in Pairs
Margus Hernits - finished 13th
Anna Mosenkova/Sergei Sychov - finished 21st in Ice Dancing
Olga Vassilyeva - finished 19th
All our officials were pretty happy and proud!

Estonian Nationals, Tallinn 4-5. December 1999

This competition will determine which skaters will go to represent Estonia on European Championships in Vienna this season. Some skaters from neighbouring countries will take part in the Estonian Nationals.

Salchow Trophy, Junior GP competition, Stockholm, Sweden, November 1999

Viktoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals in pairs, Alexei Saks in men's singles and Marina Timofeyeva/Evgeny Striganov in ice dance took part in this competition. I must say this is one of the most successful important international skating competitions for Estonia so far. The best result (I cannot say it was a total surprise) was delivered by Viktoria and Valdis who placed first in both short and long programs, therefore winning an overall first place and due to this placing are right now in 2nd position in JGP standings (2 more JGP competitions before the final at this moment). Looks like they are going to JGP finals! More info on both senior and junior GP on ISU official page.
Our ice dance team won the 14th place. It is a very good result taking into account that almost no one ever expects them to place higher than last (well, maybe pre-last). I think Estonian Skating Union is right now pretty happy about the improvement of Estonian skater's quality in the last couple of years.
Alexei Saks unfortunately did not go with the flow and placed among last in the men's competition. Let's hope by next year he or another junior man will surprise us as well.
As you can see no Estonian ladies competed. As I was told by one of our coaches ESU decided not to send any ladies to any of the JGP competitions unless they will start showing consistence and 3-revolution jumps. The cutting edge for Salchow Trophy was the Tallinn Championships and obviously no junior lady competed well enough for ESU standards. My thought - unless our junior and senoir ladies and men start getting around 2 more hours ice time every day they will not start producing results that ESU excpects of them. More ballet and physical preparation would not hurt either. In other words Estonia really needs a good and modern training center both for hockey players and figure skaters.

Tallinn Championships, Tallinn, Estonia 29-31 Oct. 1999

This competition marks the beginning of the competitive skating season in Estonia. Almost all our juniors and many of our seniors and novices took part in it and also some international skaters (Ukraine, Latvia). Results are on the Results page.

Junior Grand Prix event in Hague, Netherlands 15-17 Oct. 1999

As it came out our dance team did a big mistake in one of their compulsory dances. Apparently she finished half a circle earlier than she should have. So, instead of 3 circles they only completed 2.5.
From Estonia skaters Alexei Saks, Olesya Gretchuk in singles, Victoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals in pairs and Marina Timofeyeva/Evgeny Striganov in dance will take part in. Good luck!

Nebelhorn Trophy 1999

This event which takes place in Obersdorf, Germany marks the beginning of the new 1999/2000 skating season this year. It is basically meant for skaters who are not yet well known on international skating scene but every now and then better knows stars take part in it. This year from Estonia Margus Hernits, Olga Vassilyeva and Viktoria Shklover/Valdis Mintals took part in it. None of them did really great but all of them did well. Margus placed 8th out of 22 competitors, Olga 14th out of 23 competitors and Viktoria and Valdis placed 6th out of 11 pairs.

End of Season Show - 8th of May 1999

Most of the skaters who belong to the Tallinn Figure Skating School took part in this show. It was all group numbers and skaters were grouped by their levels, plus ice dancers and three hockey players who took part in the show. At the end of the show ESU president made a speech and best students of the school were awarded, one of them was Olga Vassilyeva. At the very end all the participants got a small round chocolate medal and photos were taken. First a photo of the whole show cast (it is amazing how they managed to put all those people on one photo) and then the levels and clubs started taking photos of themselves. If the photos should become available to the public, I will put some on my page, so stay tuned.

4th European Youth Olympic Days

Alexei Saks and Maria Levitan took part in these. Neither of them did really well. Maria placed 25th and Alexei Saks placed 26th. Both of them did better in the short program and dropped in the long.

1999 World Championships

Based on the results of Tallinn Cup the following skaters went to the World Championships in Helsinki - Margus Hernits, Olga Vassilyeva, Kristina Kalesnik/Aleksander Terentyev. They did quite fine all, even though Margus Hernits probably hoped to place higher and Olga wanted to make it to the long program. The final results were:
  • Men - Margus Hernits - finished 19th overall
  • Ladies - Olga Vassilyeva - finished 29th overall
  • Ice Dance - Kolesnik/Terentyev - finished 28th overall

19-21 February: Tallinn Cup

This competition will decide who will represent Estonia on the World Championships. Skaters from 13 countries are taking part in this new cometition: from Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Austria, Rumenia, Slovakia, Azerbaidzan, etc. Right now the organizers are trying to clean up the Icerink as well as possible. The competition will be held in all disciples.

1999 Europeans

The following Estonian skaters took part in the Europeans:
  • Men - Margus Hernits - he finished 16th overall
  • Ladies - Olga Vassilyeva - she finished 19th overall.
  • Ice Dance - Kristina Kalesnik/Aleksander Terentyev - they finished 24th
I guess the Pairs couple did not go since they only started working together this fall and they also are a bit young (especially Viktoria Shklover)

13-14 January

Competition between all Estonian figure skating clubs took place. Men, ladies, ice dancing were represented up to Junior ranks. Probably all the few seniors are taking part in or preparing for more serious competitions like Europeans. The competition was pretty interesting and looks like we have a Junior lady and a Junior boy who in a couple of years could start challenging today's champions. I lay my hopes on the girl especially.

12th January

Today took place a big skating show on an open rink made especially for that in Tallinn. Margus Hernits, Kristina Kalesnik/Aleksander Terentyev and other skaters skated in it. Including Anna Levandi (formerly Kondrashova) who won the silver medal in 1984 Worlds. Plus, of course our precision team. Also, famous Estonian singer Anne Veski performed and the evening was ended with a fire-show. I think the main reason for this show was to make figure skating more popular in Estonia (or at least in Tallinn). Plus the money raised went to help little kids in the orphanage.

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