So Who’s Left Standing Now? Russian Edition

Well, to be fair, it doesn’t seem any of the various Russian skaters on the move this summer are actually retiring, although Deividas Stagniunas may or may not be and who knows about Lorenza Alessandrini.  But at this rate it looks like the only top Russian ice dance team left intact by next season will be Bobrova & Soloviev!  That by itself might just get them the Russian #1 spot back.  In fact, looking at the top six in ice dance from Russian Nationals last season, we’ve got, besides B&S, we’ve got:

2/3. Ilinykh & Katsalapov, and Sinitsina & Zhiganshin, participants in the Great Russian Partner Swap.  Apparently the Russian federation is actually very unhappy about this, and may even refuse to support these new teams.  Though if they can’t bully I & K into reunited, they may ultimately have to; B&S have their issues, and they’ll do much better this upcoming quadrennium if they properly field all the good teams they have.

4. Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko: The latest breakup to hit the news, and now they may both try to leave the country, as he goes back to the American girl he rejected six years ago for another tryout, and according to Italian news she’s trying out with Simone Vaturi!  They last competed at 2014 Europeans, so they could in theory represent other countries at 2015 Worlds, but I don’t see the Russian federation releasing either of them.  And in this ever deepening Russian field, I don’t see them getting much of anywhere in that, not to mention since Tobias & Stangiunas skated at Worlds in Japan she would have to sit the whole season out before representing another country-I think they especially will have to stick with a country neither of them is native too(and Lithuania apparently really does not like Russians), if only because they’d probably fare no better in the American field.  I’m wary about either of these partnerships working out, to be honest.

5. Ksenia Monko & Kirill Khavalian: Anyone hear anything about them anyway?  I haven’t.  Maybe they should try to take advantage of this chaos to move up a little…

6. Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin: Still together at last report, but with the epilepsy rumours flying about you have to wonder if they can really keep at it…

How much stabler the Russian pairs scene is may depend on whether Volosozhar & Trankov stay in or not.  At least the North American scene isn’t going quite so crazy, though Lynn K & Logan G have called it a career and we are still waiting on the final decisions of the Big Two, though word is now that V & M will probably skip the fall at least.  Still, the summer is very young yet…

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