Tuktamysheva set to make Worlds return as teams finalise entries

2015 world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva is named in the Russian Figure Skating Federation team, while France and U.S. confirm teams

By ZK Goh

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2015 world figure skating champion, is set to make her first appearance at a World Championships since her triumph that year after being named to the Figure Skating Federation of Russia (FSR) team for the 2021 championships in Stockholm.

The 24-year-old has had a mixed season, winning the Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix in a somewhat surprising result before struggling with coronavirus and performing under-par at the Russian national championships.

However, she finished fourth at the weekend's domestic Russian Cup Final – the highest-placed ladies' singles skater who was eligible for Worlds selection – and has beaten out Alena Kostornaia for the last spot on the FSR team.

She is joined by national champion Anna Shcherbakova as well as Alexandra Trusova in the team.

The FSR also confirmed that Evgeni Semenenko, the men's singles winner at the Russian Cup Final, will be the second men's singles entry alongside the resurgent Mikhail Kolyada.

Semenenko, the Russian national junior champion, defeated the more-experienced Dmitri Aliev in Moscow at the weekend to earn his place in Sweden.

Aleksandra Boikova / Dmitrii Kozlovskii and Anastasia Mishina / Aleksandr Galliamov were confirmed alongside national pairs champions Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov, while Victoria Sinitsina / Nikita Katsalapov, Alexandra Stepanova / Ivan Bukin, and Tiffany Zahorski / Jonathan Guerreiro are the three ice dance pairings for the FSR team.

Countries finalise nominations

Elsewhere, US Figure Skating announced a late change to their nominations for the World Championships, with Ashley Cain-Gribble / Timothy LeDuc being added to the U.S. pairs squad to replace Jessica Calalang / Brian Johnson.

The rest of the American team is set with national champion Nathan Chen, Jason Brown, and Vincent Zhou making up the men, Karen Chen and U.S. champ Bradie Tennell the ladies, Alexa Scimeca Knierim / Brandon Frazier joining Cain-Gribble and LeDuc in the pairs competition, and Madison Chock / Evan Bates, Kaitlin Hawayek / Jean-Luc Baker, and Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue in the ice dance.

France also confirmed its lineup, headlined by singles skaters Kévin Aymoz and Maé-Bérénice Méité. Ice dance reigning world champions Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron had already announced they would skip this year's tournament.

Last week, Canada and South Korea were among the teams to announce their entries, with the latter opting to follow the results of their recent national championships in sending Cha Jun-hwan in the men's and Kim Ye-lim / Lee Hae-in in the ladies' competitions.

Japan's entries were announced in December, with Hanyu Yuzuru and Kihira Rika leading the way.

The World Championships are set to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 22–28 March (with competition beginning on 24 March). The International Skating Union is expected to make a final decision on the status of the Worlds, including its standing as an Olympic qualifier for Beijing 2022, this week.