March 19-21, 2011

By Close Yr E’s


FRENCH Version:

Part.1: Speed+Classic

Part.2: Slides+Battle


Since 2007 each year in March, Rollerclub organizes a competition in Moscow marking the renewal of hostilities for the upcoming season. Set up at Adrenalin Skatepark since the second edition, this competition has been coupled with a second Russian competition since 2008 on the preceding or following week (Novorossiysk Sea Battle in 2008, and St. Petersburg since 2009), which enables the foreign skaters to optimize their trip in killing two birds with one stone.


Flashback to the previous years (or remedial course):


As soon as 2009, Moscow gains in importance and the competition organizes the first WSSA Freestyle European Championships (Battle + Speed)


This year, the even was renamed Moscow Roller Cup: the disciplines multiplied…Battle and Speed as usual, but also Classic and Slides! But what does “cup” stand for? The event was transformed into a multi-discipline tournament rewarding the most flexible skater. Each competitor was strongly encouraged to take part in the most disciplines as possible, and a lot of skaters played the game.


Given the number of disciplines, the competition was scheduled on three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday March 19-20-21, 2011.

On Friday, it was Speed Slalom in the morning and Classic in the afternoon, on Saturday Men’s battle qualifications and Slides contest, and on Sunday Battles… And for sure not to forget the afterparty at the 1000 Miles Club, we would not want to break with the good old habits.



The number of competitors was totally honourable as there were almost a hundred people registered.

The whole Russian family was present, including bonus-members: the taking over in the girls’ category is secured! On the other hand, the complete absence of renewal for the men is somewhat worrying… they all seem to have embraced the cause of Slides, abandoning slalom-skating.

As for the foreign skaters, there were newcomers indeed, but a lot were missing too… Times change… Except for the Ukrainians who came in great number – especially the girls… Viacheslav ‘Slavka’ Syniushko was the only representative of mankind, surrounded by Marina Boyko (current #1 in Freestyle), Sabina Ismailova, Ksenjia Komarchuk and Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya – foreign skaters were quite rare. Representing France, Igor Cheremetieff (loyal to the event since its first edition) was there of course, as well as the young Alexandre Claris (winner of the French Finals at the Lugdunum Event last September) and Romain Lebois. Chloé Seyrès was also there, but this time as a judge only. Tiziano Ferrari did not come this year, but Italy was represented in Speed Slalom with great dignity by Simone Nai Oleari and Chiara Lualdi. England, not very often present on international Events, found itself registered at the last minute thanks to Naomi Grigg (initially judge) who finally decided to take part in the Battle. As for Germany, Martin Sloboda was there of course, but not Rudy Op’t Veld who unfortunately decided to stop for good this winter. The Koreans came too… Last year, only Kim Sung Jin had come, but this year he came along with his best jam partner Yu Jin Seong and with Do Ji Hwan (who went to SkateLondon 2010). Belarus remained loyal to the event with Alex Shulhan.





Speed Slalom was the first discipline of the competition. Women then Men did their qualifications one by one with free start, and then the KO System area was set up of the final rounds.






Only the best-8 of the qualifications (out of 11) went through to the KO phases. End of the game for Aleksandra Kiriazova (UKR, #17) too slow, and for Maria Bal (TUR, #11) and Marina Boyko (UKR, #134) who strike twice.

The qualifications highlight the differences of levels between the two firsts, Chiara Lualdi (ITA,  #4) and Kristina Kysenko (RUS, #3) whose best times have only 3 hundredth of difference (around 5.1 and both with one penalty), Aleksandra Shabalkina (RUS, #7) who makes the bridge (around 5.8), and the others who are above 6 seconds.


Finals: Chiara Lualdi (ITA) Vs. Kristina Lysenko (RUS)
Finals: Chiara Lualdi (ITA) Vs. Kristina Lysenko (RUS)


Three of the quarter-quarter finals are won in two winning runs by Chiara Lualdi, Ksenija Komarchuk and Kristina Lysenko, who respectively knock out Maria Gudylina, Aleksandra Shabalkina and Sabina Ismailova. The second group is won in three runs by Nadezhda Akulova against Polina Semenova.



In semi-finals, Chiara Lualdi and Kristina Lysenko, a lot faster than their opponents Nadezhda Akulova and Ksenija Komarchuk, sort them out in two runs leading by half a second…



The consolation final is won by Ksenija Komarchuk, relegating Nadezhda Akulova at the foot of the Women’s Speed Slalom podium.



As for the final… the two skaters are under pressure: Till then very clean, they make one mistake after another during this round. The first run is won by Chiara Lualdi despite three penalties, against Kristina Lysenko who strikes. Kristina wins the second run only by a narrow margin, being one hundredth ahead and with one less penalty. Bu she is outrunned by Chiara on the third run: the Italian speeds up – still safely though (5.78 against 5.96) and kicks less cones than the Russian (3 penalties against 4). She thus wins against Kristina who was though in a familiar place.


Results of the Women’s Speed Slalom KO System:

  1. Chiara Lualdi (ITA)
  2. Kristina Lysenko (RUS)
  3. Ksenija Komarchuk (UKR)
  4. Nadezhda Akulova (RUS)
  5. Aleksandra Shabalkina (RUS)
  6. Polina Semenova (RUS)
  7. Sabina Ismailova (UKR)
  8. Maria Gudylina (RUS)






The selection is much more ruthless for the men who are 19 registered: only the first eight (i.e. less than the half) will be allowed to take part in the KO Systems…

ReKiL (RUS, #17), not fast enough (his perfect second run is not enough) is stuck at the threshold of the Top-8, at the 9th place. Igor Cheremetieff (FRA, #11), Viacheslav ‘Slavka’ Syniushko and Alexandre Claris (10th, 11th and 12th) are not clean enough: two penalties on both tries for Igor and Slavka, and four for Alexandre Claris. All the same for Denis ‘Disa’ Islamov who even strikes on his first try.

The first three who qualified manage two perfect runs: Simone Nai Oleari (ITA, #4) does the two best qualification times with 4.82 and 4.68; he is followed by Kim Sung Jin (KOR, #3) and Romain Lebois (FRA, #7) whose best times are equivalent (4.93 and 4.96). The rest of the qualified skaters are in-between 5.00 for Andrey Shitov (RUS, #10) and 5.26 for Yu Jin Seong (KOR, #24).


Kim S(uper) Jin
Kim S(uper) Jin


The quarter-finals are polished off in two runs per rounds by the favourites (i.e. the first four of the qualifications): Simone Nai Oleari, Andrey Shitov, Romain Lebois and Kim Sung Jin play safe and knock out Yu Jin Seong, Do Ji Hwan, Dmitry Shevarutin and Alexey Tsokolov.



Simone Nai Oleari makes short work of Andrey Shitov: cleaner and faster, two runs are enough. On the other hand, Romain Lebois is a hard nut to crack for Kim Sung Jin: after a strike on his first run, he is one hundredth ahead on the second run with a perfect run in 5.53. But he gets 4 penalties on his third run, whereas Kim Sung Jin who is one hundredth ahead does a perfect run…



Shitov wins in two perfect runs, faster than Romain Lebois, under pressure, who kicks three cones during the decisive second run.



The final is a bit disappointing… Somone Nai Oleari, ahead with two hundredth on the first run, kicks two cones which costs him the first run whereas Kim Sung Jin manages a perfect run. As for the second run, Simone graciously offers it to Sung Jin in doing a wonderful strike… And Kim Sung Jin gets his first 1st place of the day!


Results of the Men’s Speed Slalom KO System:

  1. Kim Sung Jin (KOR)
  2. Simone Nai Oleari (ITA)
  3. Andrey Shitov (RUS)
  4. Romain Lebois (FRA)
  5. Do Ji Hwan (KOR)
  6. Dmitry Shevarutin (RUS)
  7. Alexey Tsokolov (RUS)
  8. Yu Jin Seong (KOR)





The Classic competition was judged according to the new Russian Classic Rules (check them out here), which are a hybrid version compiling different evaluation systems, attributing precise marks to tricks and transitions according to two matrix of difficulty (tricks/transitions) which are organized in categories (A to E). Each of the three judges evaluates all the parameters (technique and style), and their marks are announced after each run, which updates constantly the provisory ranking. The ranking is not calculated according to the total marks of the competitors, but according to the total places that each judge attributes to the competitors in their relative rankings.

Warning, this is a spoiler!! For example, for the Men’s, Kim Sung Jin ends up first because the three judges, in their personal (relative) rankings, put him first (1+1+1=3)… He is then in front of Andrey Shitov, because the sum of his places is 7 (2+3+2=7).

The participants are gathered by groups of level, and the best group goes last, notably with a view to schedule simplification for the media and the public. The groups are made according to the WSSA World Ranking, and the order to go within each group is random.


The Classic competition took place on Friday afternoon. And of course… Ladies first!





The women (or should I say the girls, given the average age) were almost twenty, and were divided into three groups.

Here is a selection of skater-girls, according to their order to go.




As soon as the first group (the level of which is lower), some competitors already do back wheelings on 4-5 cones, small front-to-bck wheeling retournés and shifts, back christies, back Korean spins… (cf. Aleksandra Shabalkina and Nadezhda Akulova). The first, a very young girl, manages a cute and clean program; the second is less at ease and strikes more under pressure.

Julia Kulagina (RUS)
Julia Kulagina (RUS)



With the second group, the general speed increases. This group is made of familiar skaters like Kristina Lysenko: better known for her speed-slalom feats, she could perform feats in Freestyle too if only she could contain her stress. There was some choreographic work in her run which she performed to the famous Hit the Road Jack, but her misplays were numerous and she did not finalize her tricks.


In this group, there is also Julia Kulagina. She did not really have the occasion to move last year, but she did remarkable performances in Battle SPB and Battle Moscow 2010. She is a formidable technician, but she has problems containing her emotions in front of a jury too. Her program, which she perfectly rehearsed on the training area, was very ambitious and varied with high-level tricks in all categories: wheeling retournés, shifts and a back heel seven (wheeling tricks); Christies and kasakchoks (sitting tricks); Korean spins front and back linked with flexible tricks like cobras and butterflies… Unfortunately she did not finalize most of her tricks during the competition.


Sabina Ismailova (UKR)
Sabina Ismailova (UKR)

The young Ukrainian, Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya, was also in Group #2. She has gained speed and ease with age: she showed lots of flexible tricks (cobras, butterflies, toe reverse sidesurf, and a Korean snail), sitting tricks which are not very down yet, and a few wheeling including a back toe wheeling on 5 cones. She ends up 6th.


The rest of the competitors of the second group are little students from Moscow’s RollerSchool. And they are pretty promising: indeed it is one of them who is going to win the Women’s Classic! She is called Daria Kuznetsova and she is not the kind to feel any pressure. She managed her performance exactly the way she had planned: her program is clean and her combos have been thought over… heel wheeling to cobra to Korean spin, or normal to switch butterfly… Add a couple of wheelings (retourné 4x2 and back wheeling on 4 cones), a couple of sitting tricks (Spinning footgun, kasakchok, and back Christie), and sprinkle with a few blocks, chicken legs and mini-sevens… And that’s that!

Daria hangs around 24/7 with Olga Semenikhina, who is slower with more basic combos but interestingly built… Keep an eye on her: she ends up 5th in front of the cream, and with the best total in technique!





Angelika Babiy opens Group #3 with a very clean and successful performance, but also very slow. She did her famous front-to-back Christie to normal-to-switch Butterfly to toe Chicken leg again; she also did two back wheelings (heel and toe), kasakchoks (front and back), and tried a wheeling footgun. Her performance gets her the 2nd spot on the podium behind Daria.


Despite no cones down and interesting choreographic elements on the 50s, Polina Semenova missed all her wheelings, which makes her go downhill to the 8th place.

Marina Boyko (UKR)
Marina Boyko (UKR)

Ksenija Komarchuk played the game with her costume and choreography to the soundtrack of Chicago the Musical, and this gets her wonderful style marks – though in my opinion her choreography remained too much off-lines. Unfortunately, she kicked a dozen of cones and missed most of her technical elements… and she is relegated to the 10th place.


Sabina Ismailova showed a happy run full of go to some teenage rock song. Her rate of success was not impressive, but still better than that of most of her opponents, and she did not kick a single cone, so that she totally deserves her 3rd place.


Marina Boyko’s run was long-awaited, she was the last but one to go… Indeed her choreography was polished, and her technical tricks went together very well with the music (notably her kasakchok and her sevens), so that she gets the best total mark for style! A bit too much artistic-skating like to me… different strokes, different folks! However she was not technically varied (four sevens in only one program, that’s a lot) and her tricks were not very well finished most of the time. And despite low technical marks compared to the others (quite ironic!), she ends up 4th.


The last to go is Chiara Lualdi. Her win in speed slalom in the morning seems to have drained all her energy, and her run really lacked conviction…



Women’s Classic Best Runs by ReKiL


Women’s Classic Results:

  1. Daria Kuznetsova (RUS)
  2. Angelika Babiy (RUS)
  3. Sabina Ismailova (UKR)
  4. Marina Boyko (UKR)
  5. Olga Semenikhina (RUS)
  6. Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya (UKR)
  7. Julia Kulagina (RUS)
  8. Polina Semenova (RUS)
  9. Chiara Lualdi (ITA)
  10. Ksenija Komarchuk (UKR)
  11. Kristina Lysenko (RUS)
  12. Nadezhda Akulova (RUS)
  13. Aleksandra Kiriazova (RUS)
  14. Aleksandra Shabalkina (RUS)
  15. Ksenia Dubinchik (RUS)
  16. Sofiya Stavinova (RUS)
  17. Elizaveta Titova (RUS)
  18. Alla Kharchenko (RUS)





Once the Women’s category over, the men quickly warmed up on the competition area before starting. They were more than twenty, divided into four groups.




In Group #1, nobody to declare, except for Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev who managed to maintain a correct level without training. His run was clean, but it left you wanting more.





In Group #2, there are already good people, including Viacheslav ‘Slavka’ Syniushko, the smooth and easy Ukrainian, who unfortunately striked during his 50s and whose performance was technically a little weak. He ends up 17th just behind ReKiL.


He was followed by Viktor ‘Generator’ Meleshkevich who managed a wonderful feat. Generator is known in Russia for his Classic runs conscientiously built to the beat and optimized according to the rules. However, despite a very good synchronization to the music, and no cones down, Generator is “not very glad”. This run enables him to be on top of the ranking until Andrey Shitov’s performance (in Group #3)… He finally ends up with a very honorable 5th place.


Denis ‘Disa’ Islamov somewhat missed his run: misplaying during his combos he didn’t manage his big tricks, in-between which he really lacked linking.


Yury Torlopov, with his favorite traditional Russian trousers, showed quite a good run with both his choreography and his technical tricks synchronized to the music (especially his last 5-cone seven), and no cones down. But his technical tricks are not impressive enough and his style is not smooth enough to get better than the 11th place, just in front of Disa.


Men’s Classic 12th to 7th




Alexey Tsokolov did an interesting job with his speed of execution, willingly speeding up and slowing down. He is one of the only men to have mastered flexible tricks like back cobra.


Andrey Shitov takes hold of the provisory 1st place by far, overtaking Generator who had the lead until then. He did a fine effort with the music, and his run was technically rich: heel and toe wheeling retournés (from front and from back), shifts, sevens, and sitting tricks, and a huge combo that he did not complete during his run but that he will manage later during the battle: a front toe wheeling on 6 cones, stabilized and back, and a U-turn to manage the whole 50s doing back toe wheeling (during the Classic, he stopped after 3 cones).


The two following skaters to go were Alex Shulhan – but the Belarusian missed lots of his tricks, and Alexandre Claris whose run was varied but showed one particular overlong purely technical passage which would be far better welcome in Battle than in Classic. They respectively get the 14th and 9th places.


While Roman Gordin, the toe wheeling alien, did a poor performance, Igor Cheremetieff managed a varied run quite well synchronized with the music for once (especially his two sevens during his last line judiciously set to the beat). Oh… And the 2011 novelty: As a very last trick Igor did a variation of the wheeling footgun, doing an internal chicken leg on one cone. His performance enables him to reach the 6th place, just behind Generator.



Men’s Classic Best 6




Martin Sloboda, still (always and forever) with his favorite (and only) classic song Smack My Bitch Up – I made him promise to change next time, did a run matching the high points of the music with a good overall speed – a run out of which we can note principally a 6-cone heel seven, shifts including one finished with a heel-toe block, a spinning footgun… enough to reach the 7th place behind Igor Cheremetieff nearly effortlessly.


The lasts to go are the three Koreans and Dmitry Shevarutin, the butterfly-man with his shorts above the knees and his Hawaiian shirts… He is back after a three-month break due to health problems, so that his run was a bit recycled with his famous shift-to-butterfly-to-toe wiper-to-back toe wheeling combo on the 50s… He gets very good marks in technique, but style sends him right back to the 10th place.


Yu Jin Seong is the exact opposite of Shevarutin: no technique as he did not manage to complete a single trick, but his exceptional artistic expression and use of the music get him super-high marks in style, and he gets the 4th place, just behind his friend Do Ji Hwan who is 3rd. The latter is a little less fast, a little less expressive, but his rate of success is better, and anyway he is still artistically high above the rest!


Kim Sung Jin went third before last, and the judges unanimously put him 1st for their relative rankings with ones of the best totals, both in technique and in style – a winning combination since the other skaters were either technical or stylish but rarely both… wheeling retournés, consistent sevens and shifts, a déboulé synchronized with the music, a kick worthy of Jackie Chan… And here he comes getting his second 1st place of the day after the speed slalom!



Men’s Classic Results:

  1. Kim Sung Jin (KOR)
  2. Andrey Shitov (RUS)
  3. Do Ji Hwan (KOR)
  4. Yu Jin Seong (KOR)
  5. Viktor Meleshkevich (RUS)
  6. Igor Cheremetieff (FRA)
  7. Martin Sloboda (GER)
  8. Alexey Tsokolov (RUS)
  9. Alexandre Claris (FRA)
  10. Dmitry Shevarutin (RUS)
  11. Yuri Torlopov (RUS)
  12. Denis Islamov (RUS)
  13. Maxim Anin (RUS)
  14. Alex Shulhan (BRS)
  15. Roman Gordin (RUS)
  16. Kirill Ryazantsev (RUS)
  17. Viacheslav Syniushko (UKR)
  18. Danya Yashin (RUS)
  19. Dmitry Azarko (BRS)
  20. Artem Sapranovich (BRS)
  21. Nikita Pavlov (RUS)
  22. Leonid Ostroukhov (RUS)
  23. Nikolay Vantsov (UKR)





Yulia Kalenova (RUS)
Yulia Kalenova (RUS)


Slides Photo-album



Natalia Krykova wins the Women’s category, in front of Anya ‘Fisa’ Vasiliaeva (RUS) and Olga Fokina (RUS), letting Olga Fadina (RUS) at the foot of the podium.

They were 10 to have registered, including 9 Russians… and 1 Italian, Chiara Lualdi, the only foreigner of the category.



Results of the Women’s Slide:

  1. Natalia Krykova (RUS)
  2. Anya ‘Fisa’ Vasilieva (RUS)
  3. Olga Fokina (RUS)
  4. Olga Fadina (RUS)
  5. Yulia Kalenova (RUS)


Check out the video of the W's Slide Final:


In the Men’s category, they are 21. Most of them are Russians, but there are also skaters from France with Igor Cheremetieff who holds on until the semi-finals, Ukraine with Viacheslav ‘Slavka’ Syniushko, Germany with Martin Sloboda, and Korea with Kim Sung Jin (out in quarter finals), Yu Jin Seong and Do Ji Hwan.

Anton Moiseev is the winner of the final in front of ReKiL, Ilya Suhenko and Nikita Prokofiev.


Results of the Men’s Slide:  

   1.   Anton Moiseev (RUS)

   2.   Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev (RUS)

   3.   Ilya Suhenko (RUS)

   4.   Nikita Prokofyev (RUS)

   5.   Ilya Chernenko (RUS)

   5.   Artem Zolotuhin (RUS)

   7.   Igor Cheremetieff (FRA)

   7.   Denis Lamtsov (RUS)


Check out the video of the Men's Slide Final:





There were 19 women registered, including 5 non-ranked Russians for whom it was the first Battle.

After the overview of the skaters during the Classic on Friday, it is obvious that we should not blindly trust the World Ranking to estimate how dangerous the skaters are: there have been huge improvements during the winter… in particular for the young Olga Semenikhina (RUS, #48), Daria Kuznetsova (RUS, #95, winner of the Classic), and Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya (UKR, #154). Let’s not underestimate Julia Kulagina (RUS, #45) either, her World Ranking does not reflect her actual level: She does not take part in enough competitions to be ranked as she should.

Naomi Grigg (GBR, #236), an off-cones freestyler, lets herself be tempted by impulse registration to the Battle.

Amongst the regulars, four freestylers belong to the Top-10: Marina Boyko (UKR, #1), Polina Semenova (RUS, #4), Chiara Lualdi (ITA, #8) and Angelika Babiy (RUS, #10). Two skaters of the Top-20 are here also: Ksenija Komarchuk (UKR, #12) et Sabina Ismailova (UKR, #17)… and let’s not forget Kristina Lysenko (RUS, #28). Note: Chloé Seyrès is present too, but she is on the other side of the table this time, judging her former colleagues.



The 19 skaters are divided into 6 groups of 3 or 4, and they have only two runs to convince the judges.

A First surprise happens as soon as the second group (the only one with 4 skaters): Kristina Lysenko is knocked out… she totally misses her second run, which gives her a strong disadvantage compared to Aleksandra Shabalkina, who gets the second place behind Sabina Ismailova.

Without surprise, Marina Boyko and Angelika Babiy come first, letting the second places to Naomi Grigg and to the young Olga Semenikhina – and it is no surprise either that Daria Kuznetsova and Julia Kulagina (after their performances in Classic) relegate Chiara Lualdi and Ksenija Komarchuk to the second qualification places.

Chiara Lualdi even had to fight against Nadezhda Akulova in a Best Trick for the second place. She wins the fight with two votes against one for her super-smooth back cobra on 20 cones (against Nadezhda’s 9-cone back heel wheeling on the 50s). Her strategy paid off: facing a challenge that was too technical for her, she’d rather lower the technical level but play safe and concentrate on the quality of execution and the finishing.

However, it is quite surprising that Polina Semenova gets robbed of the first place by Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya: Polina’s runs are a little less varied and her wheelings are shorter than Svetlana’s…



During the qualifying round, some of the first and second places inverted compared to the logics of the World Ranking, so that it turned upside down the forecasts about the making of the quarter-finals groups…

GROUP #1 – Chiara Lualdi is knocked out in the first group, against Marina Boyko who was out of reach and Olga Semenikhina with whom the fight was close : Olga’s slight advantage in wheelings happened to be decisive, as the performances of both skaters were equivalent everywhere else (sitting, spinning, flexible tricks, quality of execution…)

GROUP #2 – It is the end for Naomi Grigg who, knowing she would not get further, enjoyed herself playing along the cones, showing off with the lamest block ever… on purpose. She leaves the qualification to Daria Kuznetsova (1st) who ends up in front of her teacher, Angelika Babiy (2nd) for the occasion.

GROUP #3 – The composition of the third group makes you shudder: Sabina Ismailova, Julia Kulagina and Polina Semenova…Three excellent skaters for only two places. Sabina wins the first place. But Julia and Polina are too close: While Julia does wheeling retourné to butterfly, Polina answers back with a 10-10 wheeling retourné on the 50s; when one tries do to fishleg the other tries too, their performances are equivalent as for back wheelings and sitting tricks; Julia is a bit ahead with sevens, but Polina has more complex combos… The judges ask for a Best Trick! Julia goes first and manages 6 cones doing heel shift but she lacks balance and rhythm. Polina has her chances and goes for her heel wheeling marathon… but stops after one line only! The sentence is announced: the second place unanimously goes to Julia Kulagina.

GROUP #4 – Here too, a well-known face gets knocked out by an unknown skater… Ksenija Komarchuk does two runs with poor content and lots of misses, while Aleksandra Shabalkina plays on the same ground, takes the advantage and seizes the second place behind Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya.



Experience finally pays off. Indeed Marina Boyko and Julia Kulagina end up in front of Daria Kuznetsova and Aleksandra Shabalkina in the first group, while Sabina Ismailova and Angelika Babiy get rid of Olga Semenikhina and Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya in the second group. Their skating is more mature and convincing for most of them, and their technical level is (still) better – for how long…?



The small final (or the smalls’ final, both work here) is very conscientious.

Without surprise, Daria Kuznetsova wins the round with a good 5-4 toe wheeling retourné , sitting tricks (footgun spin to back kasakchok, and back Christie) and flexible combos: heel wheeling to cobra to Korean spin, or butterfly normal to switch… and her Last Trick, a butterfly marathon on 60 cones, finishes to convince the judges.

Svetlana Komissarzhevskayaends up just behind, thanks to efficient transitions and a very good speed. However, her sitting tricks are still not low enough, and her Last Trick, a butterfly marathon, was shorter than Daria’s (“only” 40 cones) – even if her super-fast 50s was impressive but it ended up with a fall while getting out of the line…

Aleksandra Shabalkina is somewhat promising in wheelings: She has already understood how to do wheeling footgun and seven (3 cones ending up with a spin), as well as back wheeling (a dozen of cones for her Last Trick). And she can also do proper sitting tricks and flexible tricks like butterfly and cobra. She gets the 4th place of the round.

Olga Semenikhina ends up 3rd, with still a good performance: good spin combos and a 40-cone cobra for her Last Trick. But she is still a bit below her opponents in wheelings.



The final group gathers two Russians and two Ukrainians. Marina Boyko, who is the best-ranked, chooses to go 3rd. Angelika Babiy sets her heart on the 2nd place, Sabina Ismailova is glad to catch the 4th place, and there is only the 1st place left for Julia Kulagina.

Marina Boykois leading the three runs as well as the Last Trick. She highly deserves the first place. Angelika Babiy is slower than the others and repeats herself during her Last Trick doing a 4-cone wheeling footgun (which she already did during her first run). She is a bit weaker in wheeling, and her second run is a bit poor, so that she ends up 4th of the final.

It is harder to decide between Sabina Ismailova and Julia Kulagina. Both are fast and energetic. Sabina’s Last trick is better: a 40-cone heel wheeling marathon against Julia’s 8-cone unbalanced heel shift. But Julia is better at sevens and combos complexity: wheeling retourné to butterfly to back toe wheeling, or front to back cobra to front and back Korean spins, or back footgun to back heel wheeling. Sabina manages two good retournés (heel and toe) and a nice shift, but she repeats herself on the second part of her last run, and it is finally decided that the second place would go to Julia Kulagina.

Results of the Women’s Freestyle Battle:

  1. Marina Boyko (UKR)
  2. Julia Kulagina (RUS)
  3. Sabina Ismailova (UKR)
  4. Angelika Babiy (RUS)
  5. Daria Kuznetsiva (RUS)
  6. Svetlana Komissarzhevskaya (UKR)
  7. Olga Semenikhina (RUS)
  8. Aleksandra Shabalkina (RUS)





The first rounds took place on Saturday just before the Slide.

There were 34 men registered, and pre-qualifications were needed in ordered to reduce the number to 32 competitors and make 8 groups of 4 for the qualifications. Thus, they were 6 to fight for the 4 remaining places, the 6 worse (or non-) ranked: Three Russians, two Ukrainians and one Belarusian confronted one another, divided into 2 groups of 3.



The first round was in fact eighths finals. Only two runs per skaters.

Andrey Barulin (RUS), who gets left a little behind by ReKiL – but a lot behind by Kim Sung Jin, does not go through the round. Same thing for Nikita Archipov (RUS), nicknamed Xuan Le Number 2, whose chances were poor against Yu Jin Seong (KOR) and Alexey Tsokolov (RUS). Bad luck too for Viacheslav ‘Slavka’ Syniushko (UKR) who finds himself directly against Igor Cheremetieff (FRA) and Viktor ‘Generator’ Meleshkevich (RUS).

Amongst the couples who go through, there are already some interesting fights : Roman Gordin (RUS) gets the first qualification place in front of Andrey Shitov (RUS) thanks to a godsent first run ; Do Ji Hwan (KOR) forced his freestyle on Romain Lebois (FRA); Alexey Tsokolov (RUS) wins over Yu Jin Seong (KOR) during their Best Trick for the first place – a shift on 20 cones against 10 only; Igor Cheremetieff (FRA) has the advantage on Generator particularly thanks for managing the whole 120s doing wheeling footgun (for the first time in competition);  Alexandre Claris (FRA) gets in front of Alex Shulhan (BRS) thanks to his Best Trick, managing the whole 80s doing toe sevens (against Shulan’s 20-cone back heel wheeling on the 50s).



At this point already, the differences of level are considerably less important… and still the skaters have only two runs to make the difference… Heavy losses to come!

GROUP #1 – Kim Sung Jin (1st) and Roman Gordin (2nd) kick out Yu Jin Seong (3rd) and Romain Lebois (4th).

GROUP #2 – Alexey Tsokolov is leading, followed by Andrey Shitov, and they kick out ReKiL (4th) and Do Ji Hwan (3rd).

GROUP #3 – The last two groups are more difficult to judge: In the third group, the enthusiastic Igor Cheremetieff and Alex Shulhan are against the meticulous technicians Dmitry Shevarutin and Denis ‘Disa’ Islamov… The judges finally pick up one of each, with Igor first and Shevarutin second, just in front of ShulhanDisa having done a poor performance.

GROUP #4 – As for the last group, Martin Sloboda is leading – which was expected… but his performance was not that good. Yuri Torlopov is a bit late in technique and he ends up 4th. But... which one to select between Alexandre Claris and Generator? Finally Claris gets hold of the qualification, slightly ahead of Generator, probably thanks to a little bit more variety and expression…



The semi-finals look just like Finals…

From this round, skaters are treated to three runs to answer to their opponents.

GROUP #1 – With a good dose of freestyle and a thick layer of technique – almost 40 cones doing back heel wheeling, a wonderful seven on 8 cones ending with a huge spin, a good dozen of cones doing shift, etc… Kim Sung Jin gets a comfy 1st place to qualify for the final. Alexey Tsokolov, Dmitry Shevarutin and Alexandre Claris fight like cat and dog to get the remaining place… Finally Tsokolov wins the ticket to the final thanks to a 6-cone seven , a 10-10 wheeling retourné, shifts (including one on 8 cones), a few spins (swan, back cobra to Korean spin) and sitting tricks (footgun spin), as well as a great combo (reverse shift to multiple wheeling retournés). Shevarutin and Claris also managed great combos: Shevarutin does an impressive back wheeling marathon on the 50s (common) grabbing his foot on nearly half of the line each time (less common), and let’s not forget his seven to butterfly to Korean spin, and his shift to butterfly to toe wiper… Claris does a successive super-long combo during his first run doing toe shift stabilized at the end of the line, and then back (after a few cones doing front wheeling to gain speed) doing toe seven managing a dozen of cones, he also owns this trick invented by Pu Hao Yang and baptized the Flower this weekend, consisting in turning around one cone doing sevens…

GROUP #2 – Martin Sloboda gets out of reach with a relax 20-cone back heel wheeling, good shifts (normal and reverse) ending with heel-toe blocks, a to-and-fro toe seven on 5 cones, a dozen of cones doing heel seven, and so on…Roman Gordin is less varied than his opponents and his combo of his first run is not enough to save him: toe Koreans to toe seven (10 cones) ending up with toe-toe spin. Please note a desperate attempt at wheeling Christie (yes indeed) as a very last trick on his last run. Andrey Shitov’s and Igor Cheremetieff’s performances cause the judges trouble to make up their minds… so that they ask for a Best Trick! It is true that with a wheeling footgun, a 7-cone seven, a double wheeling retourné, a heel-wheeling to-and-fro on 4 cones, a little bit of show off with a blind-style wiper and fiery freestyle, Igor Cheremetieff sets the bar high. But Andrey Shitov takes up the challenge: a toe wheeling to-and-fro on more cones combined with the whole 50s doing back toe wheeling, and back toe wheeling to shift… as for their Best Tricks, Igor misses twice to do wheeling footgun, whereas Shitov succeeds in doing a wheeling retournés marathon on the 50s (back to front, stabilization at the end of the line, then back to front, stabilization, etc…)



The skaters only have two runs and one last trick.

Roman Gordin wins the round with crazy wheeling combos, and (above all) a determining last trick: shift on 16 cones, stabilized at the end of the line, and back doing a kind of Star around each cone still while doing shift!

Dmitry Shevarutin gets the second place for the very same reason: crazy wheeling combos, and the whole 80s doing toe seven as a last trick. His combos are so complex that they compensate for his skating’s lack of expression.

The two French are relegated to the 3rd and 4th places… But there is nothing to be ashamed of given their performances. Igor Cheremetieff is 3rd, his rate of success in wheeling footgun is dropping with tiredness, but his runs remain varied and full of content (chicken legs, double wheeling retournés, a to-and-fro heel wheeling, a Mario slide to front and back Korean spins, a powerful seven which unfortunately ends up with a fall during the finishing spin). Alexandre Claris, slightly less varied, ends up 4th despite a huge last trick: only two little cones less that Shevarutin doing Toe Seven.




For the final, a couple of different rankings could be justified. However, here is the one that was finally selected:

The only one to have unanimous support is Kim Sung Jin, who wins the competitions thanks to his execution ease… which is the consequence of and excellent technical mastering: he is so balanced doing his tricks, that it conveys this effect of lightness and easiness. Despite a (not that) weak first run (warm-up?), he stays focused and even affords a few hip-hop and kung-fu-like moves in-between two tricks (a 40-cone back heel wheeling, a to-and-fro seven 6-2…), while playing safe with variety (a little footgun just in case…) But it is his last trick that sweeps off all doubts about his first place: the whole 80s doing shift with a transfer to the 50s where he manages 17 cones doing to-and-fro toe wheeling (front and back).

The second place goes to Martin Sloboda, who manages 60 cones doing back heel wheeling for his last trick, as well as good sevens and shifts (normal and reverse, including one with a transfer from one line to another), and everything smoothly linked with a bit of freestyle.

Alexey Tsokolov finds himself on the last step of the podium, with a weak last trick compared to the others’ (a 15-cone seven getting more and more out of the line).

Andrey Shitov, fourth, still managed a 25-cone shift  for his last trick, the whole 50s doing back toe wheeling preceded by the to-and-fro toe wheeling, a back wheeling to shift, a double wheeling retourné, … Maybe fourth, but still with class!


Results of the Men’s Freestyle Battle:

  1. Kim Sung Jin (KOR)
  2.  Martin Sloboda (GER)
  3. Alexey Stokolov (RUS)
  4. Andrey Shitov (RUS)
  5. Roman Gordin (RUS)
  6. Dmitry Shevarutin (RUS)
  7. Igor Cheremetieff (FRA)
  8. Alexandre Claris (FRA)





Together with the usual podium ceremony, were distributed the prices to reward the skaters having taken part in the most categories and managing the best results.

Without surprise, Kim Sung Jin wins: He got all the first places, except for the Slide’s! The second is ANdrey Shitov for having remained in the Top-4 in three categories out of four: 3rd in speed, 2nd in Classic, and 4th in Battle. Martin Sloboda with his 2nd place in Battle, his 7th place in Classic and his participation in Slide is 3rd of the cup.

In the Women’s category, Marina Boyko ends up 1st, thanks to her 4th place in Classic and her 1st place in Battle. The second place goes to Chiara Lualdi (1st in Speed and having taken part in ALL the disciplines). And finally the third place goes to Sabina Ismailova for her 3rd places in Classic and Battle, and for her qualification to the Speed KO Systems.

By Close Yr E's

April 2011