FIGURE SKATING | Kamila Valieva continues to train as a hearing to determine her fate looms

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Kamila Valieva trained for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday afternoon February 13 at the Capital Indoor Stadium training rink, ahead of a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing the same evening. The CAS hearing will determine if she is fit to compete in the women’s short program beginning Tuesday night.

The IOC is trying to have Valieva disqualified from further competition in Beijing after learning that she tested positive for the banned drug trimetazidine in December 2021. The decision in the Valieva case is expected to be delivered on Monday afternoon February 14.

Valieva worked on her free skate until “Bolero” in the 35-minute session. The 15-year-old fell over a few jumps but otherwise looked in good form.

World champion Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova trained alongside Valieva under the watchful eye of their trainer Eteri Tutberidze. All three skaters came out of practice unscathed.

Short program draw

The draw for the women’s short program took place on Sunday morning. Kaori Sakamoto drew the short straw and will skate last in the field of 30. Mana Kawabe will take care of business from the start as the fourth skater, while Wakaba Higuchi will skate in the fourth group as the 20th competitor.

Sakamoto, Higuchi and Kawabe all trained twice on Sunday. Sakamoto and Higuchi worked on their short programs in the morning session, while Kawabe performed his free program until “Miracle”.

In the afternoon practice, Sakamoto walked through his free skate to “No More Fight Left In Me”. Higuchi worked on his free skating on “The Lion King” soundtrack, while Kawabe practiced his short program on “Shadow 5.”

Should Valieva be disqualified, Shcherbakova would become the favorite for the gold medal, with Trusova in line for silver and Kaori Sakamoto having a good chance for bronze.

Hanyu will meet the media on Monday

The Japanese Olympic Committee announced on Sunday afternoon that two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu will hold a press conference at the Main Press Center in Beijing at 5:30 p.m. local time on Monday February 14. The superstar will likely address his immediate future and whether he will compete at the world championships next month in Montpellier, France.

Hanyu injured his right ankle during practice on Wednesday February 9, a day before the free skate, but was injected with painkiller so he could compete. He fell attempting to land the first quadruple axel in competition history on Thursday and placed fourth behind Nathan Chen, Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno.

Hanyu, Kagiyama, and Uno have all been invited to attend the show’s gala on February 20, the last day of the Olympics, but it’s unclear if Hanyu will attend. Kagiyama and Uno practiced at the practice rink on Sunday.

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Author: Jack Gallagher

The author is a seasoned sports journalist and one of the world’s leading figure skating experts. Find Jack’s articles and podcasts on his author page, hereand find him on Twitter @sportsjapan.

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