BUDAPEST, January 18 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s teen-age figure skater has won the women’s singles gold at the European figure skating championships in Budapest on Friday only to give in to the surge of emotion and dart away to hide the tears of joy from the public.
Yulia Lipnitskaya, 15, placed first with 209.7 points to get ahead of 17-year-old fellow team member Adelina Sotnikova, who ended up with 202.36 points. The bronze medallist was Carolina Kostner, of Italy, with 191.39 points.
“Yulia burst out crying and ran away to let no one see tears in her eyes,” the happy winner’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, said minutes after the triumph, adding it was possibly the first time she saw her trainee weep with joy. “Everybody was telling her to stay, because there was nothing to be ashamed of. That display of emotion looked so natural. At all other competitions in her age group Yulia reacted to her wins calmly. She took them for granted.”
The coach addressed special words of thanks to the champion’s mother.
“After the tournament in Finland at the very start of the season I suddenly realized that I would fail without having Yulia’s mother by my side,” Tutberidze said. “I asked the management of our sports school to hire Lipnitskaya Sr. as a full-time staff member. Yulia’s diet is no longer one of my headaches.”
Tutberidze said Lipnitskaya was in a shape good enough to appear at the Sochi Olympics in the short and free programs in the team events and then, in the individual contest.
“My girls will have a long enough break between the team and individual events. Performing non-stop would be a really daunting task,” Tutberidze said. “At the European championships we benefited a lot from the spare day. After the short program Yulia was emotionally exhausted.”
The coach believes that it will take her fifteen-year-old trainee a long while, possibly a decade, to fully realize what she accomplished on Friday, January 17, 2014.
“I very much doubt that the 15-16-year-olds who have heard the national anthem of Russia played in their honour fully understand what has just happened. In ten years from now they will become really aware how very happy there were today,” Tutberidze said.
As she shared some secrets of her profession that contributed to Lipnitskaya’s success, Tutberidze said that individual approach really mattered.
“Today, in my group I have more boys than girls,” the coach said. “All of them are like my own children to me, and I seek to make the individual approach to each of them. In that respect Yulia is no different from those who have not achieved a great success yet.”
Tutberidze is making no far-reaching plans regarding the new European champion, who has not left the age of puberty yet.
“In sports it is impossible to predict the future. One should prepare for each new day as if it might be the last day in your career. Diet is of the essence. We avoid using doubtful food supplements. The emphasis is on cellulose,” she said.