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Figure Skating - Russia's Lipnitskaya wins European champion title

January 18, 2014, 9:53 UTC+3 BUDAPEST
For 15-year-old Lipnitskaya, it is the most significant win in her sport career
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© Itar-Tass

BUDAPEST, January 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia has won the gold of the European championship in Budapest with 209,72 for the two programs.

The second was another Russian skater Adelina Sotnikova with 202,36. The third was Carolina Kostner of Italy (191.39).

Alena Leonova of Russia was the fourth with 178,15.

For 15-year-old Lipnitskaya, it is the most significant win in her sport career. Earlier this season, she won the Grand Prix silver and also has the gold of the 2012 world junior championship and two silver medals of Russian championships.

"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.

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,” she said.

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