At the 2021 World Championships, the athletes of the Russian Freestyle Federation won the medal standings. We highlight the 5 Russian freestylers in Beijing 2022 who will try to do just as well at the Winter Olympics.
The Russian Freestyle Federation team was the best at the 2021 World Championships, which took place in March in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Aspen (USA). It has eight medals, including seven in individual events and one team – gold in ski acrobatics, which was the first in the history of the country. Lyubov Nikitina, Pavel Krotov, and Maxim Burov rose to the highest step of the podium in this discipline.
After such a successful performance at the World Championships, freestylers will try to repeat their success at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. True, not all disciplines of the world championship are included in the Olympic program. We feature the ROC freestyle athletes who will compete for medals at the Olympics.
Russian Freestylers in Beijing 2022: Maxim Burov
The 23-year-old athlete from Yaroslavl, who specializes in ski acrobatics, is once again having an incredible season. He is the two-time world champion in individual competitions and the world champion in the team. As well as he is the two-time winner of the small Crystal Globe in the acrobatics standings. He has already won four stages of the World Cup. This allows him to confidently lead the standings in their discipline. And last season, Burov won five victories at the World Cup.
At the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Maxim performed modestly, taking only 15th place (his brother Ilya Burov won bronze there and will also compete for Beijing 2022 medals). But, given his results in recent years, at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, Maxim Burov will be the main contender for gold in ski acrobatics. To watch all the Olympic games, visit the online sportsbook sites in Russia, such as Melbet, and many more.
Russian Freestyle Prodigy: Anastasia Smirnova
The 19-year-old freestyler performs in mogul. First, she won the junior world championship in pair mogul. And then won gold in this discipline at the adult world championship in 2021. The first in the history of the country. Unfortunately, the double mogul is not included in the Olympic program.
But Anastasia Smirnova showed that she can fight for medals in the mogul, which will be presented in Beijing. In this form, she is the current World Championship bronze medalist. The athlete was very close to silver. She lost only 11 hundredths of a point to the second place, which was taken by the representative of Kazakhstan, Yulia Galysheva.
Russian Freestylers in Beijing 2022: Anastasia Tatalina
The 21-year-old freestyler is the current world champion in big air, which will make her Olympic debut in Beijing in 2022. She won the Aspen World Championships after barely recovering from a serious knee injury. The athlete has already performed at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, but then not very successfully.
“Yes, due to inexperience, due to excitement, unfortunately, I was not able to show everything that I was capable of. I made it to the final and finished the 12th. But before the Olympics in Beijing, I have a different mood. Moreover, I have the status of a world champion, which gives me confidence, Tatalina said in an interview. “Things will be different in these Olympics.”
In the current season, the freestyler has performed little in the World Cup so far. At the stage in Switzerland in October she was seventh in big air. Tatalina also competes in slopestyle, where she placed 17th at the World Cup in November and 7th in January.
World Champion 2021 Lyubov Nikitina
The 22-year-old sportswoman from Yaroslavl got on the podium of the World Championship twice in a row. In 2019, she won silver in personal acrobatics and bronze in the team. And at the last world championship, Nikitina became the bronze medalist in personal acrobatics and the champion in the team. Following the results of the last season, the freestyler took fourth place in the acrobatics standings in the World Cup.
In the current season, Lyubov Nikitina has not yet shown herself very brightly. At the World Cup stages she did not rise above 17th place in individual competitions. But in the team, in which her brother Stanislav Nikitin also played, she won silver at the stage in the Finnish Hand. As the online sportsbook news in Russia states, the 2022 Olympics in Beijing will be the second for the freestyler. In Pyeongchang four years ago she took 7th place.
Russian Freestylers in Beijing 2022: Sergey Ridzik
The history of this athlete is very interesting. He was born in the small town of Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula. And he trained for one of the most sought-after professions in his region – an electric and gas welder. However, sports were a priority for him. Today, the 29-year-old freestyler is the hope of the ROC team in the ski cross.
At the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, Sergei Ridzik won bronze in this type of program. And this is despite a serious spinal injury that he received in May 2017. This season, the athlete applied for the Beijing 2022 medal by winning gold at the World Cup stage on the Olympic track. It was his second career win and he also won silver twice (in 2015).
When asked what qualities are needed to succeed in ski-cross, Sergey gives an unequivocal answer: arrogance and audacity. “If you don’t risk it, you don’t get the biscuit”. When you leave the starting section and go to the turn, and they start to pinch you, you should not be afraid to move the enemy. At this point, of course, you feel a little arrogant, but if you don’t, you will lose.” Check out Melbet Sportsbook for early bets on the 5 Russian freestylers in Beijing 2022.