15 Sep, 2022 12:50
Teen skating star achieves world first with incredible move (VIDEO)
Ilia Malinin executed the rare move on Thursday
Malinin is the first to achieve the feat. © Twitter @USFigureSkating
The International Figure Skating Classic in Lake Placid saw an American teenage sensation with Russian heritage pull off the first ever quadruple Axel in competition on Thursday.
Ilia Malinin, who is aged 17 and already a junior world champion, won the men's singles competition at his season-opening appearance in New York State with a total score of 257.28 points.
The quadruple Axel is regarded as the most difficult jump to pull off in figure skating, with Olympic champion Nathan Chen never attempting to land it and Malinin only ever previously executing it in training.
At the same Beijing 2022 Olympic Games that Chen was crowned champion, Hanyu Yuzuru tried and failed, with Malinin missing the cut for the competition despite claiming silver at the US Figure Skating Championships in January.
In April, however, Malinin's fortunes improved when he won the World Junior Championships with a record 276.11 score – and his star continues to rise with a feat he achieved in his free program routine that he later said made him feel "really good."
"When I am practising it, it's pretty easy for me to figure out how to get the right timing and everything to have it be a good attempt," he explained.
"To do it in competition is a different story because you have nerves and pressure that can get in the way of that. So I have to treat it like I am at home, and it feels pretty good."
As the son of two past Olympic figure skaters in Russians Tatiana Malinina and Roman Skorniakov, who both represented Uzbekistan at the Games, Malinin has the sport in his blood and is also being talked up as a potential rival to Chen one day, with his eyes on the Winter Games at Milano-Cortina 2026.
Elsewhere, the 'quad queen' of women's figure skating, Russian star Alexandra Trusova, suggested earlier this year that she could attempt a never-before-seen quintuple jump in one of her routines.
“Five rotations? I would like to try to learn. If it works out, I want to do it first,” Trusova told the Waction YouTube channel.
“Not only among women. No one has tried quintuples yet.”
Trusova, 17, made history on her way to winning silver at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February by becoming the first female skater ever to land five quadruple jumps in a single routine.