Only one Russian man will be allowed to compete in the individual event at next year’s figure skating world championships, after a poor showing in Nice cost the country its top-tier status Saturday.
Sergey Voronov finished 17th and Artur Gachinski 18th in the event, each more than 50 points behind Canadian winner Patrick Chan, who racked up 266.11 points on his way to his second world title.
Silver and bronze went to Japanese skaters, with Daisuke Takahashi second on 266.11 points and Yuzuru Hanyu third with a score of 251.06.
The Russian skaters’ results mean that only one entrant will be allowed in next year’s competition in London, Canada, under International Skating Union rules.
Gachinski’s poor performance will spur him on to do better in the long term, his coach Alexey Mishin told RIA Novosti.
“You can’t grow all the time, up and up. Sometimes you have to drop down so you can grow again,” he said.
“In two years, Artur has made the leap from a nobody to a European championship silver medalist. That’s why situations like this are possible.”
Voronov competed with an injured leg, he said afterwards.
“I had a problem with my leg even before the tournament. Today perhaps the injection didn’t quite work or maybe I was on edge, but after the first quadruple toe loop the strong sensation of pain returned.”
The last event of the championships is Saturday’s women’s free skate. Russia’s only medal so far was a silver in the pairs for Maxim Trankov and Tatyana Volosozhar who topped the scoring charts in the free skate.