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Russian figure skater denied Italian move for ‘political reasons’

Maria Talalaikina’s hopes of representing Italy are over

Russian figure skater Maria Talalaikina has said her hopes of switching citizenship to represent Italy were ended because of “political reasons” which meant she returned to her homeland.

Talalaikina, 20, has spent the past year training in Italy and was granted permission by the Russian Figure Skating Federation to swap allegiances back in December, should she choose to do so.

But it emerged earlier this month that Talalaikina would be returning to Russia, where she would rejoin the group trained by Evgeny Rukavicin.

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Talalaikina has detailed the background behind her return – stating that politics played a part in the U-turn.

“Because of the political situation, the Italian government did not issue me with a residence permit. Without this document, I couldn’t represent this country at international competitions. And I could not be in Italy either,” Talalaikina told RIA Novosti.

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The skater said she had considered options with other countries – specifically naming Croatia – but ultimately decided upon a return to Russia.  

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“I spent almost a year in so-called sports ‘quarantine’ in Italy in order to compete in international competitions in the future,” said Talalaikina.  

“But nothing happened. I plunged into a state that probably can’t be called depression, but as if you’re looking at yourself from the outside.

“At first I thought [about quitting], but at some point I realized that I can’t live without figure skating.

“There’s nothing to replace the emotions that I get after performances, so I decided to return.”

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Talalaikina has enjoyed several podium finishes at Russian Cup events during her career, but acknowledged that it would be a challenge to represent Russia at international level – with the likes of teenage trio Kamila Valieva, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova to contend with, as well as fan favorite Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.    

“I’m ready [for the intense Russian training process], I really missed it. I want to dive into it all. It may sound strange, but the light cheerful approach is apparently not for me,” said Talalaikina.


READ MORE: Skating stars confirmed for Russian events amid international ban

While Talalaikina is one talent returning to Russia, the Russian Figure Skating Federation revealed last month that it had received 19 requests from skaters since the start of the year to change their sporting citizenship.

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The news comes amid a ban from international competition imposed on Russian skaters by governing body the ISU because of the conflict in Ukraine.

However, there are not believed to be any of Russia’s top talents among those seeking to make a citizenship switch.

https://ift.tt/6pAtgoG 10, 2022 at 06:59PM
from RT – Daily news

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