Two junior ladies skaters and their coaches hospitalized following bus crash before competition; one of the skaters will require surgery.
The opening event of the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating, taking place in St. Gervais, France, began on a disastrous note Thursday. Two of the ladies competitors, Anna Tarusina and Anzelika Klujeva, Tarusina’s coach Sergei Davydov, and one of Klujeva’s coaches were headed to the rink in a minibus when the driver lost control and hit an electronic pole. All five were taken to the hospital. The driver sustained only minor injuries, but those of his four passengers were much more serious. None of their injuries are life-threatening, but according to the International Skating Union’s statement, all four stayed in the hospital overnight.
Thirteen-year-old Russian Anna Tarusina was to have her international debut in St. Gervais. She was seventh at Russian Junior Nationals last February, and won multiple other internal Russian competitions last year. Had she competed, she would have been a contender for the podium.
Anzelika Klujeva, fourteen years old, won the bronze at Latvian Junior Nationals last season, and had been preparing to begin her second international season. Last fall, she took bronze at the 2015 Ice Star in Belarus, and competed in the 2015 JGP Riga Cup, finishing 26th.
Sergei Davydov has coached multiple young Russian junior ladies prospects. One, Ekaterina Mitrofanova, medaled on the JGP circuit last year. During his own competitive career, which ended in 2008, he represented Belarus internationally, winning a silver medal at the 2006 Cup of China.
The Russian federation announced today that Tarusina will require surgery on her knee. She will almost certainly miss the rest of the fall, though she may recover in time for Russian Junior Nationals. They also reported her removal to Grenoble for further examination and care, where her mother will join her.
Sadly, her coach may not be able to help. Word is Sergei Davydov suffered a head injury possibly bad enough make him lose his memory. If true, this may be the gravest consequence of the accident. Unfortunately, we have received no word so far on the condition of the Latvians today. As the Junior Grand Prix heads into its final day tomorrow, we are all anxiously waiting for further updates.