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Report: Russia tabs Euro champ Lipnitskaia for figure skating team event

Rostelecom Cup ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013 - Day Two

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 22: Julia Lipnitskaya of Russia skates in the Ladies Free Skating during ISU Rostelecom Cup of Figure Skating 2013 on November 23, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/ Getty Images) *** Local caption *** Julia Lipnitskaya

Oleg Nikishin

15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia, the newly crowned European figure skating champion, will compete for Russia in the inaugural Olympic figure skating team event that begins on Thursday.

R-Sport relays word from a source that Lipnitskaia is slated to skate both the short program on Saturday and the free skate on Sunday for the Russians, who are looking to earn a historic gold on home ice. Lipnitskaia is also expected to be in the medal hunt in the women’s individual competition, which starts Feb. 19.

As for the rest of Russia’s team event roster, two different pairs will be used according to R-Sport. Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar, the reigning world champions and a threat to win pairs gold in Sochi, is set for the short program.

However, Ksenia Stolbova and Fyodor Klimov (who finished second to Trankov/Volosozhar in the aforementioned European championships) will replace them for the free skate.

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Russia will also reportedly take the same tack for ice dance - using Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviev in the short and Yelena Ilinykh and Nitika Katsalapov in the free. Finally, 2006 Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko will compete on the men’s side.

Following the men’s and pairs short programs on Thursday, the team event continues Saturday with short dance and pairs free skate in addition to the women’s short programs. The event concludes Sunday with the men’s and women’s free skate and the free dance.

The U.S. has yet to officially reveal its team figure skating event roster.

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