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The Olympic venue is ready – but a long way to the ticket

The Swedish Olympic Committee, SOK, has clear rules for being selected for Swedish Olympic teams, so it is not certain that you will be allowed to go to the Olympics even if you have qualified. The basic criterion is that an athlete must have passed an eighth place in the highest international competition.

For figure skaters who want to go to Beijing next year, it is either an eighth place in the current World Cup in Stockholm or to achieve the points that the World Cup eight received. That means 198.77 points that the Austrian Olga Mikutina got after Saturday’s final run.

– It is absolutely not impossible to reach, now I am 20 points away. When you increase the technology score, the performance score also usually keeps up. Getting 10-15 points more in the technical is not impossible because I know more difficult jumps, which I did not choose to include in the WC, says Taljegård.

– I do not think I need a triple Axel or a quadruple. A triple-triple is enough, especially if you do it well. It’s just a matter of cleaning everything.

Several are fighting over the ticket

Carina Skoog, sports director at SOK, says that figure skaters have plenty of time to achieve the points needed to get an Olympic ticket, right up until the European Championships in January next year.

Even if it is Josefin Taljegård who has secured the quota place, it is not certain that she will be allowed to go to the Olympics. Sweden has two additional skiers at the highest level, Matilda Algotsson and Anita Östlund.

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How does it feel that someone else might be taking the place you arranged?

– It has been good for me this season to know that I have resistance to come to the World Cup, so competition is not negative. Then maybe I’m on the plus side because I showed my front feet this year. And now I have a point goal to reach, then I do not have to focus on others.

“A little more rubber band”

There is also another way to win the Olympic ticket in figure skating and that is if you are young and promising and will not be at your best until the next Olympics, 2026.

– Then there is a little more rubber band, but you should still be close to the “top eight criterion”, says Skoog.

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Taljegård, 25, cannot be included in that criterion, but she aims to reach the points goal.

– I have increased a lot this season and should be able to improve for the next competition which is many months away. It will really be an exciting next season, she says.

It is unclear whether Nikolai Majorov will arrange a quota place with his World Cup placement, which is not yet ready. Even if he does not succeed, there is a chance to reach an Olympic quota place for Swedish men and the young couple Greta and John Crafoord. It is the Nebelhorn Trophy competition in Oberstdorf this autumn where some Olympic quota places will be awarded.

SEE MORE: Here Taljegård crushes his personal best (March 26, 2021)

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Josefin Taljegård crushed her former personal best in the long program at the WC. Photo: TT

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