Loena Hendrickx became the world champion in figure skating Friday night in Montpellier. After a bug-free programme, she held onto her second place in the short program she earned on Wednesday, handing Belgium their first world championship medal in 74 years and winning gold in pairs of Micheline Lannoy and Pierre Pugnette.
“I’m speechless, I can’t believe I’m here with a silver medal. I’m proud of myself and proud of Belgium,” the 22-year-old Belgian skater said at a press conference on Friday.
“I had a tough time after the 2018 Games,” continues Campinois, 16th at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. “For two years, injuries kept me away, but I also realized that I loved the sport and wanted to get back to my old level. I’m glad I did. I’m also more mature now, although I’m still learning. Euro Tallinn, for example, taught me a lot. I was second After the short program. I was so euphoric that I couldn’t control my emotions and let the medal slip away in the freestyle. I learned that I had to stay calm and I was able to do it here.”
Fourth place at this year’s Euro Championships in Tallinn, behind three Russians, and eighth at the Olympics, Loena Hendrickx placed fifth at the previous World Championships 2021 in Stockholm. Once again, three Russians monopolized the podium. The gold medal went to Anna Shcherbakova at both the worlds and the Olympics.
Favorite Russian and Belarusian skiers were absent from these two worlds due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Of course the opportunities were open here, while in the European Championships I knew the technical results for the Russians would be very high,” says Loena Hendrickx, who injured her thigh after falling in training three weeks ago. “I couldn’t train for a week. Then I twisted my ankle, but I still had two weeks to prepare for worlds. I wasn’t thinking about pain, just skating. In fact, I didn’t have high expectations for these worlds, I just wanted to show a good program. I did it and got a medal My book wasn’t perfect but I’m still very happy with it.”
Loena Hendrickx was trained by her brother Jurick, who is himself a former figure skater. “After the games, Loena couldn’t do her entire free program,” says Jorik Hendrickx. “We had to make last minute changes to his program due to an ankle injury and for the first time we brought her fitness. We have taken a huge step forward. She can still improve. She is gaining more and more confidence in the jumps. The amazing crowd also helped her a lot. There was a lot of Our friends. I wasn’t sure I’d come since I contracted the virus after the Olympics, but I’m so glad I was able to be there.”
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