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    Ice skating...and in Gorky in the Soviet Union, top women speed skaters have been competing?

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    Ice skating...and in Gorky in the Soviet Union, top women speed skaters have been competing in the sixth winter tournament of the Russian Ice Skating Federation.

    SYNOPSIS: The champions here will go on to compete in the World Championships next week in Helsinki, Finland.

    Weather conditions were not ideal for the women's events - there was a strong wind and very low temperatures. But last year's World Champion Vera Brinzei from Kier put in an impressive performance.

    Soviet record holders and champions from the Winter Olympics and the World and European winter championships, were competing for medals - and places in this year's international events. Miss Brinzei won through to take part in the Helsinki championships. She was placed first in the 1,000 metres (1,093.6 yards) heat.

    Making a comeback at this year's tournament was the 1976 Olympic Champion Tatjana Averina. She missed a season's skating after breaking her leg last year. She was popular with the large crowd and proved her enforced absence had cone nothing to diminish her powers.

    In the 1,000 metres heat, Miss Averina clocked 1.30.74 seconds under bad weather conditions.

    Miss Averina will join Miss Brinzei and the world and Olympic Champion Galina Stepanskaja in Finland next week.

    In Soviet ice skating, the accent is often on youth. Perhaps in years to come this little girl, gazing in wonder at the skaters, will herself be competing.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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