The competition at Rostelecom Cup concluded in Moscow, Russia Saturday with the Ladies, Pairs and Men's Free Skating and the Free Dance. The Rostelecom Cup was the sixth and last event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Quebec (CAN) next month.
Mao Asada (JPN) skates to gold
Mao Asada of Japan skated to the gold medal in the Ladies event at Rostelecom Cup, and Russia's Alena Leonova claimed the silver medal. Both skaters qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Adelina Sotnikova of Russia took the bronze and is the first subsitute for the Final.
Asada completed two triple flips in combination and a triple loop as well as three level-four spins to score 118.96 points for her program to Liebestraum. Overall she totaled 183.25 points. I am very happy to be in the Grand Prix Final, but today's performance was only about 50 percent of what I can do and I am disappointed with that. I will go home and train more before the Grand Prix Final, the two-time World Champion told the press.
Leonova's routine to Adagio for Strings and Requiem for a Tower featured a triple toe-triple toe combination and four more triples, but she fell on a double Axel. The Russian earned a seasons best of 116.54 points and remained in second place at 180.45 points. I am glad to have skated almost without mistakes, except for the double Axel. Things like that happen, it was a lack of concentration, Leonova said. The Grand Prix Final is another competition for me and a preparation for Russian Nationals, she continued.
Sotnikova missed her opening triple Lutz-triple loop combination and a triple flip, but recovered to land three triples. She picked up a seasons best of 111.96 points and scored 169.75 points. I skated better today than at the Cup of China, but not by much. I didn't do my triple-triple combination and I want to do it next time, the World Junior Champion shared.
Sofia Biryukova (RUS) came fourth with 166.07 points ahead of two-time European bronze medallist Kiira Korpi (FIN) with 160.92 points.
Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) seize Pairs title
Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy of Germany seized the Pairs title in convincing fashion. Home-crowd favourites Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov of Russia earned the silver medal and Italy's Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek took the bronze, their first Grand Prix medal. The Germans and the Russian both were already qualified for the Grand Prix Final.
Savchenko/Szolkowy put out a strong performance to the Pina soundtrack that was highlighted by a triple toe-triple toe sequence, a throw triple flip and Salchow as well as level-four lifts and spins. The Germans set a new seasons best for themselves with 139.97 points and racked up a total of 208.69 points. Today we are satisfied with our performance in spite of the error on the double Axel, Savchenko said. Before we went out we just focused on our own performance and wanted to give our very best, she added.
Skating to Clair de Lune, Kavaguti/Smirnov hit a side by side triple toeloop, triple twist, double Axel-double Axel sequence. They got a level four for their spins and two lifts to score 132.67 points, another seasons best. Overall the 2010 European Champions accumulated 197.84 points. We are also very satisfied with what we did today in spite of a little mistake (on the throw triple loop). We are happy that we were able to skate here in Moscow again and make our coach and the audience happy, Smirnov noted.
Berton/Hotarek started well into their routine to Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni with a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, a high double twist and difficult lift, but then she popped the Salchow and later stumbled on the a doubled throw loop. The Italians scored a seasons best with 107.89 points which added up to a total of 168.02 points. It is a great honour to be here and to have one our first Grand Prix medal here in Moscow. It will stay in our memory for a long time. We wanted to skate better, but we had pressure, Hotarek commented.
2011 World Junior silver medallists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) remained in fourth place at 149.66 points and Katarina Gerboldt/Alexander Enbert (RUS) moved up from seventh to fifth with 148.94 points.
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) captures Men's gold
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan clinched the gold in what was a close competition in the Men's event. Spain's Javier Fernandez pulled up from fourth to claim the silver and Jeremy Abbott (USA) captured the bronze medal. All three Men advance to the Grand Prix Final.
Hanyu went down on his opening quad toe but came back to land eight clean triple jumps in his routine set to the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. The 2010 World Junior Champion collected a seasons best with 158.88 points and was ranked second in the Free Skating but overall edged out Fernandez by just 0.03 points to strike gold with a total of 241.66 points. I am very tired today but very happy to bring a good result to Japan. I have no emotion right now about going to the Grand Prix Final, but I felt confident with my performance, Hanyu said.
Performing to a medley of Verdi operas, Fernandez hit a quad toe and Salchow as well as four triples and three level four spins to win the Free Skating with 163.13 points, but he doubled a Lutz and singled a flip. The Spaniard totaled 241.63 points. I am very happy to have won the second Grand Prix medal in my life. I did a great job, but I also did mistakes and I will work to fix them. I really happy to be the first man (skater) from Spain to go to the Grand Prix Final, the 20-year-old noted.
Abbott produced a triple Axel and three other triples as well as intricate footwork and strong spins in his programt to Exogenesis Symphony by Muse, but he crashed on an underrotated quad toe and a triple Axel. The two-time U.S. Champion was ranked fifth in the Free Skating with 145.54 points and slipped from first to third at 229.08 points. There are no words. I'm happy to make the Final and work harder towards the next competition, Abbott commented. I'm not sure where I cut my hand, I guess either on the (fall on) the quad toe or the triple Axel. I just know that towards the end of the program I looked down and my whole hand was covered in blood. When I did my straight line step I did a stop on the ice and I pulled my hand back I left a smear of blood behind me. Definitely I put sweat, blood and tears into the sport, the 26-year-old added jokingly, referring to a cut on his right hand.
Michal Brezina (CZE) dropped from third to fourth at 226.35 points and Artur Gachinski (RUS) came fifth at 221.43 points.
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) dance off with gold
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) danced off with the gold medal at the conclusion of Rostelecom Cup. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje of Canada skated to the silver and the bronze went to Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev. All three couples will meet again in the Grand Prix Final.
Davis/White delivered a strong dance to Die Fledermaus, producing difficult yet fast paced footwork and excellent lifts. The reigning World Champions earned a level four for five elements and a level three for the step sequences and a rotational lift to score 109.12 points, a new seasons best. Overall the American duo racked up 179.06 points. The program was quite new going into Skate America. We were very pleased with how it went there, but after four weeks at home between Skate America and coming to Cup of Russia we felt a lot more confident with the program, it felt more solid. And we're excited to see where it goes, Davis told the post-event press conference.
Weaver/Poje's performance to Je suis malade featured beautiful lifts and smooth steps. The Canadians picked up a level four for all elements but the footwork (level three) and posted a new seasons best with 96.73 points which added up to 161.18 points overall. The couple earned their third silver medal on the Grand Prix. Andrew and I are very happy with how we performed today. This was our third Grand Prix performance for this free dance. It was a bit of a daunting task when we set out to do it, but I think it paid off. We've gained valuable experience and mileage for both of our programs, Weaver noted.
Bobrova/Soloviev turned in a fine performance to Walpurgis Night but the two step sequences were graded a level two. The European silver medallists picked up a new seasons best with 95.14 points as well and scored 156.83 points overall. We are satisfied with our performance as we were able to project the emotions well, even if the technical side was lacking a little. But we know what we have to work on and overall we performed better than at the Cup of China, Soloviev said.
Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko (RUS) placed fourth with 132.73 points and Isabella Tobias/ Deividas Stagniunas (LTU) finished fifth with 130.47 points.
For full results please refer to www.isu.org. The Rostelecom Cup concludes Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. The top six skaters/couples from the Grand Prix series will compete in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Quebec, Canada, December 8 to 11.