Moscow / Russia

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Two-time World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia ruled once again in the Ladies Short Program at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, while five-time European Champion Carolina Kostner, of Italy, returned to the Grand Prix series with a bang, placing second. Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi finished third in the first segment of the competition.

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Medvedeva was once again dazzling in her program, performing to ‘Nocturne No.20’ by Frederic Chopin. The Muscovite nailed a triple flip-triple toeloop, triple loop, spins and footwork and made it look easy. The two-time European Champion scored 80.75 points, just 0.10 points below her own record score. “Overall I am pleased, but there were some small things in my performance that I didn’t like. I can’t say anything about the result now, because today is only a small part of what has to be done. The main job has to be done tomorrow,” the 17-year-old said.

Kostner gave a stunningly beautiful performance to ‘Ne me quitte pas’, the highlights of which were a triple toe-triple toe, triple loop, double Axel and difficult footwork. The Olympic bronze medalist scored 74.62 points, a season’s best. The Italian, at 30 years of age the oldest competitor, has not competed on the Grand Prix circuit for three years. “I am glad to be here in Moscow, in Russia, because I lived many amazing moments of my career here. I won my first World (Championship) medal in Moscow many years ago and everything started here,” the 2012 World Champion said.

Higuchi turned in a dynamic ‘Gypsy Dance’ (by Leon Minkus), hitting a big double Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and triple flip. She earned 69.60 points. “Today in the short program I skated like in practice and my body felt good. I am a little disappointed with my score, but it is obvious what the mistake was and it is easy to fix for tomorrow,” the two-time World Junior bronze medalist said.

2017 World Junior bronze medalist Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) is not far behind in fourth at 68.88 points, followed by 2015 World Championship bronze medalist Elena Radionova (RUS) in fifth with 68.75 points. Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) completes the top six (63.92 points). Mirai Nagasu (USA) landed a triple Axel, but it was under-rotated and she fell on the jump combination and the triple Lutz to finish ninth (56.15 points).

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series consists of six events and culminates in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya (JPN) in December. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final, and global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$272,000.

Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here.  Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating.