Russian combinations swept the podium at the Rostelecom Cup on Saturday in Moscow with European champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov coming out on top in the Pairs. The 2014 Olympic silver medallists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov had to settle for second place, while Kristina Astakhova/Alexei Rogonov moved up from fourth to claim the bronze.
Tarasova/Morozov produced a quadruple twist, side by side triple toe-double toe combination, an excellent throw triple Salchow and level-four lifts in their program to “Candyman” to score a personal-best 147.37 points, which added up to 224.25 points overall.
“It went quite well and better than at our last competition,” Morozov said. "Our program is a Boogie Woogie and we wanted to express that style. We watched dance performances and we enjoyed them."
Stolbova/Klimov had a shaky start into their “Carmen” routine when Stolbova stepped out of the throw triple flip and fell on the triple toe, but she recovered to land a side-by-side triple Salchow and strong lifts. However, she went down again on the throw triple Salchow, the last element. The Russian champions achieved a season’s-best 133.04 points and remained in second place with a total of 204.43 points.
“There were some parts in our program that worked well, others didn’t,” Klimov said. "Again, there were mistakes on the throw and the solo jump, but like yesterday, I think they happened by chance and we will continue to work."
Performing to “La La Land”, Astakhova/Rogonov laid down a solid program that featured a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, a triple twist and triple Salchow. The couple from Moscow posted a new personal-best 131.97 points for a 199.11 points total to claim the third Grand Prix series bronze medal of their career.
“We did almost everything as planned and got almost all the levels we had aimed for," Rogonov explained. "Most of the elements were executed well but obviously there is room for improvement. We can improve our speed and skate cleaner than we did.”
Valentina Marchei/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) dropped from third to fourth on 193.63 points, while Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) remained in fifth place on 186.16.
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, Japan, in December. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the final. The 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.