Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov of Russia bounced back from a practice accident to win their second Grand Prix title this season at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Saturday.
Italy’s Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise took the silver medal and are the first Italian pair skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. World Junior Champions Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin of Russia continued their successful senior debut season by earning the bronze, their second Grand Prix medal.
In the morning practice, Tarasova fell and crashed into the boards, cutting her chin. She was taken to hospital and received five stitches, but she was determined to compete.
The World silver medalists opened their program to “The Winter” by Balmorhea with a triple twist and produced a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, throw triple flip and loop as well as difficult lifts that merited a level four. However, Tarasova stumbled out of a botched triple Salchow attempt.
The European Champions earned 141.78 points, a season’s best, and totaled 220.25 points.
“It was a difficult day today. I lost a lot of time when I went to the hospital. So we couldn’t prepare for the free skating as usual. Considering that, we skated quite well, I just made one major error,” Tarasova said.
Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA) took the silver medal and are the first Italian pair skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix Final 2018 © International Skating Union (ISU)
kating to “Tristan and Isolde” by Maxime Rodriguez, Della Monica/Guarise completed a side by side triple Salchow, triple twist, throw triple loop and Salchow. Just the triple toe combination was shaky for Della Monica. The Italian Champions picked up 131.51 points for their Free Skating which added up to 203.83 points overall.
“I want to thank Moscow for giving us great emotions. We felt almost like being at home. It was a good battle, the legs were shaking, but we have been training very hard mentally and physically,” Guarise said.
His partner Della Monica added: “It is the first time in the history of figure skating that an Italian pair skating team has qualified for the Grand Prix Final. It was a goal for us for the first part of the season and we achieved it.”
Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS) earned the bronze 2018 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Pavliuchenko/Khodykin’s performance to “The Great Gatsby” featured a rarely seen side by side triple flip, a triple toe-double toe-double toe as well a triple twist and throw triple loop, but Pavliuchenko fell on the throw triple flip and on a connecting step.
The Muscovites scored 120.63 points and were ranked fourth in the Free Skating, but overall remained in third place on 190.01 points.
“We are happy with our result, but we made some mistakes. Next time we’ll hopefully skate clean,” Pavliuchenko said.
Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) 2018 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer (AUT) came third with a clean Free Skating display and moved up one spot to fourth place on 187.01 points. Skate America silver medalists Alisa Efimova/Alexander Korovin (RUS) slipped from fourth to fifth on 181.62 points. Skate America bronze medalists Ashley Cain/Timothy LeDuc (USA) placed sixth (170.29 points). Deanna Stellato-Dudek/Nathan Bartholomay (USA) withdrew before the Free Skating as Stellato-Dudek has been ill.