Alexander Samarin led the Russian men to an unexpected sweep in the Men’s Short Program as the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating returned with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow (RUS). Dmitri Aliev and Makar Ignatov joined Samarin in the top three on Friday, the first day of competition.
Skating to “Blues for Klook” by Eddy Louiss, Samarin hit a big quadruple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and a somewhat shaky triple Axel as well as level-four spins and footwork. However, the 2019 European silver medalist fell on his quadruple flip. The Muscovite scored 92.81 points. “First of all I want to thank the crowd for their support, I really enjoyed skating here. There were mistakes in the short program, but the competition is not over yet,” Samarin commented.
Russia's Samarin topped the leaderboard to delight the home fans at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow © International Skating Union
Aliev’s performance to “Je dors sur les roses” from “Mozart l’Opera Rock” featured a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a quadruple toeloop and triple Axel. The Skate America bronze medalist earned 90.64 points. “There were some errors, the Lutz in the combination should have been a quad. Overall I’m pleased, but I would have liked to open up more in the step sequence and to make the program brighter,” the 20-year-old shared.
“The choreographers gave this music to me and I watched the opera on Youtube and I really liked how they played on stage and I wanted to bring that on to the ice,” he continued.
Aliev brought a touch of opera to the ice as he claimed second place in the Short Program © International Skating Union
Newcomer Ignatov, who is competing in his first ISU Grand Prix event, landed a quadruple Salchow-triple toeloop combination, a quadruple toeloop and a wobbly triple Axel to post a personal best of 87.54 points. “I did not expect to be in the top three. I was just happy that I showed everything that I can do, all the elements. The rest does not depend on me,” the skater from St. Petersburg said.
Ignatov finished third in the Short Program on his Grand Prix debut © International Skating Union
Less than one point separates the skaters ranked third to sixth. Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN), who missed his quadruple flip attempt, remains close to the podium in fourth place on 87.29 points. Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) is currently ranked fifth (87.08 points) followed by Skate Canada silver medalist Nam Nguyen (CAN) on 87.01.
Uno remains in podium contention in fourth © International Skating Union
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Men.
Overall, 60 skaters/couples representing 19 ISU members compete at Rostelecom Cup November 15-17. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Turin (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Where to watch and follow the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019?
Viewers will be able to watch the Series either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel as of season 2019/20. You will find the full list in the Where to watch news here.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019/20
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known as the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six international senior invitational events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the previous ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Competitors collect points in their ISU Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Only the top six Skaters / Couples in each discipline can qualify for the Final.