Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin edged reigning ISU World Champions Anastasia Mishina/ Aleksandr Galliamov and led the Russian Pairs to a sweep in the Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix Rostelecom Cup in Sochi (RUS) on Friday. Iasmina Kadyrova/Ivan Balchenko sit in third place.
Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin (RUS) lead after the Pairs Short Program at the Rostelecom Cup © International Skating Union (ISU)
Pavliuchenko/Khodykin put in an exciting performance to “Be Italian” that featured very original entries and exits into the elements such as the triple twist. They hit a triple toe, throw triple loop and got a level four for the twist, lift and side-by-side spin. The 2016 World Junior Champions set a season’s best of 73.91 points.
“We are happy that our performance worked out well, we were able to enjoy it and have the emotions. Thanks all who supported us - the audience and the TV audience,” said Khodykin.
“We made the entries and exits of our elements much harder, but there are the only few true acrobatic tricks in the program,” he explained.
Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS) said they felt the pressure of skating in front of a home crowd © International Skating Union (ISU)
Mishina/Galliamov opened their entertaining performance to “Esmeralda” with a triple twist and throw triple flip, but then Mishina fell out of the triple Salchow, which was downgraded as a result. The NHK Trophy Champions picked up a level four for all ‘level’ elements and scored 73.64 points.
“Our performance today was not good,” Mishina commented.
“I don’t want to justify anything, but perhaps it's because we were skating in front of a home crowd, which is always a bit harder. We wanted to do our absolute best and it didn't work."
Iasmina Kadyrova and Ivan Balchenko (RUS) achieved a new personal best score in Sochi © International Skating Union (ISU)
Skating to “Bolero for Violin and Orchestra”, Kadyrova/Balchenko landed a triple Salchow, triple twist and throw triple Salchow. The couple from St Petersburg achieved a new personal best score with 69.37 points.
“Our skate was good and we are happy to be in our first Grand Prix event. We want to thank the audience for their support, it really helps,” Balchenko said.
For full results, click here