|1||Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Maxim TRANKOV||RUS||74.74||1|
|2||Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV||RUS||66.02||2|
|3||Caydee DENNEY / John COUGHLIN||USA||59.02||3|
|4||Paige LAWRENCE / Rudi SWIEGERS||CAN||51.86||4|
|5||Anastasia MARTIUSHEVA / Alexei ROGONOV||RUS||50.90||5|
|6||Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE||ITA||50.25||6|
|7||Tiffany VISE / Don BALDWIN||USA||45.91||7|
|1||Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR||CAN||70.65||1|
|2||Elena ILINYKH / Nikita KATSALAPOV||RUS||65.70||2|
|3||Victoria SINITSINA / Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN||RUS||60.85||3|
|4||Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI||USA||58.26||4|
|5||Ksenia MONKO / Kirill KHALIAVIN||RUS||55.81||5|
|6||Nelli ZHIGANSHINA / Alexander GAZSI||GER||55.53||6|
|7||Nicole ORFORD / Thomas WILLIAMS||CAN||51.44||7|
|8||Penny COOMES / Nicholas BUCKLAND||GBR||51.39||8|
(9 November 2012) Moscow, Russia
Rostelcom Cup, the fourth stop in the 2012 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, opened Friday with the Short Programs and Short Dance. The competition is taking place in the Megasport Arena, site of the 2011 World Championships.
Gracie Gold gave a season best performance, earning 62.16 in a nearly clean performance. At Skate Canada Gold was marked down on her jump combination and on double Axel, which she attempted in the second half, falling on the double Axel. Here she moved the double Axel to the first half, as the third element of the program, and landed both those jump elements cleanly, as well as triple Lutz, except for an edge call on the triple flip in her triple flip - triple toe loop combination. Gold also scored higher on her closing combination spin, reaching level 4 here as opposed to level 1 at Skate Canada.
“I am happy with the way I skated and I did like the score. So I'm proud of myself and I hope to continue the same in the long program tomorrow”, she said. “Skate Canada was my first Grand Prix ever and only my third international competition really and I got very nervous and I put a lot of pressure on myself and I wasn't able to skate like in the practices. But here I just remembered to take a deep breath and do the program just like in practice,” she added.
Gold's Program Component scores averaged near 6.75, very close to her scores at Skate America.
Kiira Korpi gave a cleaner performance here than at Cup of China, to place second in the first segment of her event. Shw again did not attempt a triple-triple, but landed triple toe loop - double toe loop cleanly, as well as triple loop and double Axel. She kept the double Axel in the second half for the bonus of 0.33 points in base value. Her leveled elements were called level 4 except for the layback spin at level 2, compared to level 3 for that spin in China. “I was not a 100 percent and I am disappointed not to do my [triple-triple] combination. Otherwise my performance was solid,” she said.
Korpi's Program components averaged near 7.5, almost identical to her scores in China.
Skating to "Sex and the City", Agnes Zawadzki gave a clean performance with no negative GoEs. She landed triple Lutz, triple toe loop - triple toe loop, and a double Axel in the second half. On level calls she lost some ground with a level 2 called on her step sequence and level 1 on her closing combination spin. “I was very happy with my performance today and the way I presented myself. It's my first Grand Prix (of the season). I love this arena. It's my third time here and I just love to walk in and see all the colors”, she said.
On components Zaradzki averaged 6.75, with a PCS nearly identical to her teammate Gold.
Fourth place went to Alena Leonova who gave a much stronger performance than her first outing at Skate America. This time she landed triple toe loop - triple toe loop as well as triple flip, but her double Axel at the start of the second half was popped and she lost all points for that element. Her program components averaged 7.5 and her PCS was the second best of the group. A clean double Axel would have put her in the lead.
Charoline Zhang gave another uncompetitive performance with a single flip in place of a triple, and Program Components averaging just 6 points. She scored roughly 15 points below her two teammates.
Patrick Chan improved his Short Program score by nearly 3 points over his performance at Skate Canada. He landed quad toe loop on his opening combination, but followed it with a single toe loop. As at least a double is required, his GoEs went to -3, costing him 3 points. He followed with strong clean elements for the remainder of the program, landing triple Axel, and triple Lutz at the start of the second half. His spins and steps were called level 3 except for the flying sit spin at level 4. His score of 85.44 was his season best.
“I always feel shaky after waiting, skating last. I got on the ice, got ready for the quad. I felt kind of off-balance, a combination of being nervous, excited and anxious. When I did the quad I was so surprised I did it so I just did a single toe. But I'm very happy with the triple Axel. The footwork and spins felt very comfortable,” the Canadian commented.
Skating to the "Pina" soundtrack, Konstantin Menshov took second place, just 0.39 points ahead of Takahiko Kozuka. Menshov improved his score over Skate America by over three points thanks to landing his triple Lutz here, which he doubled at Skate America. He also landed triple Axel and quad toe loop - triple toe loop, with all three jump elements in the first half of the program. His element levels were the same as at Skate America (two through four) except he gave up one level on his closing combination spin, which two judges marked at -1.
“I am glad that I did all my jumps, especially the triple Lutz as in three [previous] competitions this season I missed it and did a double Lutz. I am not very pleased with my step sequence, though. I grew tired and I only could think of how hard it will be to skate tomorrow”, the 29-year-old remarked.
His component scores were marginally lower here, averaging 6.8.
Skating to “Exodus Symphony”, Takahiko Kozuma holds third place after making two serious errors in his program. He scored substantially lower than at Skate America, losing most of the points in his element scores. His opening quad toe loop was under-rotated and his triple Axel was poorly landed. His triple Lutz - triple toe loop combination was cleanly landed and was scored with mostly +1 GoEs. He gained a level here in both his flying sit spin and step sequence over Skate America.
“Today I made many small mistakes, therefore I got this score. I want to fix some things for tomorrow and I hope to skate perfect free program,” the 2011 World silver medalist said.
Richard Dornbush gave an inconsistent performance, opening with a nice quad toe loop, but then poorly executing triple Axel. That was followed by a nice level 4 change sit spin, but on his combination jump at the start of the second half he only got credit for a double Lutz. His step sequence and flying camel spin were called level 2, but he finished strong with a level 4 combination spin. His component marks averaged near 6.9. His scores were slightly lower than at Finlandia Trophy where he earned 71.19 points in the Short Program.
Comeback competitor Johnny Weir seems to be stalled out in his attempt to regain his former skills. He scored nearly 12 points lower than at Finlandia Trophy, downgraded and falling on a solo quad toe loop and executing a double-double for his jump combination. His components averaged near 6.5, not competitive to make the final, nor even make the podium at U.S. Nationals in January. His Transitions score was only 6.29 and two petulant judges gave him marks of 4.75 for that component.
Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov gave a commanding, highly-scored performance that was clean except for a minor glitch on the landing of throw triple loop which received a few negative GoEs. Their point total of 74.74 improved on the 65.78 points they scored at Skate America and exceeded the 72.26 points earned by Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy at Skate Canada. Skating to "The Godfather" they opened with an outstanding, rarely achieved level 4 triple twist. Their death spiral was called level 3 and all other leveled elements were called level 4.
Their score was their personal best. “This was the best performance of our three competitions this season, but we still can skate better than that,” Trankov commented. “We are especially happy that we got a level four for our twist for the first time. We skated with expression and created a new image,” he added.
With component scores averaging near 9.0 the Russian team the pairs competition this season is between themselves and the Germans.
Appearing in their first Grand Pix of the season, Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov's performance to “Liebestraum” began with side-by-side triple toe loops that were scored negative when Larionov had a shaky landing on his jump. The rest of the program was solid with no negative GoEs. Their twist lift and death spiral were called level 2 and the remainder of the elements level 4. The component scores averaged just over 7.8.
“We took a long time to focus, because we really wanted to skate well. I made a little mistake on the jump, but I tried to put it behind me and to move on”, Larionov told the press afterwards.
Caydee Denney & John Coughlin kept themselves in contention to make the final with a third place finish in the Short Program. They scored slight lower than at Skate America, losing a few points in element execution. They opened with a nice level 2 triple twist and solid triple toe loops, but later in the program they received a few negative GoEs on their throw triple flip, side-by-side combination spin, and back outside death spiral. Their component scores averaged near 6.8 similar to Skate America.
“We are always excited to skate in Russia, especially as the home country of the upcoming Olympics,” Coughlin said. “We're excited to be in third place in such a strong field and look forward to skate an even better free skate,” he added.
Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir skated a confident Waltz and Polka to “The Waltz Goes On” by Anthony Hopkins. The couple improved their score by 5.56 points over their Skate Canada result with a season best score of 70.65. The World and Olympic Champions achieved level 4 for the twizzles and the rotational lift while the side by side footwork and the second Polka pattern were called level 3. The coupled improved their scores by obtaining higher levels on their elements and higher GoEs. Their componant scores were nearly the same as at Skate Canada averaging 9.374.
“We wanted to improve on our start at Skate Canada International two weeks ago and I think we did a really good job with that. We had good connection on the ice and it was strong, just like we've done in training. We're trying to maximize our points and getting the most out of the technical side of our skating between here and Sochi. We felt like we did a really strong program,” Moir explained.
Appearing in their first Grand Prix of the season, Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov presented an Uzbek Polka that was scored with level 4 twizzles and a level 4 rotational lift. Their side-by-side circular step sequence and the second Polka pattern were called level 3. The reigning European bronze medalists earned 65.70 points with their Program Components averaging 8.5.
“This is our first Grand Prix [this season] and we are happy to finally compete. It is nice to compete in our home country and we got many positive emotions from our skate. Our score, however, proves that there are still things left to work on,” Ilinykh said.
World Junior Champions Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin improved their score by over 10 points from their results at Cup of China where they placed sixth in the Short Dance. They gave a solid performance skating to the “Tennessee Waltz” and a “Country Polka.” Their opening twizzles and closing rotational lift were both called level 4. Their component scores averaged 7.23
“We are very surprised with this result. It was obviously much better than in China. The support of the audience was great and really helped us. Hopefully tomorrow we'll skate even better,” Zhiganshin said.
The U.S. couple Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani scored 58.26 points in the first of their two Grand Prix assignments. With components averaging 7.74, their PCS was third best, but their element score held them down. Their rotational lift was called level 4, but their twizzles and mid-line steps were called level 2, costing them at least one place due to the less competitive levels.