Thursday, 19/7/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

BOMPARD: RUSSIA’S KOVTUN LEAPS TO PODUM TOP

Maxim Kovtun (RUS) had a disastrous short program, falling twice, but moved past five skaters into 1st place with a tech-loaded free program to “Exogenesis”, by the British rock band, Muse.

The reining Russian Champion opened with a 4S, 4T, and 3A+3T that earned a quick 35 points. His Level4 footwork was sandwiched between those elements and the 3A, 3Lz+2T, 3Lz and 3S+2T after the midway mark. The final two spins were a bit shaky and earned a Level3 and 2.

The free program scored a personal best 166.24 points.

“Today I did not think about placements or medals. I just wanted to put out a good performance. My coaches made it a bit easier by taking out the third quad. I have to find out what happened in the short program,” said Kovtum.

Tatsuki Machida (JPN) barely held on to 2nd place with a dramatic interpretation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  The score was a far cry from Skate America, where he handily won gold and scored 26 more points for the same program.

The opening three elements, including a fall on the 4T, tripling the second quad, and doubling the toe loop on the back end of the planned 3A+3T combination, were just the beginning.  He then under rotated the 3F. Two spins were Level4, while the footwork and third spin earned Level3. His 84.00 component mark outscored Kovtun (80.28) and Ten (81.28).

“I was so nervous because my jumps were not good at practice this morning. I couldn’t give my best performance,” said the 2014 World silver medalist.

Dennis Ten (KAZ) toppled to 5th in the free, but the other competitors’ inconsistent performances were enough to juggle the final placement and earn him the bronze – the first GP medal for both Ten and Kazakhstan.

“I dedicate the medal to my country,” smiled the proud skater.

The reining Olympic bronze medalist nailed the opening 4T+3T for a whopping 16.40 points, but his remaining inconsistent jumping passes almost lost him that prized medal.  The Level4 footwork and two spins plus the component scores saved the day!

“I am not satisfied with my performance, but it is just the beginning of season, and this will be a very good experience,” observed Ten.

Konstantin Menshov (RUS) slipped from 3rd to 4thAdam Rippon (USA) moved from 7th to 5th with a third place free program that scored .60 behind Machida’s. Adian Pitkeev (RUS) finished 6th with an 8th place short and a 7th in the free program.

The following men qualified for the Grand Prix Final:

  • Maxim Kovtun (RUS)
  • Tatsuki Machida (JPN)

 

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