Rostelecom Cup: BOBROVA/SOLOVIEV WIN GOLD DESPITE A FALL, WEAVER/POJE IN SECOND PLACE, CHOCK/BATES IN THIRD

Home crowd favourites Ekaterina Bobrova and Dimitri Soloviev won the gold medal of the ice dance competition at the Rostelecom cup in Moscow. Despite a bad fall during the free dance, the couple reached a score of 168.32 beating the canadian and the american pairs. They skated to the music of Vivaldi’s “Four season” and Mozart’s “Lacrimosa”. “Too bad about the fall, this was terrible. But aside from that it was a great skate and we enjoyed it. We have always to skate with these emotions, but we need to be a bit careful to control them. The levels were better than in our first competition, just the circular step sequence was second level, probably this was an effect of the fall”, Bobrova said. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew poje from Canada placed behind the russians with a total score of 163.14. Their “Tango” free program is very passionate dance. “Andrew and I are very pleased. It was a personal best skate for us, not a personal best score, but we are very happy that we came back strong and fought today. We are happy that the audience felt we skated the best today. The support was incredible, that helped us to perform very well”, Weaver noted. The americans Chock/Bates went home with a bronze medal and an overall score of 152.36. They chose the original soundtrack of the musical “Les Miserables” for their free dance this year.“Maddie and I a really happy with the week as a whole, especially our two performances. I think that this is our best competition to date. Our next event is U.S Championships, which will be our most important event and Olympic qualifier for us. We use this (competition) as a stepping stone for our preparation for that competition”

Rostelecom Cup: MACHIDA TAKES GOLD, KOVTUN SILVER, FERNANDEZ BRONZE

Despite stating that he was not in top condition, Japan’s Tatsuki Machida pulled off an excellent performance during the Rostelecom Cup men’s free program in Moscow. The 23-year old from Osaka completed three triple axels, two quadruple jumps and other five triple jumps, obtaining a total score of 257.00 and another gold medal after the victory of Skate America 2013. “I am only 40-50% good to skate, so I ran out of breath and was not able to perform to the full of his potential” – said Tatsuki during the press conference. Maxim Kovtun, instead, was very disappointed about his skate: his program included two quadruple salchow jumps, but he fell on the first attempt and doubled the second. The young Russian skater, anyway, performed a beautiful quadruple toeloop as well as a good triple axel. “I am absolutely not pleased with my performance. It is a shame, because I put in so much work when I look back. The coaches are upset and don’t know what the problem was.” Javier Fernandez, who took the bronze medal, also struggled with quadruple jumps. He hit the boards while attempting the toeloop and stepped out of the salchow, but the Spanish skater is also able to see the bright side of the situation: “Today it was another hard day for me. I guess, I’m saving it for the next competition.”

Rostelecom Cup: SAVCHENKO, SZOLKOWY SKATE TO THE GOLD, BAZAROVA AND LARIONOV IN SECOND PLACE, MOORE-TOWERS MOSCOVITCH IN THIRD

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany went home with their 14th victory of their career after the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow. Though the duo did not skate a flawless program, struggling with their side by side jumps, they completed a beautiful throw triple flip and decided to skip the planned throw triple axel, scoring a total of 206.33 points and improving their season’s best for the free program. “Today’s performance was a little better than the long program in our first Grand Prix Cup of China. That was our goal for this competition, to improve on some elements”, Szolkowy said. Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov of Russia skated to the silver medal performing a solid program which included side by side triple toeloops and a beautiful throw triple loop, earning a total score of 201.61. “Concerning today, we are most of all happy that we were able to deal with our nerves and could put away all the thoughts we had after the unsuccessful short program.” – Larionov commented. The Canadians Kirsten Moore Towers and Dylan Moscovitch won the bronze medal but did not performed a clean program. Despite executing a very difficult triple toeloop- triple toeloop jump sequence, the Canadians struggled on the landing of a lasso lift earning a total score of 188.73. “Our skate today definitely wasn’t an improvement on our first Grand Prix Skate America. We had a couple of weird things happen, but for the most part we were strong from the beginning to the end. – Moore Towers noted.

Rostelecom Cup: KOSTNER WILL MISSES THE FINAL WITH A SILVER MEDAL, LIPNITSKAYA GOLD, NAGASU IN THIRD PLACE

During the ladies free program at the Rostelecom Cup Julia Lipnitskaya of Russia surprised the audience with the very first faulty program of her senior carrier. The 15-year old fell on the triple lutz and missed the double axel – triple toeloop combination, but improved her program components score by three and a half points earning a total score of 190.80. “That was one of my worst performances ever. I will have to change something in my preparation and try not to repeat something like this. “ – she promised. Carolina Kostner of Italy, instead, performed a good program but missed the gold medal by 0.68 points, therefore missing the gran prix final qualification as well; her total score was of 190.12. Carolina performed a good triple lutz and a triple flip-double toeloop combination, but she did not completed the planned jumps combinations in the second half of the program. The Italian champion has a very positive attitude: “I am very pleased with how I skated. I had a few mistakes, that is how it goes building up to an important event. I am happy to see that I’m moving forward”. Mirai Nagasu proved to be still a very competitive skater, earning a total score of 175.37 and performing five triple jumps and two double axels. “’I was told by a couple of people in the NHK I have to figure what to do with my career and I need to make a commitment’ – Nagasu explained.

Rostelecom Cup: JULIA LIPNITSKAIA LEADS THE SHORT PROGRAM FOLLOWED BY EUROPEAN CHAMPION CAROLINA KOSTNER, AGNES ZAWADZKI IN THIRD PLACE.

Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia pleased the crowd of the Luzhniki Small Sports Arena in Moscow with a perfect Short Program, skating to the music of “You Don’t Give Up on Love” by Mark Minkov. The 15-year old skater performed a triple flip, a very difficult triple lutz-triple toeloop combination and excellent spins. She scored 72.24 points, improving her program components score by 4 points. When asked what exactly she was drawing on the ice at the beginning of her program, the cryptic Julia answered “Everyone sees what they wish to see.”. The veteran Carolina Kostner of Italy scored 67.74 points and was in second place. The reigning European Champion struggled on the landing of the second jump of the triple toeloop-triple toeloop combination, but she also completed a beautiful triple loop and a double axel. She earned the highest components score of the competition with her butterfly-themed program, for which she designed a red dress with the help of her mother. “I actually really enjoyed performing. As soon as I stepped on the ice, I felt a pleasure being here. The 2005 Worlds came to my mind. This was the practice rink, I competed there. Being still able to skate is an honor for me. It feels very special (the Moscow ice)”, the 26-years old commented. Agnes Zawadzki of the USA performed a clean short program worth the third place and a score of 60.45 points. The American skater also felt very comfortable on Russian ice: “I’m so happy with the way I competed today. I finally feel like I was myself and I completed what I do in training. I have been struggling with my confidence, but since yesterday when I stepped on the ice I felt myself again.”

Rostelecom Cup: KOVTUN SETS NEW EUROPEAN RECORD, MACHIDA SECOND, FERNANDEZ ONLY IN THIRD PLACE.

Despite the absence of Evgeni Plushenko, the Russian audience was not dissapointed by the men’s Short Program in Moscow. The Russian skater Maxim Kovtun won the competition segment with a new european record of 92.53, followed by the Japanese Tatsuki Machida (84.90) and the Spanish European Champion Javier Fernandez (81.87). The 18-year old Kovtun skated a clean program to the music “Flamenco” by Pepe Romero, showing good interpretation skills and musicality. “I am very happy today with my performance, everything I planned worked out. But I still can skate better than that. I am waiting impatiently for each competition and for the off-season to work more on my skating in order to get higher components score. I am still lacking in this area”. Tatsuki Machida instead was not satisfied with the second place; he stepped out of a quadruple toeloop/triple toeloop combination. “I am not in the best condition right now” – he revelead to the press. Quite surprisingly, Javier Fernandez was only in third place after the Short Program. Brian Orser’s pupil fell on the quadruple salchow and doubled the toeloop jump in the lutz/toeloop combination. “My short program wasn’t the best one today. I am having some little problems with the quad and I keep working to fix them. I have been doing quads well in practice and warm up, but I have a little problem in the pattern. I have to keep my mind clear for warm up and competition to pull out a better program”.