ISU GP of Figure Skating: Rostelecom Cup Preview

- Moscow, Russia

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 continues this week with Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia, the sixth and last event. Rostelecom Cup provides the last chance for athletes to earn a spot for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Fukuoka, Japan, next month. The world's top figure skaters are competing for a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.

50 skaters/couples from 10 ISU Members will compete at Rostelecom Cup. The event is headlined by four-time World Champions Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER), 2012 World Champion and 2013 World silver medalist Carolina Kostner (ITA), 2013 European Champions and World bronze medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS).

Current World silver medalists Savchenko/Szolkowy come with a gold medal from the Lexus Cup of China to Moscow and are looking at qualifying for the Grand Prix Final here in Moscow. Competition should come from reigning Four Continents silver medalists Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN), who took silver at Skate America in October and want to book a ticket to Fukuoka as well. Skate America bronze medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) are aiming at another podium finish and still have a shot for the Final. Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS) want to improve on their fourth-place finish from Paris last week.

Following his win at Skate America, Tatsuki Machida (JPN) wants to secure his spot in the Final. He will have to deal with European Champion Javier Fernandez (ESP), who wants to do better than his fifth place at NHK Trophy and Lexus Cup of China silver medalist Maxim Kovtun (RUS), who has a good shot to qualify for the Final. Other competitors include 2013 World Junior Champion Joshua Farris (USA), Peter Liebers (GER) and Artur Gachinski (RUS).

In the Ladies event, Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) has a gold medal from Skate Canada while Carolina Kostner (ITA) got a bronze from China. Both are vying for a spot in the Final. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) and Kanako Murakami (JPN) are eying the podium as well but would need a win to get to the Final. Other competitors include Haruka Imai (JPN), Nikol Gosviani (RUS) and Agnes Zawadzki (USA).

World bronze medalists Bobrova/Soloviev headline the Ice Dance event. They took silver at Lexus Cup of China and have to expect strong competition from Skate Canada silver medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN). After taking bronze in China, Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) are eying the podium again. Other contenders are Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko (RUS), 2013 World Junior silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) and Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN).

For full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/14 please refer to www.isu.org.

The schedule of Rostelecom Cup is as follows:

Friday, November 22: Ladies, Pairs, Men’s Short Program, Short Dance
Saturday, November 23: Ladies, Pairs, Men’s Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, November 24: Exhibition Gala

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