Russian 15-year-old Shcherbakova took gold on her Grand Prix debut © International Skating Union
Anna Shcherbakova of Russia landed two quad Lutzes to clinch gold in her ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series debut at Skate America on Saturday. Overnight leader Bradie Tennell (USA) took the silver and Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva pulled up from fifth place to claim the bronze.
Skating to ‘The Firebird’ by Igor Stravinski, 15-year-old Shcherbakova impressed the Orleans Arena crowd with her spectacular blitz of jumps, hitting a quadruple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, another quadruple Lutz as well as three clean triple jumps and excellent spins. The only glitches were two underrotated triple jumps.
The Russian Champion set a personal best of 160.16 points and totaled 227.76 points.
“My goal was to show (two) quad Lutzes and all my other jumps. This (medal) is very important to me, because this is my first senior season and I want to show clean skating,” the 2019 World Junior silver medalist said.
Bradie Tennell scored 216.14 points overall and ended up in second place © International Skating Union
Tennell’s performance to the ‘Cinema Paradiso’ soundtrack included six clean triple jumps as well as level-four spins and footwork. The 2018 US Champion scored 141.04 points and slipped to second place on 216.14 points.
“I am happy with my skate today. I think there is a lot of room for improvement, so my goal going into next week (Skate Canada) is just to maintain what I have and possibly [need to] improve on,” the 21-year-old said.
“Obviously, the second triple Lutz-triple toe was a little wobbly, so I’d like to clean that up a bit. Also, I want to be more free. Going into next week, my main goal is just to skate free.”
Tuktamysheva reeled off a triple Axel-double toe, a solo triple Axel and followed up with four clean triples in her jazzy program to 'Caravan' and 'Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen' to earn 138.69 points.
Russia's former World Champion Tuktamysheva took the bronze medal © International Skating Union
With a total score of 205.97 points, the 2015 World Champion moved up two spots.
“I’m so happy to skate an almost clean free program and I want to improve my program. I want to skate clean programs. I can’t do a quad toe or quad Lutz, so for now it is just the triple Axel,” the 2018 ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist said.
Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) dropped from second to fourth on 202.47 points after doubling two jumps. Eunsoo Lim (KOR) came fifth (184.50 points) and Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) slipped from third to sixth place on 181.32 points.
For full entry lists and further information regarding the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series please visit: https://isu.org/GrandPrix. Follow the discussion on social media by using #FigureSkating #GPFigure.
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