2021 ISU World bronze medalists Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitri Kozlovskii of Russia took a confident lead in the Pairs Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix Internationaux de France in Grenoble. Teammates Iuliia Artemeva/Mikhail Nazarychev are currently ranked second while Canada’s Vanessa James/Eric Radford placed third.
Boikova/Kozlovskii turned in an intense performance to “Swan Lake”, hitting a side by side triple Salchow, triple twist, throw triple flip and earning a level four for the twist, side by side spin, lift and footwork. The pair netted 77.17 points, a season’s best.
Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS) © International Skating Union (ISU)
“There was not so much time in between our competitions, but we put in some good work and the program went well today,” Kozlovskii said. “We are able to bring across the character of the Black Swan better with each competition and we are glad the judges appreciated it,” he added.
Artemeva/Nazarychev’s performance to “The Artist” included a triple twist, throw triple Lutz and side by side triple toeloop. The Grand Premio d’Italia bronze medalists set a personal best with 73.02 points.
Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev (RUS) © International Skating Union (ISU)
“We went out there and did what we can do. After finishing third in Italy we knew we have a chance to qualify for the Grand Prix Final, which would be great in our first senior season,” said Nazarychev. “After Italy we went back home and worked on the mistakes we needed to fix. Coming to France, we were confident that we can show our maximum.”
James/Radford put out a personal best performance as well, completing a triple twist, throw triple Salchow, side by side triple Salchow in their routine to “Shiny Happy People” for a score of 71.84 points.
Vanessa James and Eric Radford of Canada © International Skating Union (ISU)
“We are proud of our performance today. It’s still not what we can do, in the practices it's a bit more consistent and stronger. It's easy and fluid in practice, but the competition is a different story for a new team,” said James.
“We've been struggling with the short program for a couple of competitions and this will give us a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Radford. “For me, personally, it was really a lovely moment to be back on the ice with Vanessa and feel the program and the music.”
For full results, see here.