Moscow / Russia

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Russian Pairs dominated the Short Program with European Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov finishing ahead of 2014 Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov at the Rostelecom Cup on Friday. Italy’s Valentina Marchei/Ondrej Hotarek sit in third place.

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Performing to Piano Concerto No.2, by Sergei Rachmaninov, Tarasova/Morozov produced a huge triple twist, a throw triple loop and level-four spin, lift and footwork. However, both wobbled on the solo jump, the triple toeloop. The ISU Grand Prix Final Champions earned 76.88 points. “It was not a bad performance. There was a minor error, but all elements except for the jump (triple toe) were done well,” Tarasova said.

Stolbova/Klimov opened their routine to a tango version of ‘Besame Mucho’ with a triple twist and a throw triple flip, but Stolbova crashed on the triple toe. The 2014 World Championship silver medalists still collected a season’s best with 71.39 points. “It was not bad, there was one mistake which I would say happened by chance,” Klimov told the post-event press conference.

Marchei/Hotarek entertained the crowd at Megasport Arena with their performance to “Tu vuo fa l’Americano” that was highlighted by a side-by-side triple Salchow, throw triple Lutz and a rhythmic step sequence. The Italians scored 68.48 points, setting a season’s best for themselves. “We really enjoyed our performance. The audience was so supportive and that made it easy to relax and do our job,” Marchei commented.

Kristina Astakhova/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) are within striking distance of the podium in fourth at 67.14 points, followed by Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN), who are on 67.06 points.

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series consists of six events and culminates in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya (JPN) in December. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final, and global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$272,000.

Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here.  Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating.