Moscow / Russia

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Two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia ruled on home ice, taking victory in the Ladies Free Skating by 15.23 points to conclude the second day of competition at the Rostelecom Cup on Saturday. Italy’s Carolina Kostner claimed the silver medal and Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi the bronze.

Medvedeva delivered an expressive program to “Anna Karenina”, reeling off a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple Salchow-triple toe as well as three more triple jumps and level-four spins and footwork.

The two-time European champion took in her stride a rare fall on a double Axel, continuing as if nothing had happened. The 17-year-old set a new season’s best with 150.46 points for a total of 231.21.

GettyImages 864709816 JMedvedjeva FS

“I think I did a good job,” the ISU Grand Prix Final champion said. “There were some mistakes, most notably on the last jump. It was a kind of moral weakness – I let out my joy too early. But it was a useful mistake and I will learn from it.”

Kostner’s volatile performance to “The Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy featured six triple jumps and exquisite footwork and transitions. The five-time European champion earned a season’s-best 141.36 points for a total of 215.98.

“I had some trouble in the warm up, I didn’t find my rhythm, but the break between the warm up and the performance helped me to calm down and get the energy level up again,” Kostner said. “I can improve a lot of things but it is very special to begin my Grand Prix season with this performance.”

Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi landed six triples in her dynamic James Bond routine but she doubled a Salchow. The two-time world junior bronze medallist scored 137.57 points to remain in third place with a total of 207.17.

“I am glad I did not repeat the mistakes I did in the short program and I was able to focus from the beginning to the end,” the 16-year-old said. “After the Lombardia Trophy I have been training very well and I had good flow, which I couldn’t quite show yet here but hopefully I can show it in my next competition.”

The 2015 World Championship bronze medallist Elena Radionova (RUS) pulled up one spot to finish fourth on 195.25 points and 2017 world junior bronze medallist Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) was fifth in her senior Grand Prix debut on 194.00. Mariah Bell (USA) finished sixth with 188.56 points.

The Rostelecom Cup concludes on Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. The Moscow event is the first of six in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the final in Nagoya, Japan, in December. The 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.