World silver medalists Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia made the most of home advantage to take the lead in the Rhythm Dance on day one of the Rostelecom Cup, setting a new personal best score en route. Skate Canada Champions Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier of Canada came second followed by Spain’s Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin.
Sinitsina/Katsalapov put out a peppy performance to “Singin’ in the Rain” that was highlighted by fast twizzles, intricate steps and a rotational lift. The Shiseido Cup of China Champions collected a level four for the twizzles and the lift while the midline step sequence and the Finnstep Pattern merited a level three. The Russian Champions posted a new personal best score of 86.09 points.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov set a new personal best in the Rhythm Dance © International Skating Union
“The support of the home crowd was incredible, you don’t feel any tiredness but you just have fun out on the ice,” Katsalapov said. “We are overall pleased with our performance, but this is not the very best that we could do, we’re not even halfway through the season. We’ll continue to work, but now we’ll take a deep breath and get ready for the free dance,” he added.
Dancing to “Mack and Mabel”, Gilles/Poirier produced difficult twizzles, a rotational lift and a swinging step sequence, collecting a level four for the twizzles and the lift, a level three for the midline step sequence and the Pattern type step sequence. The 2019 Four Continents bronze medalists earned 82.56 points.
Gilles and Poirier were pleased with their opening day performance © International Skating Union
“Piper and I were quite pleased with our performance. There were a few sticky moments here and there as we went through the performance. We spent a lot of time after Skate Canada trying to focus on the speed of the program, just getting all the movements really big and taking up more space and I think that’s been really effective. We felt like character of the program really projected out from us and was able to reach the top, top of the arena,” Poirier explained.
Hurtado/Khaliavin’s dance to “Hello Dolly” included level-four twizzles and a level-four rotational lift, while the Finnstep pattern was rated only a level one. The 2018 Rostelecom silver medalists scored 72.01 points. “It was a lot of fun for us to skate in Moscow, it now feels like a second home to us,” Hurtado, who trains with her partner in the Russian capital, said.
Hurtado and Khaliavin danced to Hello Dolly © International Skating Union
“In our program, we felt that the work we’ve put in since Skate Canada is starting to show. We still have to fix some little things in the technical aspect of the program, but it feels like a good starting point for the next competitions and look for that personal best in the future,” she noted.
Natalia Kaliszek/Maksym Spodyriev (POL) are currently ranked fourth on 69.97 points, followed closely by Allison Reed/Saulius Ambruvelicius (LTU) on 69.79 points. Anastasia Shpilevaya/Grigory Smirnov (RUS) finished sixth with 67.04 points.
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Ice Dance.
Overall, 60 skaters/couples representing 19 ISU members compete at Rostelecom Cup November 15-17. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Turin (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019/20