Russian skaters got the better of the competition once again with a clean sweep of the Pairs Short Program to add to the earlier dominance of the Men’s Short Program at Rostelecom Cup on Friday. Youngsters Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii led the charge ahead of reigning World silver medalists Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov and the new team of Ksenia Stolbova/Andrei Novoselov.
Kozlovskii fell in the warm up and crashed into the boards, but skated perfectly with Boikova in the Short Program to “My Way”. The 2019 European bronze medalists executed a triple twist, side by side triple Salchow, throw triple Lutz and collected a level four for the twist, death spiral, reverse lasso lift, step sequence and the side by side spin. The Skate Canada Champions achieved a new personal best with 80.14 points.
Boikova and Kozlovskii set a new personal best on their way to topping the Pairs Short Program standings © International Skating Union
“It was a long day, the practice was early and there was a long break. We’re happy how everything went, but it would not be right to say anything specific about today, because tomorrow will be the main day,” Kozlovskii told the post event press conference.
“This happens, the ice is slippery,” he continued when asked about the fall. “Obviously, it was unexpected and an unfortunate fall. However, there is no reason to make a hero out of me. I just could not let down my partner and my coaches. Therefore, after that I just went out and skated as if nothing had happened.”
Skating to Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero”, Tarasova/Morozov landed a triple twist, side by side triple toeloop and throw triple loop. However, Morozov stumbled in the step sequence. The two-time European Champions picked up a season’s best with 76.81 points.
Tarasova and Morosov collected a season's best score with their rendition of "Bolero" © International Skating Union
“Overall we did all our elements, but obviously there were some errors in the end that affected the impression of our program, but the free skating is tomorrow and we’ll keep the concentration for the elements at the end,” Morozov noted.
Stolbova/Novoselov, who had teamed up in 2018, debuted in competition. Their performance to “Rebirth” by Hi-Finesse featured a triple twist, throw triple Lutz and three level-four elements, but Novoselov doubled the side by side toeloop. The team scored 68.74 points.
“First of all we’re very happy that we finally are competing and to be here at the home event. As for the performance, there were positive and negatives sides to it. There is something to work on, but overall we’re pleased,” said Stolbova, who is the 2014 Olympic silver medalist with former partner Fedor Klimov.
Stolbova and Novoselov made an impressive competitive debut in Moscow © International Skating Union
Minerva Fabienne Hase/Nolan Seegert (GER) remain within striking distance to the podium in fourth place at 67.74 points. Evelyn Walsh/Trennt Michaud (CAN) are currently ranked fifth with 62.76 points.
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Pairs
Rostelecom Cup continues Saturday with the Men’s Free Skating, Free Dance, Ladies and Pairs Free Skating.
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.
Where to watch and follow the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019?
Viewers will be able to watch the Series either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel as of season 2019/20. You will find the full list in the Where to watch news here.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019/20