Moscow, Russia

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ISU European Champions Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia danced to a strong lead in the Rhythm Dance at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday. Teammates Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro were a solid second followed by Anastasia Skoptcova/Kirill Aleshin, also from Russia.  

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov cover GettyImages 1229694156

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) performing their favoured 'Singin' In The Rain' routine in Moscow © International Skating Union (ISU)

Sinitsina/Katsalapov turned in a superlative performance as they kept to their successful Rhythm Dance to “Singin’ in the Rain”. The 2019 World silver medalists collected a level four for all elements – the twizzles, the Finnstep Pattern Dance, the two step sequences and their rotational lift to notch 91.13 points. 

“It felt great,” Katsalapov said. “We love competing and we missed it. We had some health problems and we did not skate for a long time and we were not able to finish the free dance in our last competition.” 

Sinitsina added: “When we heard that we keep the Rhythm Dance, I was at first a bit sad, because I do not like to skate a program for such a long time. But I realized that we do not tire of the music and love the program so that we still enjoy to skate it and hopefully the audience does as well.”

Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro GettyImages 1229694694

Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) danced into second place on Day 1 © International Skating Union (ISU)

Zagorski/Guerreiro put out a dynamic performance of their dance to “The Greatest Showman”, earning a level four for the twizzles, Finnstep, the Pattern Dance Step Sequence and their lift. The 2018 Olympians scored 84.46 points. 

“I think we really enjoyed our performance,” Guerreiro told the post-event press conference. “After taking part in the test skates and the Sochi (Russian Cup) events we felt quite confident. Obviously, as the season is progressing it has its challenges between people sometimes being sick and the whole pandemic. Our main goal was to do exactly the same thing (as in Sochi) but to be more present.”

Zagorski said: “We wanted to improve on what we’ve already done and correct the small mistakes and show what we can do in practice in the competition. Today we felt pretty confident we did a good job.”

Performing to Blues, Foxtrot and Quickstep from “Bonnie and Clyde”, Skoptcova/Aleshin produced four level-four elements as well and earned 79.75 points. 

Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin GettyImages 1229695185

Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin (RUS) finished in third place with their 'Bonnie and Clyde' routine © International Skating Union (ISU) 

“After Kazan (fourth stage of the national Russian Cup series) we did not have much time, but we nevertheless fixed some technical things and we are happy that we did everything today,” Skoptcova said.

Aleshin said: “We changed a lot in our program and did a lot of work. We changed the midline step sequence, the pattern dance step sequence, added emotions and speed.”

Annabelle Morozov/Andrei Bagin (RUS) ranked fourth with their fun interpretation of “Chicago” on 76.21 points. The new team of Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva/Egor Bazin (RUS) is just behind them in fifth place on 76.10 points, followed by Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin (UKR) on 74.86 points.

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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final that was to be held as an Olympic Test Event on December 10-13 has been postponed. The ISU, in consultation with all stakeholders and considering the pandemic developments, is evaluating the continuation of the 2020/21 season.

About ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known a s the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six invitational international senior events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Due to the current situation, the usual selection criteria do not apply. Please see the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page for further information.