Moscow, Russia

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Russia’s 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, nicknamed “The Empress” by her fans, reigned supreme in the Ladies Free Skating at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Rostelecom Cup Saturday in Moscow to take the title in a thrilling final. Current ISU European Champion Alena Kostornaia (RUS) had to settle for the silver medal this time while Anastasiia Guliakova (RUS) captured the bronze on her Grand Prix debut. 

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Alena Kostornaia (RUS), Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) and Anastasiia Guliakova (RUS) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (RUS) © International Skating Union (ISU)

Tuktamysheva, who stood in second place following the Short Program, nailed a triple Axel-double toe right out of the gate in her Japanese-style program “Chronicles of a Mischievous Bird”.

She stepped out of her second triple Axel, but it was smooth sailing after that as she ticked off her jumps: triple Lutz, triple flip, double Axel-triple toe-double toe, a triple Lutz-Euler-double Axel and triple loop.

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Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) fed off the energy of the crowd to top the podium © International Skating Union (ISU)

The 23-year-old from St. Petersburg picked up a level four for two spins and a level three for the footwork and the layback spin to rack up 148.69 points. With a total of 223.39 points, she displaced overnight leader Kostornaia and claimed the fifth Grand Prix gold medal of her career. 

“I was not confident of victory as the competition was very strong,” Tuktamysheva said. “It was a nice surprise and a nice ending to this Grand Prix.

“It was a great atmosphere and great support and I did not want the program to go downhill. The music keeps building and it is such a rare chance now to perform in front of an audience. I fed off the energy of the crowd and I gave energy back.”

Kostornaia delivered an inspiring performance to “Romeo and Juliet” and “W.E.” by Abel Korzeniowski that was highlighted by four clean triples and beautiful spins. However, three triples were slightly underrotated and she lost points in her step sequence and a combination spin that garnered only a level two.

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Alena Kostornaia (RUS) missed out on gold by less than three points © International Skating Union (ISU)

The 2019 ISU Grand Prix Final Champion earned 141.94 points and slipped to second with a total of 220.78.

“I knew that Lisa (Tuktamysheva) had skated very well as I watched her while I was waiting at the boards for my turn,” 17-year-old Kostornaia said. “I just went out to do my job, but not everything worked out. Obviously you need jumps like the triple Axel and quads to compete at the highest level so it is in my plans and I’m working towards that.” 

Skating to “Don’t Say You Do” and “Real Boy” by Lola Blanc, Guliakova produced a clean triple flip, triple Lutz and loop as well as innovative spins that merited a level four. But she also underrotated a few jumps. The 18-year-old scored 128.96 points and pulled up a place into third on 199.03 points.

“It was my first Grand Prix and I am happy that I was able to give two decent performances,” Guliakova said. “There still were some errors and we’ll keep working on that. When I saw my score I did not think it would be enough to be on the podium so I am very happy now.”

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Anastasiia Guliakova (RUS) fought her way to bronze on her Grand Prix debut © International Skating Union (ISU)

“Quad queen” and defending Rostelecom Champion Alexandra Trusova (RUS) had an off day and missed her quads to drop from third to fourth on 198.93 points. Elizaveta Nugumanova (RUS) finished fifth on 191.52 points while Eva-Lotta Kiibus (EST) came sixth (186.00 points).

The Rostelecom Cup concludes Sunday with the Exhibition Gala.

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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.