Tokyo /JPN

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2021 ISU World Champions Anastasia Mishina/Alexander Galliamov of Russia skated to the lead in the Pairs Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating NHK Trophy in Tokyo (JPN) on Friday, followed by teammates Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov. Japan’s Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara are currently ranked third. 

Mishina/Galliamov put out a confident performance to “Esmeralda”, hitting a triple twist, throw triple flip and side by side triple Salchow. The 2021 ISU World Champions from St. Petersburg picked up a level four for the twist, death spiral, lift, side by by side combination spin and footwork to earn a personal best score with 78.40 points.

Mishina Galliamov NHK Trophy Day One

Anastasia Mishina/Alexander Galliamov (RUS) © International Skating Union (ISU)

“This was probably the best short program of the season so far, because the short didn’t go so well yet in the season,” Mishina said. “This year we have got two Grand Prix that are towards the end, so it would have been too early for us to be in top shape from the very beginning. Now we are happy to start the Grand Prix.”

“We now got into the competition rhythm, because at the beginning of the season we had a long break from our last competition, almost half a year and so we forgot these feelings a bit,” Galliamov commented. 

Tarasova/Morozov had to overcome a shaky start into their program named “Pygmalion and Galatea” when she fell on the triple toe, but recovered to produce a triple twist, throw triple loop and level-four elements. The two-time ISU European Champions tallied 75.78 points. 

Tarasova Morozov. NHK Trophy Day Onejpg

Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) © International Skating Union (ISU)

“We do not have the best impression about our performance as we made a big mistake. We did not show our best and we are a bit upset,” Morozov said. “But what is done is done and we will focus on the free skating tomorrow."

"Except for one, all elements were good and received plusses. It was nice to skate in front of so many fans, we were missing that,” Tarasova noted. 

Miura/Kihara’s performance to “Hallejujah” featured a triple twist, triple toe and somewhat wobbly throw triple flip. The Skate America silver medalists set a new personal best with 73.98 points. 

Miura Kihara NHK Trophy Day One

Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN) © International Skating Union (ISU)

“Our twist lift was high and the level was very good. At Skate America, we were not in our best condition, so we could focus on this competition and I think that was a good thing,” Miura shared.

“Compared to Skate America we wanted to make sure we nail the things we missed, but we still made the same mistakes, but we became quite consistent in our performance. We didn’t expect to get a personal best,” Kihara said.

Skate Canada bronze medalists Ashley Cain-Gribble/Timothy LeDuc (USA) placed fourth at 70.75 points while Audrey Lu/Misha Mitrofanov (USA) are standing in fifth on 64.05 points.

For full results, click here