ISU World Champions Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia danced to gold in Sochi and right into the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final at Rostelecom Cup on Saturday. Italy’s Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri earned the silver medal and assured their place in the Final as well. The bronze went to Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen of Canada.
Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) won their second Grand Prix gold medal of the season © International Skating Union (ISU)
Sinitsina/Katsalapov put in a beautiful performance to Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto and the Variations on a Theme of Paganini. The 2020 European Champions collected a level four for the curve and rotational lift, the one foot step sequence, the twizzles and the combination spin. Katsalapov only lost his balance at the exit of their stationary lift and two lifts received a deduction as they were too long. The 2019 World silver medalists scored 124.91 points and totaled 211.72 points for their second Grand Prix gold medal this season.
“We started the season and think we should continue the same way, improve with every competition. We made a small mistake today, we know what it was and we have time until the Grand Prix Final to polish it and fix it and got to the Final in a great mood,” Sinitsina said.
“The mistake is exactly that - a mistake. We did not expect it, I wanted to put Viktoria down from the lift as gently as possible and probably overdid it. That is easy to fix. The two deductions for the extended lifts are something to work on. I am not happy with our skate today but it's an experience and am not going to be upset about it,” Katsalapov explained.
Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (ITA) reached the Grand Prix final after pushing the Russians in the Free Dance © International Skating Union (ISU)
Guignard/Fabbri turned in an excellent performance of their program to “Atonement”, that was highlighted by their lifts and smooth footwork. Four elements were rated a level four while two elements merited a level three. The multiple Italian Champions came very close to the Russians in the Free Dance with 124.15 points. Overall they accumulated 203.71 points.
“It was unexpectedly easy to skate today. We were feeling a bit tired in this competition, but skated easily today and we performed the best Free Dance of this season. It gives us a good feeling for the Grand Prix Final,” Fabbri told the press.
“We are proud to be in the Grand Prix Final in the Olympic season because all the top teams competed this year in the Grand Prix,” he continued.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen (CAN) were pleased with their improvement since their last Grand Prix © International Skating Union (ISU)
Fournier Beaudry/Soerensen’s dance to an interesting selection of music including “Call to Prayer”, “The Last Kingdom” and “Skogsraah” featured interesting lifts that were graded a level four. The couple as well earned a level four for the combination spin and her twizzles to score 115.01 points and 191.40 points total.
“We are very happy with our performance today. We had the first and the last Grand Prix, so we really tried to improve from one to the next and we are happy with the result. We really had a good time,” Soerensen shared.
“The small mistake at the end ended up costing more than I wanted to – the choreo lift was too long.”
Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin (ESP) remained in fourth place with their dance to “Stairway to Heaven” (189.94 points). Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) finished fifth with their performance set to a selection of music by Frederic Chopin on 187.62 points. Anastasia Skoptcova/Kirill Aleshin (RUS) were sixth at 180.93 points.