icenetwork.com (Event coverage of Rostelecom Cup)
Mao Asada of Japan prevented a Russian sweep of the podium as she took the gold medal ahead of three from the competitions home. Asada took the lead in the short program by less than a point skating to music from Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov, and she solidified the victory with the top score in the free skate. In her free skate, Asada executed the only element in the competition worth 10 or more points. She received 10.19 points on a triple flip-double loop-double loop combination en route to 118.96 points and a first place total of 183.25 overall. Combined with her silver at the NHK Trophy, Asada has qualified for the Grand Prix final.
Joining Asada in Quebec City for the Grand Prix Final is Alena Leonova of Russia who earned silver to go along with a bronze at the NHK Trophy. Leonova finished a narrow second in the short program with 63.91 points, less than half a point behind Asada. To open her short program, which includes music from The Pirates of the Caribbean, Leonova landed the highest scoring short program element, a triple toe-triple toe combination worth 9.50 points. Leonova finished second in the free skate and earned 180.45 points overall.
Adelina Sotnikova of Russia earned the bronze in her hometown to match the bronze she earned at the Cup of China. She claimed third place in both the short program and free skate and her total of 169.75 points topped her performance in China by nearly 10 points.
Three different countries were represented on the men’s podium and each of the top four finishers in the competition will compete in the Grand Prix Final. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan earned the gold, while Javier Fernandez of Spain took silver and American Jeremy Abbott earned bronze.
Second place finishes in both the short program and the free skate were enough for Hanyu as he earned a narrow .03 point margin of victory in Moscow. Hanyu, who was fourth at the Cup of China, did just enough to top the podium and earn a spot in the Grand Prix Final. Skating to selections from Craig Armstrong in his free skate, Hanyu earned 158.88 points despite two points of deductions. Hanyu landed the competitions highest scoring element of 15.29 points, a triple Axel-triple toe combination with a base value of 13.86. He finished with 241.66 points overall.
Fernandez won Spain’s first ever medal in the Grand Prix with a silver at Skate Canada, and he equaled that performance, finishing second at the Rostelecom Cup. Sitting in fourth place after the short program, Fernandez recorded the top score in the free skate, and came up just short of gold. Skating to music from Giuseppe Verdi, Fernandez earned 163.13 points for his free skate. He began his skate with three elements, a quad toe loop, a quad Salchow and a triple Axel-triple toe loop worth a combined 38.41 points. He finished with 241.63 total points.
Abbott led after the short program but finished fifth in the free skate to land on the podium in third position. Abbott, who won gold at the Cup of China, earned a personal-best 83.54 points in his short program, more than four points better than his skate in Shanghai. Abbott began his short program with a triple flip-triple toe combination and a triple Axel worth 10.20 and 10.07 points respectively. He also received the top component score of 41.50. Abbott earned 145.54 points in his free skate for a total score of 229.08.
Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic finished fourth and will count his previous Grand Prix finishes to earn him a spot in the Final.
In a rematch from the NHK Trophy in Japan, this time it was the German pair of Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy besting Russians Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov for gold. Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek of Italy earned the bronze.
In a high-scoring competition, Savchenko & Szolkowy won both the short program and free skate to win by more than ten points. Their total of 208.69 is more than 37 points higher than their total in Japan and more than 24 points higher than their Skate America gold medal score. After a narrow three-point lead after the short program, the Germans posted 139.97 points from their Pina free skate. During their free skate, Savchenko & Szolkowy earned seven or more points on four elements, including a level four lift worth 8.25 points.
Kavaguti & Smirnov, who earned gold in China and Japan, earned the silver as they finished second in both the short program and free skate. In their “All Alone” short program, the Russians earned 65.17 points combined with their free skate of 132.67 points for a total of 197.84. The point total in Moscow is more than 20 points higher than their gold total in Japan and more than 11 points higher than their gold total in China.
Berton & Hotarek earned their first-ever medal in the Grand Prix series with a bronze after finishing fourth at the NHK Trophy. The Italian champions finished third in both the short program and free skate and earned a total score of 168.02.
Americans Meryl Davis & Charlie White continued their winning streak as they earned gold in Russia ahead of Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and Russians Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev.
The reigning World champions, Davis & White opened with a five-point lead after the short dance where they received 69.94 points, however, the duo danced themselves to a season-best performance in the free dance. Skating their “Die Fledermaus” free dance, the Americans received 109.12 points, nearly 13 points higher than the rest of the competition. Davis & White received execution scores greater than one on each of their eight elements and a component score of 58.27, the highest in the competition by nearly seven points.
Weaver & Poje earned the silver medal, which matched their finish at both Skate Canada and the NHK Trophy. The Canadians finished second in both the short dance and the free dance and had 64.45 points heading into their free dance. In their “Je Suis Malade” free dance, Weaver & Poje earned a personal best score of 96.73 for a personal best total of 161.18, which tops their performance at the 2011 World Championships.
Bobrova & Soloviev, who earned gold at the Cup of China, finished third in both the short dance and the free dance to earn the bronze medal. Their total of 156.83 was nearly seven points less than their winning total in Shanghai.