European Champion Alena Kostornaia (RUS) tops Ladies Short Program

Photo :|21-Nov-2020 13:23

Reigning ISU European Champion Alena Kostornaia (RUS) came out on top in the Ladies Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday. Russia’s 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva finished second, while Alexandra Trusova (RUS) is standing in third place.

Performing to “No Time to Die” and “You Should See Me In a Crown” by Billie Eilish, Kostornaia produced a double Axel, triple Lutz, triple flip-triple toeloop combination as well as three level-four spins. The ISU Grand Prix Final Champion scored 78.84 points. 

“There is something to compare (to my previous competition), this was better and I am very happy about that,” said the 17-year-old. “I did not change anything in my training process after Kazan (Russian Cup event a week ago) and I had a rest, then I realized that I need to work on harder.” She hopes to bring back the triple Axel for the Russian National Championships, she added.

Tuktamysheva opened her program to “Spartacus” with a beautiful triple Axel but then stumbled on a triple flip. The 2015 ISU European and World Champion recovered to land a triple Lutz-double toeloop and collected a level four for her spins. The 23-year-old picked up 74.70 points. 

“The mistake was unexpected, because the combination (Flip-toeloop) has been working well,” Tuktamysheva said. “But something was off in the warm-up and I started to think about the technique too much. It is better to switch off your mind and trust your body.

“Overall I am pleased with the performance. It was one of the best short programs this season so far if you don’t count the mistake on the flip.”

Trusova went for a triple Axel as well, but she fell and the jump was downgraded. The 2020 ISU European bronze medalist rallied to land a triple flip, triple Lutz-triple toe and her spins were rated a level four. The ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist earned 70.81 points. 

“This is the third competition I couldn’t do the (triple) Axel,” the 16-year-old said. “I will work harder and will try to do it clean. We are skating the program a lot in practice and I am always trying to forget about a mistake and do the rest clean.”

Anastasiia Guliakova (RUS) is just off the podium in fourth after a clean performance with 70.07 points ahead of Elizaveta Nugumanova (RUS) on 68.47 points. The 2019 European Champion Sofia Samodurova (RUS) completes the top six (68.01 points). 

ISU European silver medalist Anna Shcherbakova (RUS) withdrew before the Short Program citing illness. 

The Rostelecom Cup continues Saturday with the Men’s Free Skating, the Free Dance, Pairs and Ladies Free Skating. 

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