by Valentina Volchok
The first day of this year’s edition of Rostelecom Cup in Moscow definitely featured some surprises: for example, in the ladies’ event, the Canadian skater Alaine Chartrand took the lead after the short program, followed by the Japanese Rika Honko; the heavy favorite, 16-year-old Anna Pogorilaya, was only third after the short.
Skating to “La Leyenda del Beso” by Raul di Blasio, the Canadian Alaine Chartrand scored 61.18 points for her SP, a new season’s best
Alaine Chartrand at the press conference after the short: “I went out and I tried my best and I’m happy with what I did. I really just wanted to have big, clean jumps”
Skating to “Le Corsaire”, the Japanese Rika Hongo earned 59.85 points (with this particular score, she was second after the short program)
Rika Hongo at the press conference: “I think I did everything I could today, so I’m very satisfied with my performance. Today I tried to do better than at Skate Canada and I worked on that with my coach”
Anna Pogorilaya’s performance to “Adagio” by Il Divo earned her 59.32 points
Anna Pogorilaya at the press conference: “I am not satisfied at all with my elements today, but it was a big experience for me to skate at home. It felt easy and, in spite of my errors, the audience enjoyed my performance“
In the pairs event, the Russian athletes captured the intermediate podium: the Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov skated the best short program of the day, to music from “Crouching tiger, hidden dragon”; they were followed by Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (silver at the 2014 World Junior Championships), skating a program choreographed by Maxim Trankov, and by the new Russian pair Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov.
Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov earned 69.09 points for their short pogram
Fodor Klimov at the press conference after the SP: “It was a decent performance, the first half was good, but there were mistakes in the second half. There are things to work on and we will improve them. The overall impression of the program was positive and we are satisfied with that”
Performing to “Sarabande Suite” by Globus, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov scored 67.28 points, a new personal best score
At the press conference, Vladimir joyfully confessed: “It helped us to skate at home and we enjoyed the support of the audience. We got a lot of positive emotions from that”
Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov were awarded 58.34 points for their short program skated to “Be Italian” from the movie “Nine”
Alexei Rogonov at the press conference: “It is positive for all athletes that we can use music with lyrics, there is more choice. We are a new team and we decided to experiment”
The best short program in the men’s event was skated by the Spanish Javier Fernandez, who outscored the Russian Sergei Voronov and the Japanese Takahiko Kozuka.
Javier Fernandez of Spain won the men’s short program, skating to “Black Betty” and earning 93.92 points, a season’s best.
Javier at the press conference: “It was a good program and I did enjoy it a lot. I did have a couple of mistakes, it was not the perfect program and I can do it better. But it was better than at Skate Canada”
Performing to “Danse Macabre”, Sergei Voronov earned a new personal best of 90.33 points. At the press conference, he stated: “I am pleased with my performance, especially because the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. The jumps worked and I enjoyed myself”
The Japanese Takahiko Kozuka earned a season’s best for his performance to “A Evaristo Carriego” by Luis Bravo: 81.38 points. At the press conference, he confessed: “I feel much better than at Skate Canada. My heart comes back to competition. Now I’m fighting in competition, I’m going to fight tomorrow in the free skating”
The winners of the short program in the men’s event at the press conference in Moscow
The short dance closed the evening, with the American dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates taking the lead, followed by Elena Ilinykh&Ruslan Zhiganshin (at the second skate of their career) and by the European bronze medalist, Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates’ short dance, to “Don Quixote”, earned them 68.86 points, just below their personal best
At the press conference after the SD, Madison explained: “The more you compete, the better the programs feel. We definitely felt that tonight. We love our programs and they are becoming a part of us now that we’ve trained them so much. Every time we go out we want to perform them even better and I think we did that tonight”
Performing to “Carmen”, Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin set a new personal best, earning 64.12 points
Ruslan, at the press conference after the SD: “We felt good today. We just came back from China, we only had one and a half days of training and we didn’t have time to relax after this competition”
For their Flamenco and Paso Doble, Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland scored 59.55 points
Penny Coomes at the press conference: “Nick and I always like to compete before we do a Grand Prix, because you never know how your programs are going to feel until you put them under that competition pressure and stress”