Alexandra Trusova clinched Grand Prix glory for the second time in three weeks as her Russian figure skating team-mate Evgenia Medvedeva returned to the podium in style at the Rostelecom Cup.
Medvedeva topped the standings going into Saturday’s free skate, but it was 15-year-old Trusova who came out on top after landing three quad jumps.
A season’s best 148.83 helped Medvedeva finish runner-up, with the two-time world champion’s delight plain for all to see after a fifth place at Skate Canada.
Mariah Bell secured another third-placed finish, but the day belonged once again to Trusova in Moscow.
“I am very happy that I qualified for the ISU Grand Prix Final," Trusova said. "However, I feel that I didn’t skate my best in the short and free skating and I will continue to work hard.”
Trusova confirms Grand Prix Final place
Skating to music from 'Game of Thrones', Trusova was out to maintain a winning run after making history in her Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada.
She became the first lady to perform two quad jump and triple jump combos, as well as setting a new free skate and combined total record.
With her record set at 241.02, but more importantly Medvedeva’s 225.76 to beat, Trusova was unable to land her opening quad Salchow in Moscow.
She recovered to complete a quad Lutz, a quad toe loop-triple toe loop and then a quad toe loop-Euler-triple Salchow – scoring 160.26 and 234.47 overall.
“This happened before where I fell on the first element,” Trusova said, “but I try not to think about what happened and I just focus on the other elements.”
Victory confirms Trusova’s spot in the Grand Prix Final, where she joins Anna Shcherbakova, who qualified after winning Skate America and the Cup of China.
Medvedeva’s return to form
With Medvedeva’s younger team-mates shining in their debut Grand Prix seasons, the 19-year-old was hoping for a revival in Moscow after coming fifth in Canada.
Medvedeva produced a season’s best routine in Friday’s short program, and followed that up with a clean free skate to the 'Memoirs of a Geisha' soundtrack on Saturday.
A double Axel, triple toe loop, double toe loop was quickly followed by a triple flip-double toe loop combo as the home crowd willed the Olympic silver medallist on.
She was clearly elated at the end of her routine, and embraced coach Brian Orser as supporters continued to throw flowers and stuffed toys onto the ice.
Her season’s best 148.83 was enough to finish nine points behind Trusova.
“This is the first program in my life that I really gave my soul from the beginning” - Medvedeva
“The last month’s progress, I’ve started to feel the main magic of the program. Only in the middle of the season, but I just had to get used to it.
“I was thinking about this music in short and long for two years, and was preparing myself for Memoirs of a Geisha, and I said to myself now I am ready.
“Every moment of the program has my soul. The costume is amazing, beautiful and comfy, and I’m so grateful for everyone that has worked with me. I think this program is the best in my career.”
Orser added: “This was important to have a good skate here, because she’s worked so hard.
“This is the hardest she says she has worked in her life, so you want to see the fruit of that work. And we are.”
Medvedeva wants to add quad jump
“I don’t want to seem rude but every performance I am being asked six to eight times about whether I am planning to jump quad," Medvedeva told reporters afterwards.
It is going more difficult than I expected, but nobody said it was going to be easy - Medvedeva on attempting a quad
"I’m doing everything in my power to do this. I’m trying to save my legs and stay healthy. I’ll do my best, but I don’t know a date or competition where I’ll try it.”
Orser added that Medvedeva is “making progress” in her attempts to perform a quad, and that she will have more time to focus on it given she won't compete at the Grand Prix Finals.
“We’ve been watching lots of tapes and she’s got some great skaters at her rink doing quads now,” Orser said.
Asked if Medvedeva can remain competitive without a quad, Orser gave an emphatic response: “Yes, it’s that simple. She’s showing that, it’s a women’s event. She’s in there with the great women of figure skating.
“It’s not a matter of doing quad Sals on the ice, it’s about what we have to do off the ice, to build strength and get a nice fiery twitch.
“Then there’s the mental work to be able to trust it and go for it. More is not always better, but it’s being efficient with training.
“We’ve really found our groove. There are times where we butt heads, there are times where she can be stubborn and I can be stubborn – sometimes we meet in the middle.
“We do whatever’s best for her. That’s my style of teaching, letting them take the reins and help guide them.”
Rostelecom Cup ladies’ results
- 1. Alexandra Trusova (RUS) — 234.47 (SP 74.21 – FS 160.26)
- 2. Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 225.76 (76.93 – 148.83)
- 3. Mariah Bell (USA) — 205.67 (67.11 – 138.56)
- 4. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 192.42 (63.09 – 129.33)
- 5. Ekaterina Ryabova (AZE) — 187.77 (64.01 – 123.76)
- 6. Yuhana Yokoi (JPN) — 182.68 (56.51 – 126.17)
- 7. Alexia Pagani (SUI) — 179.69 (65.12 – 114.57)
- 8. Chen Hongyi (CHN) — 175.77 (57.17 – 118.60)
- 9. Nicole Schott (GER) — 172.08 (57.29 – 114.79)
- 10. Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN) — 170.03 (60.57 – 109.46)
- 11. Stanislava Konstantinova (RUS) — 156.94 (54.36 – 102.58)
- 12. Emmi Peltonen (FIN) — 152.50 (52.46 – 100.04)
Clean sweep for Russia
Russia became the first nation in 14 years to win all four disciplines at a Grand Prix, having done likewise at this event in 2005.
It started with Alexander Samarin heading an all-Russian podium in the men's before world silver medallists Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov were crowned ice dance champions in Moscow.
The Russian pair achieved their second Grand Prix win ahead of Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier – with both teams qualifying for the Grand Prix Final.
“We’re glad to have overcome the challenge of doing two Grand Prix back to back,” Katsalapov told ISU.org.
“Now we’ll have a little rest and then we’ll get ready for the Grand Prix Final and hope to show our very best there.”
Spanish duo Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin finished third.
After Trusova's victory, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii completed the clean sweep when winning the pairs title.
They finished ahead of compatriots Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, with Germany's Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nolan Seegert taking third for their first Grand Prix medal.