Figure Skating

Time to shine for Evgenia Medvedeva and Shoma Uno at the Rostelecom Cup

The two PyeongChang 2018 silver medallists are aiming to bounce back at the Figure skating Grand Prix in Moscow.

By Sanjeev Palar ·

All four Grand Prix events of the 2019-20 figure skating season to-date have one thing in common: They've all been won by first-year senior Russian women.

The limelight is certainly on the newly promoted juniors at the expense of the incumbents, like Evegenia Medvedeva. The Pyeongchang 2018 silver medallist heads to her second Grand Prix assignment, in need of a win to secure any chance of making the Grand Prix Final.

The same goes for Olympic silver medallist, Shoma Uno, who broke down in tears after his free skate at the Internationaux de France saw him finish eight overall - the worst result of his senior career.

For Uno and Medvedeva, the Rostelecom Cup this weekend in Moscow will be a redemption mission.

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Jumping to greater heights

This year's Ladies events have been fascinating to watch especially with the skaters who graduated from the junior ranks and bringing with them quadruple jumps and triple Axels.

15-year-old Anna Shcherbakova announced her arrival with quadruple jumps to claim the Skate America title while her training teammates mirrored her success with Alexandra Trusova winning Skate Canada the following weekend and Alena Kostornaia following suit in France.

Shcherbakova has already guaranteed herself a spot at the Grand Prix Finals following her second win in two assignments at the Cup of China.

Trusova will be looking to do the same at the Rostelecom Cup.

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Medvedeva returning home

The Rostelecom Cup will be the first Grand Pix assignment in Moscow for Medvedeva since moving to Canada.

It's the Russian's second season with coach Brian Orser, and she is continuing the process of rebuilding herself under his Olympic winning coaching team.

Last season got off to a turbulent start for the 19-year-old, with her missing the Grand Prix Final for the first time in her career.

However she bounced back and fought hard to earn her place on the Russian World Championships team and ended the season on a high finishing third in Saitama, Japan.

This year she made the podium at the Autumn Classic ahead of the Grand Prix season.

A poor short program at Skate Canada left her on the back foot but she recovered in the free skate to finish fifth overall.

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Despite the below-par start to her season, Medvedeva has proved that she is able to fight her way back into contention and she will be aiming to do the same in Russia.

Medvedeva won this event the last time she skated it back in 2017 and was second in 2015. This time around her chances of victory will certainly be hampered by one of the three prodigies of her former coach, Eteri Tutberidze.

Under Tutberidze's tutelage, Shcherbakova, Trusova and Kostornaia have taken the figure skating world by storm. Their technical aptitude has put them in a class above the rest, consistently landing quadruple jumps and triple Axels.

Medvedeva has been working feverishly to add to her technical arsenal.

What she does have going for her is her artistry. Known for her captivating performances, she is aiming to be technically flawless in her routines in Russia.

And based on her recent Instagram post, she's on the right path.

The battle for male supremacy

The men's events have so-far seen Nathan Chen win both his Grand Prix assignments, Skate America and Internationaux de France.

Double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu who easily won Skate Canada and is expected to do the same at the NHK Trophy at the end of November.

Hanyu's compatriot Uno on the other hand has had a troubled start to his season.

The 21-year-old fell five times over his two programs in France, which took its toll and finally caught up with him in the kiss and cry as he waited for his free skate score.

Uno broke down and wept.

Shoma Uno at the 2019 Internationaux de France

Shoma aims to rise

It was a big moment for the Japanese who has parted ways with his longtime coaches Machiko Yamada and Mihoko Higuchi. He has yet to find a coach despite enjoying a stint with Tutberidze before the start of the season.

Uno's result in Grenoble means that he is out of contention to make the Grand Prix Final in Turin, an event that he had medalled at the past four seasons.

Leading up to the Russian event, Uno had made arrangements to train with two-time world champion Stephane Lambiel in Switzerland, as he looks to bring back some stability to his performances.

Even though the Grand Prix Finals are out of reach, Uno knows what a good outing in Moscow will go a long way towards rebuilding he embarks on a mission to make the best, of the rest of the season.