2001 Cup of Russia: Highlights

The 2001 Cup of Russia competition was held in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Ice Palace, November 23-25, 2001. This is the fifth of a series of six competitions before the Grand Prix Final which is to be held in December in Ontario, Canada.

Russia’s Evgeny Plushenko attempted to earn a place in record books with a quadruple lutz, but the nineteen-year old fell on the attempt and also went down on the ensuing quadruple toe loop. Nevertheless, a full arsenal of triple jumps was enough to keep the World Champion ahead of a largely undecorated field.

Fellow Russian Roman Serov jumped from fifth in the short program to second overall, but a disappointing tenth-place finish at Skate Canada gives him no hope of advancing to the Grand Prix Final.

bronze medalist Ivan Dinev has an excellent chance to earn the final berth to the Grand Prix Final with any medal at this week’s NHK Trophy. The American competitor, Matt Savoie of Peoria, Ill., finished fourth.

Sloppy performances were par for the course in the ladies event as well. Irina Slutskaya landed two triple lutzes and five clean triples in all, but she made sloppy errors on some of the easier jumps and failed to complete a triple-triple combination.

It was enough to keep her ahead of compatriot Viktoria Volchkova who two-footed her triple-triple combination and had a total of four clean triples.

American Angela Nikodinov dropped from second after the short program to third overall with a program that included four triple jumps. Another American, Jennifer Kirk, withdrew due to injury, but speculation is that she decided to work on a new free program.

The two faces of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze showed up in the pairs event, where they had error-plagued short program with two jarring falls followed by a perfect free skate that earned primarily 5.9s and one 6.0 from the judges. They finished ahead of teammates Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov and the French team of Sarah Abitbol and Stephane Bernadis.

Italians Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio took the dance title with a fast and fun free dance to “I Will Survive” that earned two perfect marks. Israel’s Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovsky were second.

The Grand Prix concludes this week with the NHK Trophy in Japan, followed by the Grand Prix Final in Canada in two weeks.

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