Golden Skate

Griazev edges out Lutai for national title

Andrei Griazev captured his first senior title in the men’s event, while Andrei Lutai won his first senior medal (the silver). Sergei Dobrin won his second consecutive bronze.

All medalists have earned a spot at the upcoming European Figure Skating Championships.

Griazev skated a solid program which included eight good triple jumps – three of which were in combination with other jumps, as well as good spins and a very good level two straight line footwork sequence. The 21-year-old was awarded 151.21 points for his Notre Dame routine, placing first in the long and moving up from second to first overall to win his first senior national title (222.14 points).

“The coaches are responsible for 90% of my success… well, ok, 80/20,” said Griazev. “I am happy with the way I skated today. It was a long road to this success. The start of the season wasn’t as good as I could have hoped for, but I never gave up. This success will give me confidence. I am sure I will skate better in future.”

Skating to music from The Mask of Zorro soundtrack, Dobrin opened with a quadruple Salchow-triple toeloop combination, but then did a three turn out of the landing of his quadruple Salchow and doubled a Lutz on a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination. He went on to execute a double Axel-double toeloop combination and two more triples, but fell on a triple Lutz. Despite the mistakes, the 20-year-old displayed good spins and footwork, placing second in the long (140.48 points) and maintained third place overall (210.93 points).

Lutai opened his routine with a very good triple Axel, but then turned out the landing of a quadruple toeloop and stepped out of the landing of a triple loop. The student from St. Petersburg later doubled a flip, but otherwise produced a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination, and good spins and footwork. The 2006 Karl Schäfer Memorial Champion placed third in the long with 139.94 points, and with a total of 217.14 points, slipped to second overall.

“I am satisfied with my performance,” said Lutai during a press conference. “I landed the difficult jumps first, but then got too relaxed and missed a number of easy jumps. But I was able to pull myself together and finish the program strong.” He added that his coach (Alexei Mishin) was a bit disappointed. “He [Mishin] did not expect me to loose concentration like that.”

Menshov, who stood in ninth after the short, reeled off a solid quadruple toeloop-double toeloop combination, followed by a very good quadruple toeloop, but then doubled a flip. The 24-year-old also underrotated a triple toeloop (in combination with a triple Lutz) and stepped out of a triple flip (meant to be in combination with a double toeloop), but otherwise delivered two more good triples and good footwork to place fourth in the long (131.79 points) and fifth overall (195.72 points).

Tretiakov, who stood in eighth after the short, produced a fairly clean routine to a Queen medley which included eight triple jumps (three of which were in combination with other jumps). The 18-year-old was awarded 128.68 points for a fifth place finish in the long, moving up one spot to seventh overall (193.01 points).

Klimkin landed a very good triple Axel-triple toeloop combination in the opening of his Mask routine, but then fell on a quadruple toeloop, turned out the landing of a triple Salchow, underrotated a quadruple toeloop, stepped out of a triple flip (in combination with a double toeloop), and doubled a loop. The 26-year-old otherwise produced very good spins and footwork, placing sixth in the long (125.95 points) and fourth overall (195.94 points).

Voronov received credit for four clean triple jumps (two were in combination with double jumps), as well as good spins, but he put his hand down on the landing of a triple Axel and fell on another triple Axel. The 19-year-old placed seventh in the long (125.19 points) and slipped from fourth to sixth place overall (195.30 points).

Borodulin skated an inspiring routine while showing good lines, flow and attack. Despite a popped a triple Axel attempt, the 17-year-old from Moscow otherwise produced seven triple jumps and a level three circular footwork sequence. He was eighth in the long (124.10 points) and overall (184.79 points).

Kondakov fell on his opening triple Axel, but otherwise delivered five more clean triples (two in combination with other jumps) and a double Axel. The 22-year-old finished ninth (115.76 points) in the long and 11th overall (172.59 points).

Mikhailov showed good interpretation in his routine, displaying good spins and footwork, but only executed five triple jumps (four of which were clean). He finished 10th in the long (114.59 points), slipping from sixth to ninth place overall (180.36 points).

Gatchinski placed 11th in the long, moving up from 18th to 14th overall (161.71 points).

Uspenski, who stood in seventh after the short, finished 12th in the long (109.04 and slipped to 10th overall (173.88 points).

Shubin, who was 10th after the short, placed 17th in the long (100.14 points) and slipped to 15th overall (160.92 points).