Voronov first after short in Kazan

Sergei Voronov, 21, led the men in the Short Program with his Godfather routine.

Defending champion Sergei Voronov rebounded after a less than perfect start of the season with his new short program set to lesser known tracks from The Godfather soundtrack. While the student of Alexei Urmanov was not flawless, he clearly enjoys and understands the new routine much better than he understood the one he used during the Grand Prix season.

Voronov posted an impressive score of 77.69 (40.18/37.51) points despite a flawed quad toe loop-double toe loop combination (he did a three turn between two jumps) and a tight landing on a triple Axel. The 21-year-old also only did a triple loop as a jump of out steps.

The only skater who managed to approach this score was 2008 World Junior silver medalist Artem Borodulin. The student of Elena Vodorezova-Buyanova two-footed the landing of a triple Axel and received an edge call on his triple Lutz (in combination with triple toe loop), but landed a strong triple flip. His overall interpretation of Sailor Dance, especially during two required step sequences, was among the best of the evening. The 19-year-old scored 75.93 (40.50/35.43) points.

Also recovering from poor Grand Prix showings is Andrei Lutai, who finished third in the short program. Skating to Symphony No. 9 by Anton Dvorak, the student of Alexei Mishin opened his powerful routine with a flawed triple Axel (he put both hands down), but went on to land a clean triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and triple flip. His program was highlight by excellent flow, and after he performed all his jumping passes, the 22-year-old was able to relax and interpret his music well. He received 68.61 (35.89/33.72) points.

Vladimir Uspenski delivered a determined performance to a modern arrangement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The Muscovite had to fight for the landings of both his triple Axel and triple flip-triple toe loop combinations and he also stepped out of a triple Lutz. Despite the flawed jumping passes, the 19-year-old showed good understanding of his music and was inspired throughout the entire program. His score is 67.56 (36.23/31.33) points.

Ivan Tretyakov finished fifth in the short program with a powerful performance to J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue. He landed a clean triple Axel and triple flip-triple toe loop combination, but fell on a triple Lutz. Compared to last season, he showed improved spins and better command over his moves. He earned 67.03 (36.88/31.15) points and remained within striking distance of the podium.

A rather nice interpretation to Solo mio allowed Denis Leushin to finish sixth in the short program with 66.40 (32.92/33.47) points. He landed an effortless triple Axel, but performed only a triple Lutz-double toe loop as a combination jump and stepped out of triple flip.

Recovering from injury which forced him to withdraw from autumn competitions, Andrei Griazev finished seventh with 66.02 (32.29/33.73) points. In terms of expression and presentation, his ‘Disco’ program was among the most entertaining of the night, but the 23-year-old added a three turn between a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination and stepped out of triple Axel.

Sergei Dobrin placed 12th after underrotating a quad toe loop in combination with a double toe, doubling an Axel, and stepping out of a triple Lutz. Training mate Artur Gachinski crashed on his triple Axel attempt, but recovered to land his two other jumping passes to finish 13th with 57.03 points.

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