2019 Rostelecom Cup
Pairs’ Short Program
Coming off a win at Skate Canada, Russia’s Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii currently lead the Pairs after the Short Program took place in Moscow at 2019 Rostelecom Cup. Teammates Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov and Ksenia Stolbova and Andrei Novoselov placed second and third, respectively.
Boikova and Kozlovskii put out an expressive routine to an instrumental version of “My Way,” landing solid side-by-side triple Salchows, a level 4 triple twist, and throw triple Lutz. Earlier during the warm-up, Kozlovskii had taken a fall, but it didn’t appear to affect the performance. The European bronze medalists were flawless, racking up many high positive grades of execution (GOE) and receiving a level 4 for the death spiral, lift, footwork and spin. They were awarded a new personal best of 80.14 points.
“It was a long day,” said Kozlovskii. “The practice was early and there was a long break. We’re happy how everything went, but it would not be right to say anything specific about today, because tomorrow will be the main day.”
“This happens, the ice is slippery,” he continued when asked about the fall. “Obviously, it was unexpected and an unfortunate fall, however, there is no reason to make a hero out of me saying ‘I was skating through pain.’ I just could not let down my partner and my coaches. Therefore, after that, I just went out and skated as if nothing had happened.”
“We were happy with our first 80+ score,” said Boikova. “It’s a top-pairs level. We’re very happy to finally compete at the domestic event. There are things to improve, but overall, we’re happy.”
Performing to “Bolero,” Tarasova and Morozov executed an excellent level 4 triple twist and side-by-side triple toes. While Morozov was a bit off-kilter in the change combination spin and took a stumble in the footwork, the 2019 European and World silver medalists were otherwise spot-on, landing a throw triple loop and impressing with a level 4 death spiral and reverse lift. Despite the mistakes, the team from Moscow scored a new season’s best of 76.81.
“Overall, we did all our elements,” said Morozov, “but obviously there were some errors in the end that affected the impression of our program. “The free skating is tomorrow and we’ll keep the concentration for the elements at the end.”
Skating to “Rebirth” by Hi-Finesse, Ksenia Stolbova and Andrei Novoselov put out a triple twist and throw triple Lutz, but Novoselov doubled his jump on the side-by-side triple toes. Nevertheless, they also executed a level 4 reverse lift, death spiral, and footwork to earn 68.74 points in their first international outing together as a team.
“First of all we’re very happy that we finally are competing and to be here at the home event,” said Stolbova, who is the 2014 Olympic silver medalist with former partner Fedor Klimov. “As for the performance, there were positive and negatives sides to it. There is something to work on, but overall, we’re pleased.”
“We’ve been skating to the old program for a year and half,” said Stolbova of their original short to Beth Hart’s ‘I’ll Take Care of You’, “so we decided to change it.”
Germany’s Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nolan Seegert skated a clean performance to “Open Hands” by Ingrid Michaelson which featured a level 2 triple twist, side-by-side triple toes, a level 4 reverse lift and change combination spin, and a solid throw triple Salchow. The 2019 Challenge Cup champions are currently in fourth with 67.74 points.
“The performance was pretty good for us,” said Hase. “For me, it was a bit more stressful than usual. We got almost all the levels. The rink is amazing, the audience is helpful, and they push us.”