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Boikova and Kozlovskii capture first national title in pairs

Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii

Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii perform their Free Skate to “Writing’s on the Wall”.

2020 Russian Nationals

Pairs’ Free Skate

Rising stars Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii edged out two-time World silver medalists Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov by less than half a point to capture their first national title at the Russian National Championships in Krasnoyarsk on Saturday. The bronze went to Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin.

Skating last, Boikova and Kozlovskii delivered an excellent performance of their “James Bond” routine, hitting a triple Salchow, triple toe-double toe-double toe, triple twist, throw triple flip and loop, as well as difficult lifts. The 2019 European bronze medalists earned a level four for the twist, the lifts and the pair combination spin, and scored 153.27 points to total 233.66 points overall.

“At the end of the performance, I was just happy that we had skated clean,” said Kozlovskii. “It doesn’t matter how big the difference in points is–if it is one point or half a point or a tenth of a point. To become Russian champion for the first time is something special and memorable, that’s why I was so emotional. When we are skating clean, we’re skating with more emotions straight away.”

Tarasova and Morozov opened their program to “Ti Amo” with a big triple twist and followed up with a side by side triple Salchow. However, Tarasova then doubled the toeloop. The two-time European champions recovered to land a beautiful throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow as well as strong lifts. With 149.28 points they ranked second in the free skate and slipped to second at 233.19 points total.

“It is a bit upsetting, but the result was to be expected after my mistake,” said Tarasova. “The most important competitions are still to come. We see the results of our work and we’ll continue to work in that direction.”

Pavliuchenko and Khodykin’s program to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack featured a rare side by side triple flip, a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, a throw triple loop and original lifts. Pavliuchenko only had to fight for the landing of the throw triple flip. The 2018 World Junior champions ranked fourth in the free skate with 143.59 points, but held on to third place with a total of 219.72 points.

“We did not see the scores of the others,” said Khodykin. “We are just focusing on ourselves and we gave everything we have for in the free skating. We are working for making the national team.”

“There were still some small errors, but finally we were able to put out a clean free skate again,” Pavliuchenko added.

Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov recovered from a faulty short program and put out a clean performance of their “Master and Margarita” program that was highlighted by a triple Salchow-Euler-triple Salchow combination and high throws. The 2019 World Junior champions had the third-best free skate score of 145.12 points and pulled up from eighth to fourth at 212.85 points.

“We were not in a good mood, but we were able to recover, to get used to the situation that we are in the second warm-p group and get ready for the free skating,” explained Mishina. “The lesson for me was probably to worry less.”

“Today was a new day, a new performance and we prepared well for the free skate,” Galliamov noted. “This competition taught us that it is not worth to give up after the first day, on the opposite, to work even harder. As a person close to me said, ‘there a no highs without lows, this is the nature of sports.’ We have just to approach it the right way. There will be other competitions and we just need to use them to get the maximum out of them.”

Alina Pepeleva and Roman Pleshkov produced a solid performance to place fifth (203.57 points). ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov slipped from fifth to sixth after she fell on the throw triple flip and on a transition move (197.81 points). Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin dropped from fourth to eighth after some errors (185.97 points).