Golden Skate
Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Kostornaia leads Russian sweep at Europeans

Embed from Getty Images

2020 Europeans

Ladies’ Short Program

Alena Kostornaia led a Russian sweep after the Ladies’ Short Program on Friday in Graz, Austria. Team and training mates Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova sit in second and third, respectively.

Kostornaia reeled off a solid triple Axel, triple Lutz, and triple flip-triple toe in her routine to music by Max Richter. The 2019-20 Grand Prix Final champion also showed strong level 4 spins and footwork, earning many high positive grades of execution (GOE) for all elements to score 84.92 points.

“For today, my goal was just come in and do what I used to do,” said the 2018 World Junior silver medalist. “Of course, I kept in mind that this is a big competition. I skated my short program for the second season and of course as far as I’m growing, the program is growing with me. I can interpret the character better. But the character itself is still the same. It is an angel who came to earth and got a chance to return back in the end of the story. I hope I perform this program once more this season and I’m not planning to change the technical content anymore.”

Shcherbakova was also solid, producing a double Axel, triple flip and triple Lutz-triple loop. The 2019 World Junior silver medalist displayed very good level 4 spins and footwork in her routine to music from The Perfume: The Story of a Murderer soundtrack to finish second with 77.95 points.

The two-time Russian champion was not unhappy with the marks. “All was marked well,” she said. “I was nervous and am glad I overcame that and did my elements. Indeed, it feels like something that is behind and now I have to set myself to tomorrow. Tomorrow will be even better than today.”

Despite turning out a double Axel, Trusova managed to earn a personal best of 74.95 after her performance to selections from Peer Gynt. The two-time World Junior champion was otherwise solid, producing a triple flip and triple Lutz-triple toe along with level 4 spins and footwork.

“My coaches to explained me what the error on the double Axel was,” shared the 15-year-old. “The double Axel is an easy jump and I want to do a triple Axel so badly. It’s not yet recovered completely after the New Year break, I sometimes land it, but not always .”

The 2019-20 Grand Prix bronze medalist added that it wasn’t worth the risk to do a triple Lutz-triple loop instead of a triple Lutz-triple toe as there is only a 0.35 difference.

Alexia Paganini of Switzerland sits in fourth after earning a new personal best of 68.82 for her solid routine to “Sixteen Tons” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.” The three-time national champion produced a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple loop and double Axel as well as level 4 spins and footwork.

“I was really happy with my performance,” said the 19-year-old who trains in the U.S. “I was actually pretty nervous, more than usual I think, because I really prepared the best ever going into this competition and I really, really wanted to deliver here. I fixed my levels now, I got finally all level four, but there are still little things I can improve on, like the flow of the landings, always components can be better, and I can skate faster.”

Finland’s Emmi Peltonen routine to “Caruso” featured a triple toe-triple toe, triple loop and double Axel to earn a personal best score of 66.49 for fifth place.

“I felt so good and it’s probably my favorite program and it’s the last year I do it so I kept saying to myself ‘just enjoy it’,” said the three-time national champion of her new personal best. “I love this program. I have never felt so comfortable skating to a song than this. I’ve been doing sad music, so I think something fun would be nice for a change. Tomorrow I’ll just enjoy, I can’t wait for my free!”

Ekaterina Ryabova of Azerbaijan hung onto the landing a of a triple Lutz-triple toe and received an edge call on a triple flip to finish sixth (62.22).

“Everything was performed on an approximately good level,” said the 16-year-old. “There were a couple of small mistakes, but they were seen only by judges and were not easy to spot for the audience. I’m satisfied with my short program.”

Italy’s Alessia Tornaghi placed seventh with 61.27 points. The 16-year-old underrotated the back end of a triple toe-triple toe, but was otherwise clean.

“I am happy, because this is my first big senior competition,” said the two-time national champion. “I could have done better. I was nervous at first in the warm up, but then it felt like any other competition. My goal is to qualify for the free skating.”

Mae Berenice Meite of France underrotated the back end of a triple flip-triple toe to finish eighth (60.64).

“I am so much more satisfied now looking back to how I skated in the beginning of the season,” said the 25-year-old who trains in Tampa, Fla. “I had so much fun today. There was a triple-triple combination and I got a season’s best score. My program is already fun, but performing it in front of many people is just amazing.”

Anita Ostlund of Sweden is currently ninth after a new personal best of 60.57, followed by Lea Serna of France (59.90).