Home Figure Skating News Ghilardi and Ambrosini end nine-year dry spell

Ghilardi and Ambrosini end nine-year dry spell

by Paula Slater
Getty Images

Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini

Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini of Italy took their first Grand Prix gold medal in Espoo, Finland, on November 26, 2022.

2022 Grand Prix Espoo – Pairs

Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won the gold to end a nine-year dry spell for Italy in the Pairs discipline at a Grand Prix event in Espoo. Alisa Efimova and Ruben Blommaert of Germany rose from fourth place to capture the silver, while Anastasiia Metelkina and Daniil Parkman earned the bronze—the first grand prix medal for a Georgian pairs team.

Ghilardi and Ambrosini end nine-year dry spell

Ghilardi and Ambrosini scored a new personal best in the short program (67.31) coming into the free skate. The team produced a level-two triple twist, double Salchows and three level-four lifts in their long program to “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.” The only errors came when Ambrosini put a foot down on the back end of the double Axel-double Axel sequence, while Ghilardi slightly touched down with her foot on the throw triple loop. However, the throw triple Lutz was clean and the pair combination spin earned a level four. The 2022 U.S. International Classic Champions scored 122.43 for first place in the free skate and maintained first place overall (189.74).

With this achievement, Ghilardi and Ambrosini became the second pair team from Italy to win a gold medal at a Grand Prix event since Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek won the title at 2013 Skate Canada.

The Italian national silver medalists have now qualified for the 2022-23 Grand Prix Final and will compete alongside teammates Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii on home ice next month.

“We are very happy about our performance today!” said Ghilardi. “We were in our performance from the beginning to the end.” “We worked on our feelings together,” added Ambrosini. “We want to feel like one person—one movement—when we are on the ice, and today we had a really good feeling.”

Ghilardi and Ambrosini were asked if they were following their competitors in Russia, to which Ghilardi responded: “Honestly, we didn’t follow these competitions that much as we have been busy with our own competitions, we tried to focus on our work. The situation is a bit strange and I hope it will be better soon. For sure, it’s a big opportunity for us, but I am sad for them as athletes and I think they should be able to compete.”

The team is looking forward to competing at the Grand Prix Final which was a big goal for them. They plan to train at home over the next two weeks for the event.

Efimova and Blommaert win first grand prix medal

Despite two falls, Efimova and Blommaert finished second in the free skate (108.29). Blommaert fell on the triple Salchows, while Efimova fell on the triple toes. The team, who took silver at both challenger series events earlier this season, otherwise produced two level-four lifts, a throw triple flip and throw triple loop. Their total score of 170.75 was enough to move them up to spots onto the podium for their first grand prix medal.

“It was a new situation for us as we weren’t sure about our technical content until right before our skate,” offered Efimova. “During the warm up, we decided to go for both triple jumps. We are of course a bit sad about the mistakes, but overall, we are feeling good about this competition. We are happy with the result today and we want to thank the Finish Federation for inviting us.”

“The result is very satisfying,” said Blommaert. “We now have two silver medals from Finland. We should come back and continue the streak!”

The team had to withdraw from their first event at Skate Canada after the short program due to injury.

“This is our second Grand Prix event and the first one we can skate to the end,” she added. “For us, this competition showed that it is important to communicate during the competition and to always fight until the end.”

“Next for us is the Challenger in Zagreb,” said Blommaert. “Our goals are to go to Europeans and Worlds. We have two spots for Germany for both events and we want to be one of these two teams.”

Efimova agreed with Ghilardi regarding their Russian competitors: “It is an opportunity for us, but of course it would be really nice if it comes back and we are all together again competing.
I personally follow the results, but haven’t watched too many videos.”

Metelkina and Parkman maintain third place

Metelkina and Parkman struggled on both jumping passes in their free skate to “Lamentations” by Marimuz. Metelkina doubled her triple Salchow and slightly underrotated the triple toe, but she managed to hang on to the throw triple flip and the throw triple loop was clean. The 2021 Golden Spin of Zagreb silver medalists finished third overall with 166.56 points.

“I cannot say we are happy as we had a very huge mistake and we haven’t reached our goals,” said Parkman. “We always have the one goal to show the best and to progress. Our next competition will be Europeans, and the goal is to fix all the mistakes we made here and to improve and be better.”

“We need to fight until the end,” he added of their takeaway from this event. “You just have to keep going and that’s it! We will try to build from here”

Parkman agreed with Efimova and Ghilardi on the Russian skaters. “I personally watch the the Russian grand prix. There is always something to learn, it’s good to see.”

USA’s Anastasiia Smirnova and Danylo Siianytsia slipped to fourth overall (165.12), followed by Netherland’s Daria Danilova and Michel Tsiba (146.15) and Nika Osipova and Dmitry Epstein (138.10).

Related Info

Related Articles

Founded in 1999, Golden Skate provides resources for the sport of figure skating worldwide. This includes interviews, features, videos, club listings, a discussion board and more.

You cannot copy content of this page