2019 Rostelecom Cup
Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov danced to the lead in the Rhythm Dance in Moscow on Friday afternoon, followed by Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada and Spain’s Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin.
Sinitsina and Katsalapov racked up many positive grades of execution (GOE) in their delightful routine to “Singin’ In the Rain,” which featured strong level 4 twizzles. The 2019 World silver medalists also earned a level 4 on their rotational lift and showed strong level 3 midline, Finnstep and pattern steps. Their solid performance was awarded a new personal best of 86.09—a slight improvement since their last outing at 2019 Cup of China where they took gold.
“We are overall pleased with our performance, but this is not the very best that we could do,” said Katsalapov. “We’re not even halfway through the season. We’ll continue to work, but now we’ll take a deep breath and get ready for the free dance.”
“The support of the home crowd was incredible,” he added. “You don’t feel any tiredness, but you just have fun out on the ice. We missed skating at home. We felt like we could skate more after the music stopped. There was music, there were Vika and I, and nothing else existed.”
Gilles and Poirier also delivered strong level 4 twizzles and level 3 midline and pattern steps, however, their Finnsteps were graded a level 2. The 2019 Four Continents bronze medalists showed a good level 4 rotational lift and are currently second with 82.56 points after their upbeat routine to Jerry Herman’s Mack and Mabel.
“Piper and I were quite pleased with our performance,” said Poirier. “There were a few sticky moments here and there as we went through the performance. We spent a lot of time after Skate Canada trying to focus on the speed of the program, just getting all the movements really big and taking up more space, and I think that’s been really effective. We felt like character of the program really projected out from us and was able to reach the top, top of the arena.”
“It was a little hard,” said Gilles. “I think we’re starting to learn how to compete how we practice at home.”
“We had two weeks after Skate Canada,” added Poirier. “We wanted to keep pushing and didn’t allow ourselves to calm down too much.”
Hurtado and Khaliavin put out an energetic dance to Hello Dolly which featured a level 4 rotational lift and twizzles, The midline steps were strong and graded a level 3, however, the Finnsteps received a level 1 and she also received a level on the pattern steps, while he, a level 2. The 2019 CS Ice Star 2019 champions scored 72.01 points.
“In our program, we felt that the work we’ve put in since Skate Canada is starting to show,” said Hurtado. “We still have to fix some little things in the technical aspect of the program, but it feels like a good starting point for the next competitions and we’ll look for that personal best in the future.”
“It was a lot of fun for us to skate in Moscow,” added Hurtado, who trains with her partner in the capital. “It now feels like a second home to us.”
Natalia Kaliszek and Maksym Spodyriev of Poland are currently fourth (69.97). The 2019 CS Ice Star silver medalists showed very strong level 4 twizzles and rotational lift, but he made a mistake on the Finnsteps which were only given base value.
“We skated good,” said Spodyriev. “It’s our third time here in Moscow. After the mistake in the middle of the program, we started to play it safe. We’re happy with the performance, but no one is safe from mistakes.”
Lithuania’s Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius placed fifth (69.79), followed by Russia’s Anastasia Shpilevaya and Grigory Smirnov (67.04).