First figure skating GP title for Georgia, Valieva leads Russian sweep at Rostelecom Cup

2021-November-29 19:04 By: Xinhua

MOSCOW, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Morisi Kvitelashvili of Georgia made history on Saturday when he won his country's first ISU figure skating Grand Prix title at the Rostelecom Cup in Sochi, Russia.

Meanwhile, Russian skaters collected the championships of al the other three events with a clean sweep of both the women's and pairs podiums.

Skating to "Fly Me to the Moon" and "My Way" in the men's free skate, Kvitelashvili, the 2020 European bronze medalist, opened with a quad Salchow-double toe, a triple Axel, quad toe-triple toe, and followed up with three more triples. His only major error came when he fell on a quad toeloop.

The program earned him 170.96 points and ranked third in the men's free skate, but moved him up from second to first at 266.33 points overall for a historical victory.

It's also Kvitelaashvili who won Georgia's first ISU Grand Prix medal in 2018.

"Not everything worked in my program, but I tried hard, I fought and I am happy to be on the podium," Kvitelashvili commented.

"We are making history and we have other great skaters in our team. We're going to have a complete team at the Olympic Games in Beijing, that's also a first," added the 26-year-old.

Russia's Mikhail Kolyada, bronze medalist of the 2018 world championships, climbed up from fourth to claim the silver, while overnight leader Kazuki Tomono of Japan settled for the bronze.

On the women's part, Kamila Valieva, just 15 years old, cemented her status as the title favourite for Beijing 2022 with another top-scoring skate in Sochi, beating fellow Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Maiia Khromykh to the second and third place.

Performing to Ravel's "Bolero", Valieva, the 2020 junior world champion, reeled off a quadruple Salchow, quad toe-triple toe, quad toe-Euler-double Salchow, triple Axel as well as four triples and difficult spins and footwork that all garnered a level four, setting a new record score of her own in free skate - 185.29 points.

Having already registered a world-record score for her short program on Friday, Valieva totaled 272.71 points and broke her own previous record of 265.08.

The 2015 worlds' champion and 2021 runner-up Tuktamysheva ranked third in free skate with a score of 149.13 but remained in silver medal position with an overall result of 229.23. Khromykh climbed from fifth to third with a personal best of 154.97 in free skate and 219.69 in total.

Reigning pairs world champions Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov overtook the first place from compatriots Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin after a dynamic performance in the free skate earned them 153.34 points for a total score of 226.98.

They were 14.39 points more than the silver medalists. Iasmina Kadyrova/Ivan Balchenko earned the bronze with 124.19 in free skate and 193.58 overall.

American-born-Chinese Audrey Lu and her partner Misha Mitrofanov, who finished fifth in the NHK Trophy on November 12-14, finished fourth in Sochi, missing a qualification to next month's GP Final.

World champions Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia won their second GP gold of the season, and Italy's Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri earned the silver, both having secured their places in the Final. The bronze went to Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen of Canada.

The GP Final will take place in Osaka, Japan on December 9-12, with top six skaters/combinations in each discipline of the season's six senior GP events qualifying for the Final. Enditem

Editor: GSY
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