Last Grand Prix Final berths up for grabs in RussiaIce dancers Chock, Bates take aim at second medal of series
The sixth and last event in the 2013 Grand Prix Series, the Rostelecom Cup, takes place this week in Moscow. The Rostelecom Cup provides the last chance for athletes to earn a spot at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final next month in Fukuoka, Japan.
Headlining the event are four-time world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany, 2012 world champion Carolina Kostner of Italy and 2013 European champions Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia.
Savchenko and Szolkowy come into the event having already won the gold medal at Cup of China and are looking at qualifying for the Grand Prix Final for the eighth time. Their main competition should come from reigning Four Continents silver medalists Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch of Canada, who took silver at Skate America. Skate America bronze medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia are aiming at another podium finish, as are Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov of Russia, who will want to improve on their fourth-place finish last week at Trophée Eric Bompard.
Following his win at Skate America, Japan's Tatsuki Machida is looking to secure his spot in the Final. He will have to contend with European champion Javier Fernández of Spain, who placed just fifth at the NHK Trophy, and Cup of China silver medalist Maxim Kovtun of Russia.
In the ladies event, Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia is coming off a gold medal at Skate Canada, while Kostner took bronze in China. Elizaveta Tuktamisheva of Russia and Japan's Kanako Murakami are eying the podium as well.
Headlining the ice dance event are world bronze medalists Bobrova and Soloviev, who took silver at Cup of China. They're expecting strong competition from Skate Canada silver medalists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada. After taking bronze in China, Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates are eying the podium again. Other contenders are Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko of Russia and 2013 world junior silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France.