Ice Network

Tarasova, Morozov get best of countrymen in free

Voronov claims 10-point win; Bobrova, Soloviev make triumphant return
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By winning the gold at the Ondrej Nepela Memorial, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov outdid their more high-profile teammates, Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov. -Getty Images

Two-time European bronze medalists Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov clinched the title at the Ondrej Nepela Memorial with a convincing win in the free skate.

Tarasova and Morozov's triumph was part of Russia's dominant performance at the event, as that country's skaters hauled away all four golds and eight of the 12 total medals available.

In a virtual tie with Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov after the short program, Tarasova and Morozov outscored their teammates (and the eventual silver medalists) 128.74 to 116.86 on Saturday to nab the victory.

Performed to the John Miles song "Music," the winners' free skate was well executed, with clean side-by-side triple salchows and two huge throw triples. Their total competition score of 197.80 was 12 points more than that of the runners-up.

Bronze medalists Natalia Zabijako and Alexander Enbert were also in the gold-medal hunt going into Saturday's competition. However, like Kavaguti and Smirnov, they were unable to maintain their momentum and fell off the pace, ending with 181.38 points.

Competing internationally for the first time since the 2015 World Championships, Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier finished fourth with 172.82 points.

Sergei Voronov clinched his first title in two years Saturday, nabbing a 10-point victory in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Voronov's "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3" free skate opened with a quad toe worth 11.50 points, and he later added three high-scoring combinations: triple toe-triple toe, triple axel-double toe, triple loop-double toe-double loop. His segment-best mark of 157.21 gave him 237.42 total points.

Canada's Kevin Reynolds finished third in the free skate but maintained his silver-medal standing with 227.80 points. He attempted three quads in his program to music from the movie Grand Piano but didn't land any of them cleanly.

Russia's second medal in the men's event went to Roman Savosin, who was making his senior debut. As part of his 154-27-point free skate, Savosin landed several impressive jump elements, including a quad toe, quad salchow, triple axel-double toe, triple flip-triple toe and double axel-loop-triple salchow. He earned 222.37 points for the competition.

Alexander Johnson, representing Team USA, finished sixth with 208.64 points.

In their first competition since the 2016 European Championships, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev turned in a career-best free dance on their way to earning the gold. Their final tally was 178.74, 107.80 of which came from their free dance to "The Four Seasons." Only one of their elements garnered a Grade of Execution (GOE) below 1.0, and most of their component marks came in at 9.0 or above.

Chock and Bates, who last week won silver at the Nebelhorn Trophy, were well off their usual standard with a 98.20-point free dance. They had a misstep on their twizzles and earned generally lower GOEs and levels than the winners. Their final score was 170.92.

Russians Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro won bronze in their Challenger Series debut. Team USA's Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus finished seventh.