Ice Network

Fernández claims third straight title in Moscow

Spaniard surpasses youngster Uno; Pogorilaya dominates on home ice
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
Javier Fernández was not to be denied Saturday as he played his Elvis Presley medley free skate to the hilt. With a trio of quads and a performance quality that was second to none, Fernández captured his third consecutive gold medal at the Rostelecom Cup, and in the process became the first skater this season to break the 200-point barrier in the free skate (201.43). -Getty Images

The 2016 Rostelecom Cup concluded with some of the top performances of the year, and to no surprise, a handful of the most popular figure skaters in the sport earned a place on their respective podium.

Bobrova and Soloviev earn golden ticket

Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev danced their way to a gold medal in front of the home crowd in Moscow on Saturday night, while sending their beloved fans into a frenzy as well. Overnight leaders Madison Chock and Evan Bates were solid in their performance, but it simply wasn't enough, as the Russian duo moved ahead for the top spot on the podium. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada rounded out the top three.

Bobrova and Soloviev displayed consistent confidence throughout their dance to "Prelude No. 20" by Frederic Chopin, collecting a Level 4 for their lifts, twizzles and spin, while receiving a Level 3 grade for their step sequences. The Russian champions set a new personal best with 111.76 points, and totaled 186.68 to overtake the Americans, who led after the short dance.

"Today was a very strong performance," Soloviev said. "We were able to put together the choreography and the technique and to bring across the idea of our program."

Chock and Bates' routine to "Under Pressure" included four Level 4 elements, but Bates stumbled on the twizzles that garnered the pair only a Level 2. The 2016 world bronze medalists finished third in the free dance with 107.09 points en route to their aforementioned overall finish of second.

"We have to take a lot of positives from this week and from the last two weeks having done our two Grand Prix in a row," Bates said shortly after the performance. "Obviously, I'm very disappointed to have made a such a big mistake in the twizzles in the free dance, which obviously cost us greatly in this competition."

Dancing to "Concierto de Aranjuez," Weaver and Poje produced Level 4 lifts and twizzles as well as a Level 4 spin to register a score of 108.76 points.

Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy finished fourth with 170.45 points, while the Russian team of Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro ended the competition in fifth.

Spaniard claims another gold in Russia

Javier Fernández of Spain struck gold in the men's event, topping Skate America champion Shoma Uno by more than seven points. The victory for the Spaniard -- who was second after the short program -- was his third straight at the Rostelecom Cup, an event he continues to dominate.

The talented skater reeled off a quad toe, quad salchow-triple toe and quad salchow, while also recording two triple axels and four additional triples for a remarkable score of 201.43 points. He accumulated 292.98 points to overtake overnight leader Uno.

"My performance today was really, really good," Fernández noted. "There are not many bad things I have to say. There are a few levels missing that we have to practice, but I'm glad I fought through the program. When you fight you always have a reward, so this was the reward today."

Uno, who entered the final day with confidence following his victory in Chicago, opened his tango routine with a quad flip and followed-up with a quad toe and six additional triples -- including two axels -- but fell on the second quad toe loop. The 2015 world junior champion earned 186.48 points and slipped to second at 285.07 points.

"Like my short, my free skating wasn't quite perfect," Uno said. "I am not completely satisfied with today's program."

Israel's Alexie Bychenko collected 255.52 points to win the first Grand Prix medal for an Israeli single skater in 20 years, finishing the Rostelecom Cup in third place.

"My free program went well today, but there were a few errors and I missed some levels on the spins and footwork," Bychenko said. "There is something left for me to work on, but I am pleased with the result."

Mikhail Kolyada of Russia dropped from third to fourth after falling on a triple lutz, and ended his event with 245.30 points. U.S. skater Max Aaron (235.58 points) and Canada's Elladj Balde (225.45 points) rounded out the top six in the men's division.

Savchenko and Massot showcase dominant form

Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot skated off with the gold medal in what was their Grand Prix debut as a pair. The Russian team of Natalia Zabijako and Alexander Enbert finished second, but the performance by the Germans placed them in a league of their own.

Performing to "Lighthouse" by Patrick Watson, Savchenko and Massot completed a massive triple twist and triple toe, along with Level 4 lifts, spins and a death spiral. Despite tumbling after popping a planned throw triple axel into a double, Savchenko and Massot were strong enough to remain on the path to victory. The European silver medalists posted a new season-best of 138.38 points, bringing their total to an outstanding 207.89 points.

"Today was better than yesterday, we made a little progress," Savchenko said after the routine. "Not everything was 100 percent yet, but we are improving step by step. We prepared the throw quad salchow at home and we decided to include it into the program here."

Zabijako and Enbert's routine to "Cry Me A River" included a triple twist, a throw double axel and throw triple loop, as well as Level 4 lifts, but Zabijako missed the take-off for the side-by-side salchow and Enbert fell on the jump. The Russian duo achieved a season-best 128.01 points, but slipped to second at 197.77 points overall.

"That was a serious error on the salchow," Enbert said with disappointment in his voice. "We did a double salchow before in competition, now we went for the triple because we had done it in practice. It didn't work in competition today, but we know we can do it."

Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov finished third to give Russia another medal in the event, while the Italian pairs team of Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek fell from third to fourth overall. Canadians Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau rounded out the top five.

Pogorilaya continues winning trend for Russians

Russia's Anna Pogorilaya won the ladies gold ahead of teammate Elena Radionova in one of the most dominant displays of the event.

Performing to "The Modigliani Suite" and "Memorial," Pogorilaya pulled off a triple lutz-triple toe combination, and a triple lutz-single loop-triple salchow combo, while also nailing three additional triples and two Level 4 spins on her way to a victory. The world bronze medalist achieved a season-best score of 141.28 points and totaled 215.21 points overall to claim the gold.

"Overall I feel that I did a good job," said Pogorilaya, after besting the field by nearly 20 points. "Obviously there are some glitches that I noticed already during the performance, but my next Grand Prix is Japan, and I'll have a short break before I prepare."

Radionova's program to "Turandot" featured five clean triples, but she went down on an under-rotated triple loop. The reigning European silver medalist earned 123.67 points and accumulated 195.60 points overall.

"I can't say that I'm satisfied with my program, there was that regretful fall and some other small errors," she said. "But, this was my first Grand Prix and hopefully I can prepare well for my next Grand Prix in China."

Courtney Hicks of the United States earned the final spot on the podium after registering 182.98 points, with China's Zijun Li (181.83 points) and Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan filling out the top five.