Radionova rises above Miller to take ladies lead
Russia's Pogorilaya sits in third; Wang lands fourth, Keiser sixth for Team USA
|Russia's Elena Radionova amassed 60.90 points to top the ladies field. (Getty Images)|
Radionova opened her program to The Fifth Element with a triple Lutz-triple toe, followed by a triple flip that got an edge call. Her three spins and footwork merited a Level 4, but the Muscovite stepped out of the double Axel.
"Today, not everything worked out," Radionova said. "I made an error on the double Axel. It was a mistake in the jump itself. I hope to skate better in the free skating.
"The most important thing for me is to please the audience, and the score then depends on the judges," she continued. "I want to be consistent and to perform well, no matter what. Today, for example, my music started five seconds late and I had to catch up with it. I am pleased that this didn't affect me."
Miller's "Tanguera" tango routine featured a double Axel, a triple flip, a triple loop-double loop combination and three Level 4 spins as well as Level 4 footwork. The 16-year-old received 59.18 points, a new season's best.
"I am very excited," Miller said. "I worked so hard for this, just doing the program over and over. I think I put out the best program I could."
Miller made some adjustments to her program that paid dividends.
"We moved the combination to the second half because it is worth a bit more points," she said. "And we put double Axel in the beginning because it is a really strong jump and it goes well with the music there.
Miller anticipates carrying her success over to the free skate.
"I'm looking forward to it a lot," she said. "I love the free skate. I love how it flows and everything about it."
Pogorilaya hit a triple Lutz-triple toe, a triple flip (with an edge call), a double Axel and three Level 4 spins in her program to Songs from the Victorious City, but she slipped in the straight line footwork. The Muscovite picked up a season's best score with 57.94 points.
"I'm trembling now," the 14-year-old said. "I was ill before, and this is my first season after the injury. It's unbelievable to be in the Final.
"There was a mistake in the step sequence, and that is upsetting, but I've done the hardest jump and my main aim of the short program: (triple) Lutz-(triple) toe loop," she continued. "I've increased the difficulty in the short program because everybody has it, and without the Lutz-toe loop, I would have no chances."
Team USA's Angela Wang placed fourth with 51.16 points.
"The first jump didn't go as I had hoped, but I feel I fought back for the rest of the program, and I'm really proud of that," Wang said.
"I'm going to skate how I have been practicing and hope for the best. My artistry has improved. I have been working a lot off ice with my choreographer, Tom Dickson. I've also made some changes to my jumps."
"I've been working on edges and performing to the audience," Keiser said. "Consistency is the biggest thing, because it's what separates skaters.
"I'm still feeling confident because I know I'm a consistent skater and I can perform better than I did today. I'll come back fighting in the long."