Fernandez wins gold at Rostelecom Cup
Nov. 21, 2015
MOSCOW (AP) — Javier Fernandez of Spain won the men's gold at the Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix figure skating competition Saturday, powering back from a disappointing short program.
Elena Radionova led a Russian sweep of the women's medals, pairs gold went to Russia's Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov and Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje topped the ice dancers.
Fernandez, the reigning world champion, wasn't able to do a quad in his short program on Friday, but opened his free skate with two of them, tacking a triple toeloop onto the second one in his cheerful program to music from "Guys and Dolls."
But his aim of doing three failed when he launched badly and fell after two rotations.
"I was just so excited that the program was going so well, and I went into that third quad and made a mistake," he said.
Russian Adian Pitkeev picked up silver, his first Grand Prix medal, despite a troubled free skate that placed him fifth in the segment and dropped him from the lead after the short. Skating last because of that lead, he was unnerved by watching others do well.
"I must admit it was hard to get my act together," said Pitkeev, who tried only one quad and then took a hard fall on a triple axel. Toward the end I played it safe and conservative after that fall."
Ross Miner won bronze, to his surprise because he thought he had been outdone by fellow American Adam Rippon. But Miner's score was revised to upgrade the level of one of his spins.
Radionova landed her opening triple lutz-triple toeloop combination a bit tentatively, but was in full control for the rest of her free skate to swelling music from the movie "Titanic." She reeled off five more triples and ended with a smooth transition into a Biellmann spin.
Compatriot Evgenia Medvedeva, who started the day in third place, was tops in the free skate with several dramatic arm-raised jumps, but she did only six triples and 0.2 points ahead of Radionova wasn't enough to raise her to gold.
Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova was bronze after a free skate that showed her still somewhat off the mark following a long absence from top-tier competition due to injury. She fell once and downgraded both ends of a planned triple-double.
Her rise to the podium came at the expense of Canadian Alaine Chartrand, who had started in second but fell on three of her first four jumps and stepped out of the one where she stayed vertical.
Stolbova's and Klimov's opening triple twist had such ease and speed as to appear nonchalant, but there was some fraying when Stolbova singled the final piece of a triple-triple-double and put her hand down on a triple salchow.
Klimov's assessment was cryptic: "There were mistakes that were visible and mistakes that couldn't be seen ... In any case, we're satisfied."
Compatriots Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov finished in second, after she fell on both attempts at a quad throw. China's Cheng Peng and Zhang Hao managed a quadruple twist, but took a hard fall on the attempt at a quad salchow.
Weaver and Poje were followed by Italy's Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte and Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.
The Italians were the 2014 world champions and Katsapalov holds Olympic gold, "so it was a tough competition," Weaver said.