Lipnitskaia scrapes out Rostelecom Cup win
MOSCOW (AP) — Julia Lipnitskaia fell on her opening jump and put on what she called one of her biggest disappointments, but the 15-year-old Russian prodigy still edged out Carolina Kostner on Saturday by less than a point to win the Rostelecom Cup, the last of the season’s six preliminary Grand Prix events.
American Mirai Nagasu took bronze.
In pairs, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany won gold, followed by Russians Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov and Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch.
Lipnitskaia also won Skate Canada, and her second victory of the season means she qualified for the Grand Prix Final — which she missed last year due to injury. Kostner and Nagasu won’t make the final.
“I’m happy to qualify for the final with two victories, but I’m very dissatisfied with today. It was most likely my worst performance ever in competition,” she said. “I made a mistake on the first jump and wasn’t able to pull myself together.”
Lipnitskaia was well ahead of Kostner going into the free skate after a precise and ambitious short program. But after falling on her triple lutz, she put her hand down on the second jump. Kostner opened well, but later put her hands down on two jumps. She won the free skate, but ended 0.68 points behind Lipnitskaia in the overall results.
Kostner, a 26-year-old veteran and the 2012 world champion, took it in stride, saying she won’t let it distract her from preparing for the Sochi Olympics.
“I made a few mistakes, but that’s how it goes building up to an important event,” the Italian said.
Nagasu was pleased with third, after her eighth-place finish at the NHK Cup.
“I wish I could put two and two together and make it to the final, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. I’ll take it as a blessing in disguise because then I have more time to train for nationals,” she said.
Nagasu had been in fourth, just one-hundredth of a point behind compatriot Agnes Zawadzki, whose troubled free program landed her in sixth place overall.