Alexandra Trusova wins at the second stage of the Cup of Russia

Alexandra Trusova

16-year-old Russian figure skating star Alexandra Trusova successfully rebounded in her first competition this season – she started the day third but performed an impressive array of jumps to win the second stage of the Cup of Russia series.

Two-time World Junior champion Trusova opened her performance with a quad Lutz, which she nearly fell on. The “quad queen” then landed a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination and then nailed another quad toe loop. She opted for a double axel, instead of a triple attempt this time, but much improved artistry allowed her to gain more points and she earned a total score of 240.59 points – enough for first place.

Leader after the short program, 14-year-old Kamila Valieva fell on her opening quad toe loop attempt. She immediately landed the very next quad toe loop-double toe loop combination and quickly regrouped and regained focused but again made mistakes on two consecutive triple Lutz attempts in the second half of the performance, costing her valuable points. Breath taking extensions, beautiful artistry, and great spins raised her total program component score but her overall competition score of 233.70 points dropped her to second position.

Silver medalist at last season’s World Junior Championship, Daria Usacheva began her program with a clean double axel, just as in the short program. She followed up with a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination and then a triple loop. The 14-year-old appear to almost have snatched the win – performing incredible spins, demonstrating amazing musicality, and being the only one of the top three not to fall in the free skate – but a lack of quads kept Usacheva in the bronze medal position, receiving a total score of 233.20 points, just half of a point shy of Valieva.

The often underrated Anna Frolova began her performance with a double axel. She landed a beautiful triple Lutz and another beautiful triple loop, but lost points on a fall attempting a second triple Lutz in the back end of the performance. Second at the first stage in Syzran, 15-year-old Frolova was fourth here after the short program; a total score of 201.92 points maintained her in that position.

20-year-old Stanislava Konstantinova continued her return to competitive shape. After struggling last season, Konstantinova transferred to Angels of Plushenko before the season where she works with coach Alexander Volkov. She opened her free skate with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and followed that up with a double axel-Euler-triple Salchow combination. She singled an axel attempt but held on without falling in the performance. Fifth after the short program, Stasya received a total score of 196.83 points and remained fifth overall.

16-year-old Valeria Shulskaya landed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination to start her free skate performance and she never looked back. A clean and consistent outing – landing every jump and presenting good musicality – earned her a total score of 189.02 points. Sixth after the short program, Shulskaya held on to the position.

Maria Talalaykina began her program with a quick double axel. She fell on her triple flip attempt but successfully landed her remaining jumps. Strong triple Lutz-triple toe loop and then triple Salchow-double toe loop-double loop combinations, as well as her final triple Lutz improved her standing in the competition. The 18-year-old was eighth after a tough outing in the short program but a quality free skate earned her a total score of 171.58 points and she improved to seventh position.

Seventh after the short program, Arina Onishchenko had an unfortunate start to her free skate by tripping on her toe picks and falling. Impressive in the first program, Onishchenko maintained her composure by catching up to the music but fell twice in a row during the second half of the performance – on a triple Lutz and a triple loop. She earned a total score of 155.34 points, with four points deducted due to the falls, and dropped to eighth place.

Anna Sidorova, from the Konek Tchaikovskaia branch of Sambo-70, fell on her opening triple-triple combination and made errors on the landings of a couple other jumps, including a double-footed triple flip late in the program. A total score of 152.73 points kept her in ninth position.

Vita Kareva of Omsk Oblast opened her free skate program with a nice triple loop and a double-Euler-double combination. She looked much better and more energized than in the short program. Kareva spent a while training in pairs’ skating before transferring to singles; she kept tenth position in the competition with a total score of 140.35 points.

Last after the short program, 17-year-old Alina Zabora skated to Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up. She fell on her first jump and singled a loop attempt; the raw and inexperienced athlete, representing Krasnodar Krai, earned a total competition score of 132.46 points and remained eleventh.

Full results:

  1. Alexandra Trusova – 240.59
  2. Kamila Valieva – 233.70
  3. Daria Usacheva – 233.20
  4. Anna Frolova – 201.92
  5. Stanislava Konstantinova – 196.83
  6. Valeria Shulskaya – 189.02
  7. Maria Talalaykina – 171.58
  8. Arina Onishchenko – 155.34
  9. Anna Sidorova – 152.73
  10. Vita Kareva – 140.35
  11. Alina Zabora – 132.46

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