Anna Shcherbakova wins in Sochi

Anna Shcherbakova (Photo by @aliz_red_skating)

Two-time Russian National champion Anna Shcherbakova was less than a point behind Daria Usacheva after the short program. The 16-year-old landed a clean opening quad flip attempt and followed up with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. Gold medalist at the first stage of the Cup of Russia series, Shcherbakova landed two good double axels and presented her typical top-notch artistry throughout. In the second half of the performance, she settled for a triple Lutz instead of a combination, and then landed a triple flip-Euler-triple Salchow, but made a mistake on her final combination. The triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination cost her points, as she had already done three triple toe loops in the performance. She received a high score of 239.91 points and did enough for another gold medal.

Leader after the short program with a score of 78.41 points, 14-year-old Usacheva landed a double axel to start her free skate performance. Skating to music from Romeo and Juliet, Eteri Tutberidze’s second skater landed a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination, a triple loop, and another double axel in an amazing start. After a good triple Lutz-Euler-triple Salchow combination, the bronze medalist at the last stage of the Cup of Russia series fell on her triple flip-triple toe loop combination. Still, she earned a total competition score of 225.19 points and successfully won another medal at the senior level this season.

Former World and European champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva opened her free skate with a solid triple axel. She landed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination on her next jumping sequence, and managed to hang on to a triple flip afterwards. Tuktamysheva singled an axel in a combination during the second half of her routine and made a few errors on subsequent jumps. Third after the short program and only 0.11 points behind Shcherbakova, Tuktamysheva received a total score of 213.26 points and won bronze.

2019 European champion Sofia Samodurova was fifth after the short program. The 18-year-old skater opened her performance with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. A fast-paced and energetic start also saw her land a triple Lutz, a triple loop, and a double axel in the first half of the routine. Samodurova singled an axel in the second half of her free skate but the great start and no falls was enough to move up a position in the competition with a total score of 193.05 points.

Seventh at last season’s Russian National Championship, 18-year-old Anastasiia Guliakova started her free skate performance with a solid triple flip-triple toe loop combination and a triple Lutz and triple loop. One of three skaters of coach Alexei Mishin in the competition, Guliakova delivered a technically sound first half of the program but fell on a double axel and then a triple loop in the back end of the routine. She earned a total score of 186.44 points and finished in fifth place.

St. Petersburg native Elizaveta Nugumanova was less than five points behind the top five after the short program. Skating to Zayn’s Pillowtalk, the 18-year-old opened her program with a triple Lutz. After shaky landings on her first two triples, she landed solid double axel-Euler-triple Salchow and triple loop-double toe loop combinations. A pleasant skater to watch, Nugumanova earned a total score of 179.65 points and placed among the six strongest ladies in the competition.

Seventh after the short program, Stanislava Molchanova began her free skate with a good double axel. The local Sochi skater landed a double Lutz-Euler-triple Salchow combination next, and managed to stay upright on a triple flip attempt around midway through the routine. She fell on a triple Lutz in the second half of the performance but delivered an enjoyable performance overall. Sixth at the first stage of the Cup of Russia series, the 16-year-old received a total score of 171.83 points in her hometown – over twenty one more points than she did in Syzran.

Bronze medalist at the N.A. Panin Memorial competition last week, Arina Andreeva opened her free skate routine with a triple-triple combination. Eighth in the short program, the 15-year-old made a few technical errors but didn’t fall and received a total competition score of 148.31 points.

Last at the second stage of the Cup of Russia series, Alina Zabora had a slightly better outing this time. Skating to Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up, she began her performance with a triple loop. At the previous competition, the 17-year-old skater had received a total score of 132.46 points. She earned a total score of 135.26 points this time.

Tenth after the short program, Ekaterina Monic opened her free skate performance with a triple flip-double toe loop combination attempt. A tough competition for the 17-year-old, she struggled on most of her jumping sequences and received a total score of 128.23 points.

Full results:

  1. Anna Shcherbakova – 239.91
  2. Daria Usacheva – 225.19
  3. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva – 213.26
  4. Sofia Samodurova – 193.05
  5. Anastasiia Guliakova – 186.44
  6. Elizaveta Nugumanova – 179.65
  7. Stanislava Molchanova – 171.83
  8. Arina Andreeva – 148.21
  9. Alina Zabora – 135.26
  10. Ekaterina Monic – 128.23
    WD – Maria Kirsanova

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