Shcherbakova and Tuktamysheva extend Russia’s lead at World Team Trophy

Anna Shcherbakova at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

After Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov put Russia at the top of the team standings in the first event at the 2021 World Team Trophy, the two World champions in the ladies’ category extended their country’s lead.

Newly crowned 2021 World champion Anna Shcherbakova landed a triple axel and then a triple flip to begin her short program performance. Skating to Elegie: O Doux printemps d’autrefois, the 17-year-old from Eteri Tutberidze’s team – accompanied to this competition by coach Sergei Dudakov – completed the difficult triple Lutz-triple loop combination and earned a personal best score of 81.07 points.

2015 World champion and 2021 World silver medalist Elizaveta Tuktamysheva landed her opening triple axel attempt. Performing her short program routine to Lovely by Billie Eilish and Khalid, the 24-year-old from St. Petersburg also landed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and a triple flip. The captain of the Russian team earned a total score of 80.35 points. Combined with Shcherbakova, the Russian ladies earned a maximum twenty-three points towards the team standings.

Japanese national silver medalist Kaori Sakamoto opened her short program performance with a double axel and a triple Lutz. Skating to Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, the 21-year-old completed the jumping sequences with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. Sixth at this year’s Worlds, the 2019 national champion received a personal best score of 77.78 points.

Two-time Japanese national champion Rika Kihira attempted a triple axel to begin her short program but fell. Skating to choreography by Benoit Richaud to The Fire Within, the 18-year-old successfully completed a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a triple
loop, and the cartwheel headed into an impressive step sequence. She earned a total score of 69.74 points. Together with Sakamoto, the Japanese ladies did what they could to move their team from fifth to second place after two of eight events.

Two-time U.S. national champion Bradie Tennell began her short program routine with a double axel. Skating to Moderation by Florence and the Machine, the 23-year-old from Illinois completed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and a triple flip. She earned a total segment score of 67.40 points.

Fourth at the World Championships over two weeks ago, 2017 U.S. national champion Karen Chen began her short program performance with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination – unfortunately falling on the sequence. Skating to Katy Perry’s Rise, the 21-year-old landed a double axel and a triple loop. She received a total segment score of 62.48 points.

Italian national champion Lara Naki Gutmann began her short program performance with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination, holding on to a tight landing on the second of the two jumps. Skating to music from the film The Sheltering Sky, the 18-year-old successfully completed a triple Lutz and then a double axel. She earned a season’s best score of 60.45 points.

This season’s Italian national silver medalist Ginevra Lavinia Negrello began the ladies’ short program event. Skating to music from Game of Thrones, the 16-year-old landed her opening triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and then completed a triple loop and a double axel. Performing in her first major competition, Negrello received 59.55 points from the judges.

Last season’s Canadian national silver medalist, Alison Schumacher landed her opening triple flip-triple toe loop combination. Skating to Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune, the Chinese-born figure skater also landed a double axel and a triple loop. She received a total short program result of 59.19 points.

2017 World bronze medalist and gold medalist at the team event of the 2018 Olympic Games, Canada’s Gabrielle Daleman struggled in her short program performance. The 23-year-old began her routine with a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination but stepped out on the second jump. Skating to music from the opera Carmen, she landed a double axel but then doubled a planned triple Lutz. She earned a total segment score of 57.22 points.

Both of the Canadian representatives did not participate at the World Championships almost three weeks ago. They were assigned to the World Team Trophy because of Canada’s mandatory two-week quarantine – meaning none of the Canadian athletes from the World team were able to travel to Japan.

Two-time silver medalist at the French National Championships, Maia Mazzara opened her short program routine with a double axel. Skating to choreography by Benoit Richaud to the song Je vole, the 17-year-old landed a triple Lutz – but could not hold the landing – and then landed a triple flip-triple toe loop combination – unfortunately double-footing the landing on the second part of the sequence. She earned a total segment score of 55.31 points.

French national champion Lea Serna performed a nicely choreographed routine to Ludovico Einaudi’s Experience but had issued with a jumps. She began the performance with a double axel and then landed a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination – the second jump in the combination was intended to be a triple. She fell on her final jumping sequence – a triple flip – and received a score of 55.28 points.

Ladies’ short program results:

  1. Anna Shcherbakova (Russia) – 81.07 (12 points)
  2. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (Russia) – 80.35 (11 points)
  3. Kaori Sakamoto (Japan) – 77.78 (10 points)
  4. Rika Kihira (Japan) – 69.74 (9 points)
  5. Bradie Tennell (United States) – 67.40 (8 points)
  6. Karen Chen (United States) – 62.48 (7 points)
  7. Lara Naki Gutmann (Italy) – 60.45 (6 points)
  8. Ginevra Lavinia Negrello (Italy) – 59.55 (5 points)
  9. Alison Schumacher (Canada) – 59.19 (4 points)
  10. Gabrielle Daleman (Canada) – 57.22 (3 points)
  11. Maia Mazzara (France) – 55.31 (2 points)
  12. Lea Serna (France) – 55.28 (1 point)

Team standings after 2 of 8 events:

  1. Russia – 35
  2. Japan – 27
  3. United States – 25
  4. Italy – 22
  5. Canada – 14
  6. France – 12

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