Sinitsina and Katsalapov take the lead for Russia at World Team Trophy

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships (Photo by Joosep Martinson/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

The ice dance category opened the 2021 World Team Trophy of figure skating in Japan today. With about 3,000 socially-distanced fans in attendance at the Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka, the Russians took the lead in the team competition.

As expected, the newly crowned World champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov received the highest marks in the rhythm dance event. Performing to Arthur Freed’s and Nacio Herb Brown’s Singin’ in the Rain, the World and European champions earned a total segment score of 86.66 points and earned twelve points for Russia.

Three-time Italian national champions Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri presented their rhythm dance to music from the film Grease. The longtime couple received a high segment score of 82.93 points and took second place – earning very important eleven points for Italy.

Bronze medalists at the last three U.S. National Championships, Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker performed their rhythm dance to music from the film Saturday Night Fever. The Americans earned ten points for the United States by placing third in the first event – earning a season’s best 76.79 points.

Skating to songs by ABBA from the musical Mamma Mia!, 2021 French national champions Adelina Galyavieva and Louis Tauron earned a personal best 70.34 points from the judges for their performance.

Three-time Japanese national champions Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto were the first to present their rhythm dance program today. Skating to music from the musical Dreamgirls, the married couple earned a segment score of 66.42 points.

Alternates to the World Championships almost three weeks ago, Canadian ice dancers Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus 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. They earned a rhythm dance score of 65.06 points in their only competition this season.

Rhythm dance results:

  1. Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov (Russia) – 86.66 (12 points)
  2. Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri (Italy) – 82.93 (11 points)
  3. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker (United States) – 76.79 (10 points)
  4. Adelina Galyavieva & Louis Tauron (France) – 70.34 (9 points)
  5. Misato Komatsubara & Tim Koleto (Japan) – 66.42 (8 points)
  6. Carolane Soucisse & Shane Firus (Canada) – 65.06 (7 points)

Team standings after 1 of 8 events:

  1. Russia – 12
  2. Italy – 11
  3. United States – 10
  4. France – 9
  5. Japan – 8
  6. Canada – 7

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