The fourth and final discipline of the 2021 World Team Trophy began on Friday; in the fourth of eight events so far – Russia placed first for the third time and increased their lead at the top of the team standings over the United States and Japan.
To no surprise, newly crowned World champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov were the best couple in the short program of the pairs’ event. Skating to La Esmeralda by Cesare Pugni, the Russians showcased a quality performance. They began their routine by completing an effortless triple twist lift and then Mishina landed a triple Lutz throw. They made a mistake on the triple Salchow, as Galliamov doubled the attempt. But they received a high total score of 73.77 points to convincingly earn Russia another twelve points.
Six-time Italian national champions Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise began their short program performance with a side-by-side triple Salchow. Skating to the Let It Be version from the film Across the Universe, the Italians completed a good triple twist lift but Della Monica had a double-footed landing on the triple loop throw. They earned a score of 66.09 points, earning a much needed eleven points for Italy.
Skating together for the second season, last year’s Japanese national champions Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara started their routine with a triple twist lift. Performing their short program to Hallelujah by k.d. land, Miura fell during the side-by-side triple toe loop sequence but later landed the triple Lutz throw. They received 65.82 points in front of their home country crowd and earned ten points to cut Japanese deficit against the U.S.
U.S. national champions in their first season together, Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier successfully began their short program performance with a triple twist lift and a side-by-side triple toe loop. Skating to Tommee Profitt’s version of Linkin Park’s In the End, Knierim later fell on the triple loop throw. The Americans received a total segment score of 65.68 points and place fourth which earned the United States nine points in the overall team standings.
Two-time French national champions Cleo Hamon and Denys Strekalin began their performance with a side-by-side triple toe loop. Hamon and Strekalin completed each technical element without major mistakes and earned a score of 61.37 points from the judges.
Alternates to the World Championships almost three weeks ago, Canadian pair Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland 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 short program score of 54.91 points in their only competition this season.
Pairs’ short program results:
- Anastasia Mishina & Aleksandr Galliamov (Russia) – 73.77 (12 points)
- Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise (Italy) – 66.09 (11 points)
- Riku Miura & Ryuichi Kihara (Japan) – 65.82 (10 points)
- Alexa Knierim & Brandon Frazier (United States) – 65.68 (9 points)
- Cleo Hamon & Denys Strekalin (France) – 61.37 (8 points)
- Lori-Ann Matte & Thierry Ferland (Canada) – 54.91 (7 points)
Team standings after 4 of 8 events:
- Russia – 61
- United States – 56
- Japan – 52
- Italy – 36
- France – 34
- Canada – 30