Anna Shcherbakova wins ladies event, leads Russia to first World Team Trophy victory

Anna Shcherbakova at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

The 2021 World Team Trophy came to an end on Saturday and it was a major success for the Russian figure skaters – in the final event, Anna Shcherbakova won the country’s sixth of eight events and Russia celebrated their first ever victory in the competition’s history.

2021 World champion Anna Shcherbakova landed but stepped out on the landing of her opening quad flip, and then followed that up with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. The 17-year-old from Eteri Tutberidze’s team completed two double axels, the difficult triple Lutz-triple loop combination, a triple flip-Euler-triple Salchow combination, and finally a triple Lutz. She earned 160.58 points for the free skate and won the event by over ten points.

Sixth at the World Championships three weeks ago, 2019 Japanese national champion Kaori Sakamoto landed her opening double axel and then a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. Skating to The Matrix by Don Davis, the 21-year-old from Kobe delivered an outstanding performance – landing a triple Lutz, a triple Salchow, a double axel-triple toe loop-double toe loop combination, a triple flip-double toe loop combination, and a triple loop after her now-famous pass by the judges with her skate extended towards them. She received a free skate score of 150.29 points and placed second, earning eleven points for Japan.

Captain of the Russian team Elizaveta Tuktamysheva began her free skate routine with a triple axel-double toe loop combination and landed another triple axel right after. Skating to Chronicles of a Mischievous Bird by Bhima Yunusov, the 23-year-old landed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination, a triple flip, managed a double axel-Euler-triple Salchow combination, landed a triple Lutz, and finally a triple loop. She earned a total score of 146.23 points and Russia was announced in first place with Shcherbakova yet to skate.

Two-time U.S. national champion Bradie Tennell opened her free skate program with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. Skating to Sarajevo by Max Richter and Dawn of Faith by Eternal Eclipse, the 23-year-old from Illinois landed a double axel, a triple loop, and a triple Salchow leading into the second half of the routine. Tennell landed a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination, another double axel, and a triple flip-Euler-triple loop combination at the end to finish the season on a high note. She earned a score of 133.19 points.

Two-time Japanese national champion Rika Kihira brought back last season’s free skate program: International Angel of Peace. She began her routine with a triple Salchow and then a double axel-triple toe loop combination, opting not to try a triple axel. The 18-year-old landed a triple Lutz, another double axel-triple toe loop combination, but then fell on the second jump in a triple flip-double toe loop combination. She landed a second triple Salchow and a triple loop at the end of her performance. Kihira earned a score of 132.39 points.

Fourth at the World Championships three weeks ago, Karen Chen began her free skate with a double axel-triple toe loop combination in Osaka. The 2017 U.S. national champion landed a triple Lutz, a triple flip, and a triple loop in the first half of the routine. Skating to Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto by Takako Nishizaki, the 21-year-old American fell on a triple Lutz in the second half and struggled on a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination but all in all delivered a delightful performance, earning a score of 127.24 points.

2021 Italian national champion Lara Naki Gutmann began her free skate with a triple Lutz and a triple loop. Skating to Scheherezade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the 18-year-old then completed a double axel and a double axel-double toe loop combination. She stumbled on the entry into a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination and fell on the triple toe loop-Euler-triple Salchow combination. Gutmann landed a triple toe loop at the end of her routine and received a total segment score of 119.14 points.

Runner-up at last season’s Canadian nationals, Chinese-born Alison Schumacher opened her free skate routine with just a double Lutz. Skating to Once Upon a Time in the West by Ennio Morricone, the 18-year-old landed a double axel-triple toe loop combination in her next jumping sequence and then a triple flip-double toe loop combination. She landed a triple loop, managed to complete a triple Salchow-double toe loop-double loop combination, successfully landed a triple Salchow, and then finished with another double axel. Schumacher received a score of 111.98 points.

16-year-old Ginevra Lavinia Negrello attempted a double axel-triple toe loop combination to start her free skate performance, in her first major senior competition. Runner-up at the 2021 Italian nationals, she landed a triple Lutz and a triple flip, and then a triple loop-Euler-double Salchow combination. Skating to La terre vue du ciel, she landed a triple loop and then only managed a single toe loop-double toe loop combination before finishing her jumping sequences with a double axel. The young Italian earned a score of 110.65 points.

2017 World bronze medalist Gabrielle Daleman began her performance with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and then managed to complete a triple flip. Skating to music from Samson and Delilah, the 23-year-old fought for a triple loop and landed a double axel, and then landed a double axel-double toe loop combination. She fell on the triple Lutz attempt but managed a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination at the end. The Canadian received a free skate score of 107.30 points.

Two-time runner up at French nationals, 17-year-old Maia Mazzara started her performance with a double axel-triple toe loop combination but fell on a triple Lutz attempt. Skating to Cum Dederit from Home, Mazzara managed a triple loop and held on to a triple loop-Euler-triple Salchow combination. She landed a triple flip-double toe loop combination but then popped the following flip attempt. Mazzara landed one more double axel and received a free skate score of 100.11 points from the judges.

Reigning French national champion Lea Serna was the first to skate and began her free skate routine with a triple flip, and then a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination. Skating to Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey, the 21-year-old was strong at the start with two more double axels but she struggled on the subsequent triple flip-Euler-double Salchow combination and doubled a Lutz. She completed the triple Salchow at the end and earned a score of 97.63 points.

Ladies’ free skate results:

  1. Anna Shcherbakova (Russia) – 160.58 (12 points)
  2. Kaori Sakamoto (Japan) – 150.29 (11 points)
  3. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (Russia) – 146.23 (10 points)
  4. Bradie Tennell (United States) – 133.19 (9 points)
  5. Rika Kihira (Japan) – 132.39 (8 points)
  6. Karen Chen (United States) – 127.24 (7 points)
  7. Lara Naki Gutmann (Italy) – 119.14 (6 points)
  8. Alison Schumacher (Canada) – 111.98 (5 points)
  9. Ginevra Lavinia Negrello (Italy) – 110.65 (4 points)
  10. Gabrielle Daleman (Canada) – 107.30 (3 points)
  11. Maia Mazzara (France) – 100.11 (2 points)
  12. Lea Serna (France) – 97.63 (1 point)

Ladies’ overall results:

  1. Anna Shcherbakova (Russia) – 241.65 (24 points)
  2. Kaori Sakamoto (Japan) – 228.07 (21 points)
  3. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (Russia) – 226.58 (21 points)
  4. Rika Kihira (Japan) – 202.13 (17 points)
  5. Bradie Tennell (United States) – 200.59 (17 points)
  6. Karen Chen (United States) – 189.72 (14 points)
  7. Lara Naki Gutmann (Italy) – 179.59 (12 points)
  8. Alison Schumacher (Canada) – 171.17 (9 points)
  9. Ginevra Lavinia Negrello (Italy) – 170.20 (9 points)
  10. Gabrielle Daleman (Canada) – 164.52 (6 points)
  11. Maia Mazzara (France) – 155.42 (4 points)
  12. Lea Serna (France) – 152.91 (2 points)

Final team standings:

  1. Russia – 125
  2. United States – 110
  3. Japan – 107
  4. Italy – 72
  5. France – 67
  6. Canada – 57

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