Viktoriia Safonova wins Denis Ten Memorial Challenge in Kazakhstan

Viktoriia Safonova at the 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy on September 25, 2021 in Oberstdorf, Germany. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

This week in Kazakhstan, Belarussian figure skater Viktoriia Safonova was first in both the short program and the free skate events and captured her first gold medal on the International Skating Union (ISU) Challenger Series circuit – at the 2021 Denis Ten Memorial Challenge.

The 18-year-old competitor began her free skate routine with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and then completed two double axels and a triple flip. In the second half of the performance, Safonova also landed a triple Lutz-Euler-triple Salchow combination, a triple loop, and a triple loop-double toe loop combination. Bronze medalist at the Nebelhorn Trophy in September, which qualified Belarus a spot in the women’s event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, and gold medalist at Ice Star earlier this month, the two-time Belarussian national champion received a score of 123.39 points for the free skate presentation and earned a total competition score of 190.06 points.

Fourth at the Budapest Trophy two weeks ago, only behind three Russian representatives, Azerbaijani figure skater Ekaterina Ryabova was third after the short program in Kazakhstan but rose to the silver medal position after the free skate. The 18-year-old began her long program with a triple Lutz and triple loop, later also completing a triple flip and a triple Salchow. To complete her jumping sequences, Ryabova landed her three combinations towards the end of the routine – a double axel-triple toe loop combination, a double axel-double toe loop-double toe loop combination, and a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. The final jump in the last combination was, unfortunately, downgraded. Ryabova received a free skate score of 115.73 points and earned a total competition result of 179.50 points.

15-year-old Ukrainian figure skater Anastasiia Shabotova fell on her opening triple axel attempt but completed the triple axel in the following jumping sequence. Fifth at the Nebelhorn Trophy in September and bronze medalist at Ice Star earlier in October, Shabotova was second after the short program but had a difficult outing in the free skate event and dropped a spot down to third place overall. Skating to music from the James Bond film series, Shabotova popped a Lutz in a combination with a double toe loop in her third jumping sequence but then successfully completed a triple loop, a double axel-Euler-triple Salchow combination, a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination, and a triple flip. She received a score of 111.29 points for her free skate performance and earned a total competition score of 175.21 points.

Final Results

  1. Viktoriia Safonova (BLR) – 190.06
  2. Ekaterina Ryabova (AZE) – 179.50
  3. Anastasiia Shabotova (UKR) – 175.21
  4. Emmi Peltonen (FIN) – 160.91
  5. Alexandra Feigin (BUL) – 146.52
  6. Nargiz Süleymanova (GER) – 136.99
  7. Kristina Isaev (GER) – 135.62
  8. Anastassiya Lobanova (KAZ) – 96.58
  9. Yasmin Tekik (KAZ) – 96.07
  10. Bagdana Rakhishova (KAZ) – 94.08
    WD – Maïa Mazzara (FRA) – 9th after short program (34.27)

Judges’ Scores

Ice Dance; results after rhythm dance:

  1. Anastasia SKOPTSOVA / Kirill ALESHIN (RUS) – 78.39
  2. Elizaveta KHUDAIBERDIEVA / Egor BAZIN (RUS) – 77.08
  3. Alexandra NAZAROVA / Maxim NIKITIN (UKR) – 75.46
  4. Viktoria SEMENJUK / Ilya YUKHIMUK (BLR) – 63.07
  5. Lou TERREAUX / Noe PERRON (FRA) – 60.48
  6. Marie DUPAYAGE / Thomas NABAIS (FRA) – 59.81
  7. Gaukhar NAURYZOVA / Boyisangur DATIEV (KAZ) – 55.49

Judges’ Scores

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