The competition at Rostelecom Cup concluded Saturday in Moscow, Russia with the Free Skating and the Free Dance. Rostelecom Cup was the fourth of six events in the 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.

Kiira Korpi (FIN) strikes gold
Kiira Korpi of Finland struck gold. U.S. skaters Gracie Gold and Agnes Zawadzki claimed the silver and bronze medals.

Performing to “Once Upon a Time in America”, Korpi landed a triple toe-triple toe combination and three more triple jumps but missed a triple loop (underrotated). Two spins and the footwork garnered a level four and the European silver medalist scored a new seasons best of 115.64 points. She totaled 177.19 points to win the second Grand Prix event of her career. “I am really happy about my skating today. I made some mistakes on my easiest jump, the loop”, Korpi said. “These were a hard two weeks, first in China and now here and in practice I felt tired. The six minutes warm up were not so great, but I had Sochi (the Grand Prix Final) on my mind and I decided that I want to go there”, she continued.

Gold’s program to “Life Is Beautiful” included a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and two triple flips, but she doubled a loop and Salchow. The 17-year-old achieved a new seasons best with 112.87 points and slipped to second at 175.03 points. “I was okay with my performance today. There were a lot of flaws and there is room to improve. So I’m looking forward to skating the program even better. Getting a medal (here) is such a confidence boost”, the World Junior silver medalist told the press.

Zawadzki produced three triple jumps and three level-four spins in her program to “Rhapsody in Blue”, but two other triples were underrotated. The American picked up 106.43 points which added up to 166.61 overall. “There were a couple of flaws, but overall I think it was a pretty good first performance in my first Grand Prix. I’ve got a history of not doing great longs so of the season and I think it’s step in the right direction. I think it’s a good step for Japan (NHK Trophy) that I have in a couple of weeks”, Zawadzki noted.

Korpi now tops the Grand Prix standings with 26 points.

Kanako Murakami (JPN) moved up from sixth to fourth at 166.34 points. Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) and Alena Leonova (RUS) followed in fifth (157.98 points) and sixth place (157.27 points).

Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) skate to gold
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov of Russia skated to the gold. Teammates Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov took silver medal and the bronze went to Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA).

Volosozhar/Trankov’s program to “Violin Muse” was highlighted by a triple twist and difficult level-four lifts, but he crashed on the triple toe and she went down on the throw triple loop. The European Champions earned 132.79 points and accumulated 207.53 points overall. “Maybe we were too well prepared. We did not expect the fall on the throw, but overall it felt good to skate. Now we’ll get ready for the Final. There we can’t win so easily”, Trankov told the press.

Performing to “Spartacus”, Bazarova/Larionov completed a triple toe, triple twist and throw triple loop but they struggled with a lift and the double Axel-double Axel sequence. The European silver medalists scored 125.06 points and totaled 191.08 points. “We made some mistakes, not just on the jumps, but more unexpectedly on a lift. But we fulfilled our goal to show our new program and to show more emotions. At the next competition we’ll have to focus more on the elements”, Bazarova said.

Denney/Coughlin produced a triple twist, throw triple loop and triple toe as well as strong lifts to score a seasons best of 120.19 points. The U.S. Champions scored 179.21 points. “We were excited with our free skate. We made some improvements, both technically and in our components. We achieved some levels that we knew we were capable of and it felt like we had good energy throughout the performance”, Coughlin pointed out.

Paige Lawrence/Rudi Swiegers (CAN) remained in fourth place at 154.16 points and Anastasia Martiusheva/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) placed fifth (150.15 points).

Volosozhar/Trankov have qualified with two victories for the Grand Prix Final.

Patrick Chan (CAN) claims gold
Patrick Chan of Canada claimed the gold medal in the Men’s event. Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka took silver and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic clinched the bronze.

Chan opened his routine to “La Boheme” with a quad-triple toeloop combination followed by a quad toeloop and a triple Lutz. He went on to produce two more triples and three level-four spins, but doubled a loop and the Axel. The two-time World Champion scored a seasons best of 176.91 points and racked up 262.35 points. “After Skate Canada, I really wanted to go back home and work on the quad. That was my priority. I am very happy with the program today. I was very happy with the quad-triple, it felt really smooth. The second quad wasn’t perfect, but I used a little more strength to do it”, Chan told the press.

Kozuka’s program to “Capriccio et Rondo Capricioso” included a triple Axel and three other clean triple jumps as well as fast spins, but he underrotated his two quadruple toeloops and fell on the second one. The Japanese picked up 153.65 points and pulled up from third to second at 229.99 points. “I had a lower score than at Skate America, because I underrotated the two quads and I fell. I want to fix these things for the Grand Prix Final”, Kozuka noted.

Brezina fell on his opening quadruple Salchow but rallied back to land six triple jumps including two Axels in his routine to “The Untouchables”. The Czech skater earned 150.73 points and rose from sixth to third at 224.56 points. “The long program was a little disappointing in the beginning but then it was better than I expected. I am pretty happy with the result, because it wasn’t my best skate, and I’m still ended up on the podium”, the 22-year-old commented.

Konstantin Menshov (RUS) slipped from second to fourth at 223.72 points and Nobunari Oda (JPN) moved up from eighth to fifth at 217.92 points. Richard Dornbush (USA) finished sixth (210.89 points). Johnny Weir (USA) withdrew due to a hip injury before the Free Skating.

Chan and Kozuka advance to the Grand Prix Final.

Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) collect gold
Canada’s Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir collected the gold medal at the conclusion of the competition at Rostelecom Cup. Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia danced to the silver and Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin, also from Russia, took the bronze medal.

Virtue/Moir’s passionate “Carmen” Free Dance was highlighted by innovative lifts and smooth step sequences. The two-time World Champions picked up a level four for the lifts, the twizzles and the spin to score 103.34 points. The Olympic Champions totaled 173.99 points. “It was a very strong skate for us. We are happy with how we have started the season so far. At the first two competitions, we learned a lot and we’re looking forward to improve on that moving forward to the Grand Prix Final”, Moir stated.

Ilinykh/Katsalapov’s dance to “The Ghost” musical included level-four twizzles and lifts while the two step sequences were a level three. However, Ilinykh fell on a transition move early on in the program. The European bronze medalists earned 92.76 points and remained in second place at 158.46 points. “We were a little nervous today, more to than yesterday”, admitted Katsalapov. “In spite of the fall, it felt comfortable to skate today. Our elements were decent, but we still have to work. Now we have one week to fix some things before (the Grand Prix in) Japan”, he added.

Sinitsina/Zhiganshin turned in a solid Tango routine and got a level four for five out of eight elements.The 2012 World Junior Champions posted a new seasons best with 84.23 points and held on to third place at 145.08 points. “We skated at home and the support helped us a lot. China was our first Grand Prix and we were a little tense, but now we had nothing to lose and just enjoyed skating”, Sinitsina shared.

Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) came fourth with 140.91 points. They had to stop their performance as he suffered from a spasm in his leg, but they continued. Nelli Zhiganshina/ Alexander Gaszi (GER) placed fifth at 140.54 points.

Virtue/Moir have qualified for the Grand Prix Final with the maximum of 30 points.