European champion Kostornaia tops ladies short program at Rostelecom Cup

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MOSCOW, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Reigning European figure skating champion Alena Kostornaia of Russia led the women's short program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday, according to the International Skating Union (ISU).

Russia's 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva finished second, while Alexandra Trusova, also from Russia, ranked third.

Dancing to "No Time to Die" and "You Should See Me In a Crown" by Billie Eilish, Kostornaia, winner of the ISU Grand Prix Final last year, produced a double Axel, triple Lutz, triple flip-triple toeloop combination as well as three level-four spins and scored 78.84 points.

"There is something to compare (to my previous competition), this was better and I am very happy about that," said the 17-year-old. "I did not change anything in my training process after Kazan (Russian Cup event a week ago) and I had a rest, then I realized that I need to work harder," she said, adding that she hopes to bring back the triple Axel for the Russian National Championships.

Tuktamysheva, winner of the 2015 European and World championships, scored 74.70 points, while Trusova, bronze medalist at the ISU Grand Prix Final last year, earned 70.81.

ISU European silver medalist Anna Shcherbakova, also from Russia, withdrew before the short program citing illness.

In the pairs short program, Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov edged their Russian compatriots and ISU European champions Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii with a narrow lead with a score of 79.34. ISU World Junior champions Apollinariia Panfilova/Dmitry Rylov, also Russian, took the third.

The men's short program was led by Georgia's 2020 European bronze medalist Morisi Kvitelashvili, who hit a quadruple Salchow-triple toeloop, a triple Axel and quadruple toeloop in his "Amsterdam" and scored 99.56 points. Petr Gumennik of Russia came second followed by teammate Mikhail Kolyada.

European champions Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia danced to a strong lead in the rhythm dance. Teammates Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro were a solid second followed by Anastasia Skoptcova/Kirill Aleshin, also from Russia. Enditem

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