After a number of subpar pairs’ free skates this season, two of the best pairs in the world laid down the two best programs of the season today at Rostelecom Cup. It was World champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy who came out on top, winning the gold over Russians Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov.
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VIDEOS: Pairs’ free skate video gallery
With what was possibly their worst free skate in quite a while two weeks ago at NHK Trophy, Savchenko and Szolkowy redeemed themselves and then some with a spirited free skate that featured their trademark throw triple flip. They had one error in the program, Savchenko’s step out on her solo double axel, but the rest of their free skate was spectacular. They finished with a total of 208.69, the highest score from any pair this season.
After playing second-fiddle to compatriots Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Kavaguti and Smirnov are showing that they are in it for the fight. Their free skate was solid and flowing, with their only mistake being a step out of their throw triple loop. Their final total of 197.84 was the second highest score of the season, putting them back in the conversation of the very top pairs in the world.
Play-by-play: Pairs’ free skate
Italians Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek won their first career Grand Prix medal with the bronze after an uneven free skate. Their highlight was a strong side-by-side triple toe-double toe-double toe combination at the beginning of their program.
The only American entry in the pairs’ event, U.S. junior championsAshley Cain and Joshua Reagan,finished in sixth.
PAIRS (final standings)
1. Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy GER – 208.69
2. Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov RUS – 197.84
3. Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek ITA – 168.02
4. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov RUS – 149.66
5. Katarina Gerboldt/Alexander Enbert RUS – 148.94
6. Ashley Cain/Joshua Reagan USA – 138.02
7. Brittany Jones/Kurtis Gaskell CAN – 136.54
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