Medvedeva leads Trusova after Rostelecom Cup short program

MOSCOW (AP) — Evgenia Medvedeva squeezed past rising Russian compatriot Alexandra Trusova to lead after the women’s short program in the Rostelecom Cup on Friday.

Medvedeva, a two-time world figure skating champion and Olympic silver medalist, has had a disappointing spell after a foot stress fracture and switching coaches. She placed only fifth at Skate Canada. But her program in Moscow was assured and showed her noted artistic skills.

Her program components score, especially for music interpretation, gave her the edge over Trusova in a 76.93 total.

Trusova, with 74.21, was stronger technically, including a value-added triple lutz-triple toe loop late in her program. Trusova could yet overhaul Medvedeva in the free program, if she’s able to land three quads as she did when winning Skate Canada.

Mariah Bell of the United States was third, more than nine points behind Medvedeva.

Alexander Samarin, who won silver at the French Grand Prix two weeks ago, was at the head of a Russian 1-2-3 in the men’s short program. He started with a quad lutz-triple loop combination but fell on his following quad flip attempt, ending with 92.81 points.

Dmitry Aliev, the bronze winner at Skate America, aimed for the same opening combination, but turned the quad lutz into a triple. He followed with a quad toe loop to lie second on 90.64.

Makar Ignatov was the only skater to land two quads. He was third with 87.54.

Russians also swept the top positions in the pairs short program, led by Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii, whose highly expressive skate to “My Way” scored 80.14. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov followed with 76.81 and Ksenia Stolobova and Andrei Novoselov were third at 68.74.

In ice dancing, Russian pair Victoria Snitsina and Nikita Katsalapov were in first after the rhythm dance with 86.09 points. Pipe Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada were 3.5 points behind in second, and Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin of Spain were a distant third with 72.01.

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