RostelecomThere is a lot on the line at 2019 Rostelecom Cup, the fifth of the six-event Grand Prix Series, which takes place in Moscow, Russia, Nov. 15-17. A number of skaters competing in their second Grand Prix events will be chasing top finishes and a trip to the Grand Prix Final (“Final”).

Alexandra Trusova headlines the ladies field. She needs to place top three at this competition to punch a ticket to the Final. That should prove to be no challenge for the 15-year-old who scored a runaway victory at her debut event, Skate Canada International two weeks earlier. Japan’s Satoko Miyahara will also be chasing a top three finish following her second-place result at Cup of China last week. Likewise, Mariah Bell of the U.S., third at Internationaux de France, needs a top-two finish to have any hope of qualifying for the Final. Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia could be the spoiler at this competition.

The competition in the men’s event will not be quite as intense. Canada’s Nam Nguyen, and Alexander Samarin and Dmitri Aliev of Russia are the frontrunners to capture the three steps of the podium. If Nguyen or Samarin place top two, they would both be guaranteed a place at the Final in December. Aliev would have to win to earn a place in Torino. Shoma Uno, who went to Switzerland train with Stéphane Lambiel (the coach of Latvia′s Deniss Vasiljevs) following the French Grand Prix rather than returning to Japan, will be looking for better performances and results than what he achieved in Grenoble. Russia′s Makar Ignatov, 2019 Nebelhorn Trophy winner, will make his senior Grand Prix debut on home soil.

The battle for gold in pairs will be between three Russian teams: Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, third at 2019 Skate America, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitri Kozlovskii, the victors in Las Vegas, and Ksenia Stolbova and Andrei Novosolev who will make their Grand Prix debut as a team. 

Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov will be challenged by Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier for the top step of the podium. Gilles and Poirier won Skate Canada International with a score that was just 0.89 of a point less than what the Russian team scored in China last weekend, so it could be a close finish. The Canadians are chasing a berth at their first Grand Prix Final and are determined not to miss the cut this season. Spain’s Sara Hutado and Kirill Khaliavin are favorites to take the bronze. 

NBC will air a recap of this competition on Sun., Nov, 17, from 12-1:30 p.m.




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