|1||Barbara Fusar Poli & Mauritzio Margaglio||ITA||1||1||1|
|2||Irina Lobacheva & Ilia Averbukh||RUS||2||2||2|
|3||Galit Chait & Sergey Sakhnovsky||ISR||3||3||3|
|4||Tatiana Navka & Roman Kostomarov||RUS||4||4||4|
|5||Albena Denkova & Maxim Staviyski||BUL||5||6||5|
|6||Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon||CAN||6||5||6|
|7||Sylwia Novak & Sebastian Kolasinski||POL||7||7||7|
|8||Alia Ouabdelsselam & Benjamin Delmas||FRA||8||8||8|
|9||Svetlana Kulikova & Arseni Markov||RUS||10||9||9|
|10||Zita Gebora & Andras Visontai||HUN||9||10||10|
|11||Katarina Kovalova & David Szurman||CZE||11||11||11|
The ice dancers opened the competition with the Westminster Waltz. World silver medalists Barbara Fusar Poli & Maurizio Margaglio (ITA) took the lead in spite of a slight slip by Fusar Poli. "The Waltz is not our favorite compulsory dance, but it was okay", she said. Russian Champions Irina Lobacheva & Ilia Averbukh, competing in their first Grand Prix competition of this season since they had to withdraw from Skate Canada due to illness, placed second. Their Waltz was smooth although they appeared to hold back a little. "This is our first competition, and the first one is always very difficult. All our competitors have already competed and presented themselves to the judges, while we had to cancel Skate Canada. So it is difficult for us to get into it now. We were very nervous because of that", explained Averbukh. Third in the compulsory dance were Israel's Galit Chait & Sergei Sakhnovski. "It was fifty-fifty today", commented Sakhnovski on their Waltz. "We could have done better, but we are happy with the placement. Our goal for the original dance is to go forward, of course."
The original dance this year is the rhythmic combination of two or three rhythms from the following: Foxtrot, Quickstep, Charleston, and March. World silver medalists Barbara Fusar Poli & Maurizio Margaglio from Italy retained their lead after the compulsory dance, although Margaglio stumbled during the side-by-side footwork sequence. Overall their original dance to "Putt'n' on the Ritz" was fast and expressive. "I'm human", said Margaglio on the mistake. "I lost my concentration. It happens. "Russian Champions Irina Lobacheva & Ilia Averbukh stayed in second place. Their Foxtrot and Quickstep was elegant and featured nice spins and an original lift at the end. "We are pleased. We didn't do so well in practice this morning, but tonight it was good. Again, we were nervous, but we are happy with how we've skated", Averbukh explained. Israel's Galit Chait & Sergej Sakhnovski impressed with fast and difficult side-by-side footwork, although at some points their skating lacked finesse. The Israeli team remained in third place after the original dance.
The free dance turned out to be quite dramatic, with a few of the couples experiencing unexpected complications.
Israel' s Galit Chait & Sergei Sakhnovski went out to skate first in the last warm-up group. The couple started their fast paced program to "Variations on a Theme of Paganini" by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but just when they had completed a spin, their music stopped due to a technical problem. Since they had only been skating just a few seconds, they were allowed to start from the very beginning. The pair stayed calm and produced a good free dance with dynamic footwork and strong lifts. The judges awarded them marks up to 5.7 for technique and up to 5.8 for presentation. This performance bought the Israeli couple the bronze medal, which is their second Grand Prix medal of their career (after they took the silver at Skate Canada). "This is an important victory for us", commented Sakhnovski. "We won't stop here now. We'll continue to work on the program and to improve it."
Next up were Irina Lobacheva & Ilia Averbukh. The husband and wife team presented a new free dance set to "Toccata and Fugue" by Johann Sebastian Bach. The program featured many original elements and spectacular lifts, as well as intricate footwork at high speed. However, the Russian Champions seemed to be holding back at times during their program as was the case in the compulsory dance. Lobacheva & Averbukh obtained all second place ordinals and won the silver medal in their first competition this season. "We are glad about how we've skated", said Averbukh. "The whole program was the idea of our coach Natalia Linitchuk. At first I didn't really want this classical, well known music, but Natalia convinced me. Our program is like a wind that draws two people into a crazy dance."
Barbara Fusar Poli & Maurizio Margaglio, the leaders after the original dance, drew last to skate. Margaglio had a bad fall in practice the morning of the free dance and injured his leg again, after having suffered from tendonitis in his left knee in September. The World Silver medalists decided only minutes before the Free Dance whether they would skate. "I sat in my hotel room for three hours and cooled the leg with ice", said Margaglio. I got an injection and I got another one at the rink. They bandaged my leg, and I started to do some running on the floor. We said, ok, let's try it on the ice."
Fusar Poli & Margaglio went out to skate, but their bad luck continued. After one and a half minutes into the program, a small piece of Fusar Poli's skirt came off and fell in the ice. The dancers continued to skate, but referee Courtney Jones and Assistant referee Alla Shekhovtseva decided to stop them because of the danger of a fall and injury. "We saw the piece of fabric on the ice, and we thought it's not dangerous, because it was blue and we could see it well. We told each other, let's continue", Margaglio said. "According to the rules the Referee did the right thing when he stopped up." Fusar Poli & Margaglio were not able to skate as well as in their two previous Grand Prix competitions, but their program to the soundtrack of the motion picture "Romeo and Juliet" contained innovative lifts and good footwork. Their marks ranged from 5.6 to 5.8 for technique and from 5.7 to 5.9 for presentation. All seven judges placed the Italian team first, giving them their third gold medal in as many competitions.
The second Russian team, Tatiana Navka & Roman Kostomarov, placed fourth. Their free dance still lacked flow.
Bulgaria's Albena Denkova & Maxim Staviski finished fifth. They pulled up one spot after the original dance. The team reused last year's program "Xotica" that they were not able to skate to at Europeans and Worlds last season. Denkova had been seriously injured in an accident during practice prior to the free dance at Worlds in Nice but is now recovering well.
Cup of Russia was a non-scoring event for Fusar Poli & Margaglio. They have already collected 24 points from their previous events and are qualified for the Final. Chait & Sakhnovski took 7 points and now have 16 points overall. Lobacheva & Averbukh got 9 points from the Cup of Russia and will be skating for points again next week at the Trophee Lalique in France.
Return to title page