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Rostelecom Cup Fourth Stop On Grand Prix Tour

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2012/2013 descends on Moscow for the  Rostelecom Cup 2012 this weekend as we enter the latter half of the six week global  odyssey.  Two World champions will participate as the race heats up to secure Grand  Prix Final places.

Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov
It has been a rough start to the season for Patrick Chan. The two-time World champion finished dead last at the Japan Open and was roundly defeated by Javier  Fernandez two weeks ago at Skate Canada. He is still on course to make it to Sochi next month, but nothing less than a top two finish will do.

In contrast to the Canadian, Takahiko Kozuka got the best possible start to his season when he recorded a win at Skate America last month. A podium place should be  enough to see him qualify for his third Grand Prix Final.

Takahiko Kozuka

Nobunari Oda placed right behind Chan at Skate Canada winning a bronze, but he will  likely have to come away with gold from Moscow if he is to have any chance of  advancing to the Grand Prix Final. The 2006 Four Continents champion hasn't managed  to do so since 2010.

The Rostelecom Cup will see the comeback of Johnny Weir who took a break from competing following a sixth place at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. While he may not be technically a match for some of the other skaters, his popularity in Russia will  no doubt see him being one of the most heavily supported by the audience at the Megasport Arena.

The ladies event will be intriguing as it pits all three Grand Prix bronze medallists so far this season against each other. Adelina Sotnikova had the opportunity to grab silver at Skate America, but her free skating let her down in Seattle. The Russian needs to win here if she is to guarantee a spot for herself in the Grand Prix Final.

Kanako Murakami has qualified for the Grand Prix Final once before and will have to overcome the field if she is to make a second appearance. The 2010 World Junior champion claimed bronze at Skate Canada.

Kanako Murakami

Of the three Kiira Korpi faces the most arduous task after having participated just  last weekend at the Cup of China. The 2012 European silver medallist is in good form though, as she amassed two new personal bests on her way to third in Shanghai.

With no chance of making the Grand Prix Final, Alena Leonova will be skating for pride. The World silver medallist plummeted to seventh place at Skate America.

Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov were the class of the field at Skate America  last month and they will be again. Despite being two-time World silver medallists, this will be the first time that this team will compete at their home Grand Prix event. The Russians only need to secure a medal to qualify for the Grand Prix Final and this is something they should do with ease.

Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov

Following their withdrawal from the Nebelhorn Trophy after the short programme, it seemed that Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov might not be ready in time for their Grand Prix assignment. However, the European silver medallists will line up in Moscow after Bazarova was given the all clear to compete. This will only be their second time to skate at the Rostelecom Cup.

Caydee Denney & John Coughlin finished a creditable third place at Skate America and will be aiming to repeat that performance in Moscow. The U.S. champions have been entered in exactly the same international events as Volosozhar & Trankov so far this season.

A comprehensive win at Skate Canada with their electrifying rendition of "Carmen" has set up Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir nicely for their Rostelecom Cup debut. The Olympic champions will try to ensure that they elevate their scores which were somewhat muted in Windsor, but victory should be straightforward.

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir

This will be the first Grand Prix assignment this year for Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov. Due to a shoulder injury that Ilinykh sustained, the European bronze medallists had to sit out the early part of the season. The Russians took gold at Crystal Skate in Romania last weekend.

Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani plunged from third in the World in 2011 to eighth in Nice at the World Championships in March. Historically, it has been hard for ice dance teams to climb back up the standings once they have dropped, so a good showing in Moscow will be vital if the siblings are to get things back on track.


Competition Schedule (Local Time)

09/11/2012 (Fri) 
15:00 Ladies Short Programme
16:40 Pairs Short Programme 
19:00 Men Short Programme 
20:40 Short Dance

10/11/2012 (Sat) 
14:00 Ladies Free Skating
15:50 Pairs Free Skating
17:30 Men Free Skating
19:30 Pairs Free Skating 

Links: 
ISU Entries & Results Page


Current Grand Prix Standings

Men:
1. Tatsuki Machida (JPN) 26 points
2. Javier Fernandez (ESP) 15 points
3. Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) 15 points
4. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) 13 points
5. Patrick Chan (CAN) 13 points
6. Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) 13 points

Ladies:
1. Ashley Wagner (USA) 15 points
2. Mao Asada (JPN) 15 points
3. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) 15 points
4. Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) 13 points
5. Akiko Suzuki (JPN) 13 points
6. Christina Gao (USA) 13 points

Pairs:
1. Qing Pang & Jian Tong (CHN) 28 points
2. Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy (GER) 15 points
3. Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov (RUS) 15 points
4. Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (CAN) 13 points
5. Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov (RUS) 13 points
6. Caydee Denney & John Coughlin (USA) 11 points

Ice Dance:
1. Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) 26 points
2. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje (CAN) 22 points
3. Meryl Davis & Charlie White (USA) 15 points
4. Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat (FRA) 15 points
5. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (CAN) 15 points
6. Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte (ITA) 13 points
2012.11.08 Thursday | 09:45 | - | - | 2012/2013 Grand Prix Series | *