Tarasova and Moro­zov clinch maiden crown

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Rus­sia’s Ev­ge­nia Tarasova and Vladimir Moro­zov won their first ma­jor ti­tle on Fri­day when they clinched the pairs crown at the Grand Prix fig­ure skating fi­nal, sound­ing out a warn­ing for the 2018 Olympics.

In their four-year part­ner­ship, their best pre­vi­ous per­for­mances had been bronze medals at the 2015 and 2016 Euro­pean cham­pi­onships.

But on Fri­day, they tri­umphed with 213.85 points, win­ning the free pro­gramme ahead of Cana­dian favourites Mea­gan Duhamel and Eric Rad­ford.

Skating to Mu­sic by English rocker John Miles, they ob­tained 135.25 points in the free pro­gramme with the Cana­di­ans on 134.55.

“Ob­vi­ously, you al­ways have the goal to win, but we fo­cused on skating clean,” said Tarasova.

“We’ve had two weeks of good prepa­ra­tion and worked very hard and this is the re­sult. This vic­tory is a big step for­ward for us. The judges now look at us as po­ten­tial win­ners and that is im­por­tant.”

World cham­pi­ons Duhamel and Rad­ford, who fin­ished third over­all be­hind China’s Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao, paid dearly for a fall on a triple axel.

In the women’s in­di­vid­ual event, Rus­sia’s world and Euro­pean cham­pion Ev­ge­nia Medvedeva started her Grand Prix fi­nal de­fence by tak­ing the lead in the short pro­gramme.

The 17-year-old scored 79.21 points ahead of Canada’s Kaet­lyn Os­mond on 75.54. “Set­ting records is not im­por­tant to me, I’m not chas­ing af­ter them,” said Medvedeva.

“I just want to show what my coaches have taught me and the work we do ev­ery day in prac­tice. To­day I’m happy with my per­for­mance, but there is still room to grow.” In ice dance, Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir marked their re­turn af­ter two years with a scin­til­lat­ing per­for­mance to a sound­track of hip-hop, blues and Prince stan­dards.

They beat the world record with 80.50 points to take the over­all lead af­ter the sort pro­gramme ahead of Maia Shibu­tani and Alex Shibu­tani of the United States and French pair Gabriella Pa­padakis and Guil­laume Cize­ron.

Virtue and Moir were the 2010 Olympic cham­pi­ons on home ice in Van­cou­ver and silver medal­lists in 2014 in Sochi. —AFP

MAR­SEILLE: Ev­ge­nia Tarasova and Vladimir Moro­zov of Rus­sia pose with the gold medal af­ter win­ning the Pairs Pro­gram dur­ing ISU Grand Prix of Fig­ure Skating Fi­nal in Mar­seille, south­ern France, Fri­day. — AP

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