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Russians in command after Day 1 in Bratislava

Medvedeva cruises in ladies short; Voronov holds slim lead over Hochstein
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Led by the dominance of Evgenia Medvedeva, skaters from Russia opened the 2017 Ondrej Nepela Trophy with authority Thursday in Bratislava. -Getty Images

Evgenia Medvedeva began her 2017-18 campaign by delivering a winning short program Thursday at the 2017 Ondrej Nepela Trophy in Bratislava, Slovakia. In the men's discipline, defending champion Sergei Voronov holds the lead over Grant Hochstein, while Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov sit atop the pairs field.


Medvedeva, the two-time reigning world champion and Grand Prix Final gold medalist, secured 80.00 points in her season debut, besting Japan's Rika Hongo and compatriot Elena Radionova by double-digit margins in the process.

The 17-year-old Russian received a base value of 10.56 points for the triple flip-triple toe combination she included in her Frédéric Chopin program, and her segment score was a mere 0.85 points shy of the personal-best mark she received at the 2017 World Team Trophy.

Hongo picked up 66.49 points for her "O Fortuna" short, but remains a distant second entering the free skate, while Radionova finds herself third with a score of 64.42.

American Caroline Zhang accrued 53.48 points for her East of Eden program to slot seventh in the segment.


Voronov opened his title defense by earning 80.85 points for his Astor Piazzolla short program, a mark that narrowly placed him atop the standings ahead of Hochstein, who scooped up 79.98 points for his Moulin Rouge program.

Both skaters received -4.0 GOEs (Grades of Execution) for attempted quad toes, but each rebounded nicely with clean triple lutz-triple toe combinations to increase their overall marks.

Voronov's Russian teammate, Alexander Samarin, positioned himself third heading into the free skate by earning a score of 75.94 points for his "Moonlight Sonata" program.


Performing to an arrangement of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Carl Orff's "O Fortuna," Astakhova and Rogonov solidified their place at the head of the pairs field by tallying a new personal-best score of 67.18.

The pair, who finished second at this event in 2015, holds the lead over Russian teammates Natalia Zabijako and Alexander Enbert (64.52 points), and Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin (61.82).

The American teams of Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan (57.00), and Erika Smith and AJ Reiss (45.86) sit fourth and sixth, respectively.