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World champion Canadians dance to easy gold

Virtue, Moir slide to second Grand Prix gold; Ilinykh, Katsalapov win silver for Russia

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir snagged their second gold of the Grand Prix season with ease.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir snagged their second gold of the Grand Prix season with ease. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(11/10/2012) - Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir collected the gold medal, concluding the competition at Rostelecom Cup. Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia danced to the silver, and Victoria Sinitsina and Ruslan Zhiganshin, also from Russia, took the bronze medal.

Virtue and Moir's passionate Carmen free dance was highlighted by innovative lifts and smooth step sequences. The two-time world champions picked up a Level 4 for the lifts, the twizzles and the spin to score 103.34 points for the segment. The Olympic champions totaled 173.99 points.

"It was a very strong skate for us," Moir said. "We are happy with how we have started the season so far. At the first two competitions, we learned a lot, and we're looking forward to improve on that moving forward to the Grand Prix Final."

Ilinykh and Katsalapov's dance to The Ghost musical included Level 4 twizzles and lifts, while the two step sequences were a Level 3. However, Ilinykh fell on a transition move early on in the program. The European bronze medalists earned 92.76 points and remained in second place with 158.46 points.

"We were a little nervous today, more than yesterday," Katsalapov said. "In spite of the fall, it felt comfortable to skate today.

"Our elements were decent, but we still have to work. Now we have one week to fix some things before [the Grand Prix Final in] Japan."

Sinitsina and Zhiganshin turned in a solid Tango routine and got a Level 4 in five out of eight elements. The 2012 world junior champions posted a new season's best with 84.23 points and held on to third place with 145.08 points.

"We skated at home, and the support helped us a lot. China was our first Grand Prix and we were a little tense, but now we had nothing to lose and just enjoyed skating," Sinitsina said.

Americans Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani came in fourth with 140.91 points. They had to stop their performance when Alex suffered from a spasm in his leg, but they then continued on. Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi of Germany placed fifth with 140.54 points.

Virtue and Moir have qualified for the Grand Prix Final with the maximum of 30 points.