Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Alexander Samarin take first stage of Cup of Russia

With Alexandra Trusova not taking part in the free skate, Tuktamysheva took the ladies' singles with Samarin winning the men's despite finishing behind Alexey Erokhov in the free in Syzran.

By Ilya Yashynin/Rory Jiwani
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Alexander Samarin returned to winning ways in the first stage of figure skating's Cup of Russia in Syzran on Friday (24 September).

After taking Thursday's short program, Alexandra Trusova withdrew from the ladies' free skate with the Russian Figure Skating Federation saying it was for "medical reasons".

According to Match TV, the 17-year-old - who won the U.S. International Classic in Massachusetts only last weekend - was only ever going to take part in the short program in order to practise her triple Axel, which she again failed to land.

In her absence, 2015 world champion Tuktamysheva was the undisputed class of the field and opened with her trademark triple Axel in combination with a double toe-loop.

Her triple Axel in isolation was not as solid, but she scored 149.41 for a winning total of 220.07.

Veronika Yametova was second with 189.25 ahead of Stanislava Molchanova on 178.22.

Samarin takes title

After an excellent short program on Thursday, Alexander Samarin completed overall victory in the men's singles.

The 2019 European silver medallist struggled last season with injuries, but this was a welcome return to form in Syzran.

Samarin scored 105.94 in the short program, seven points higher than his ISU personal best, to take a lead of 21 points into the free skate.

The 23-year-old was less assured on Friday, falling on a quad Lutz and having steps on two triple Axel attempts.

He scored 170.57 which was only good enough for second place on the day behind Alexey Erokhov.

The 2018 world junior champion made a spectacular start to his free skate with three quads - a loop, Salchow and toe-loop - all with high grades of execution.

His jumping faltered slightly as the routine went on, but Erokhov posted 183.21, some 30 points in excess of his ISU best, to take the free skate and second place overall with 264.53.

Roman Savosin was third with a total of 247.39 ahead of Petr Gumennik (227.08).

Alexander Samarin

Cup of Russia - remaining schedule in Syzran

September 25

13.10 Pairs. Juniors. Free skating

15.00 Pairs. Free skating

16.00 Girls. Short Program

18.55 Boys. Short Program

September 26

10.55 Girls. Free skating

14.25 Juniors. Free skating

Cup of Russia - next events

Cup of Russia consists of five stages and the finals. The second stage will be held in Yoshkar-Ola and will take place from October 10 to 14.