The inaugural figure-skating jumping tournament in Moscow has seen an unexpected upset, with the women’s squad sensationally destroying the men’s team as they beat their male counterparts by almost 50 points.
The organizers of exhibition event the Channel One Cup changed the traditional rules, allowing female skaters to test their technical skills in fierce competition against the country’s best male athletes.
The unusual format was hailed by many female skaters including Russian stars Alexandra Trusova and Kamila Valieva, who had repeatedly expressed their willingness to compete against men.
In accordance with the tournament’s rules, participants from both camps were set to demonstrate their most difficult jumps during two tours, with the third round featuring the battle of real jumpers, where athletes were obliged to show an insane combination of five jumps.
The women’s dream team comprised top skaters including two-time world junior champion Trusova, reigning national winner Anna Shcherbakova, world and European gold medalist Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and world junior title holder Valieva, notched a triumphant victory over the men’s team courtesy of a more-than-solid performance on Friday.
The men’s squad, led by the world and European medalist Mikhail Kolyada, took the lead after the first round, with both teams confidently landing their jumps.
However, female skaters easily snatched the initiative after Tuktamysheva nailed her triple axel and Shcherbakova, Valieva and Trusova immaculately coped with third quads.
The third round saw Tuktamysheva making a jaw-dropping combo, comprising a triple lutz and four double axels.
Trusova sent the crowd into a frenzy after doing a quadruple toe loop – oiler-triple salchow and triple-triple toe loop – while Shcherbakova landed a quad flip-triple toe loop- triple loop-oiler-triple salchow, stunning the spectators in the stands at the Megasport arena.
The men’s team capitulated after Dmitry Aliev singled out his very first jump, receiving zero points from the judges.
With a result of 246,42 points against the men’s total of 194,78 points, the female skaters scored a historic win over their male opponents, showing why they have been so dominant on the international circuit over the past years.
The competition will continue on Saturday, with two teams led by Russian ice queens Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova showing their short and free programs.