The Rostelecom Cup will officially begin on November 15 with short rentals for men, but the day before, the Megasport Arena came to life again and received its first visitors. On Thursday, on the main ice, the official training of the skaters took place, who came to fight for the medals of the fifth stage of the Grand Prix.

Separate tickets were sold for warm-ups, and several hundred fans took the opportunity to look at the final preparations. Compared to previous years, there were quite a few spectators - earlier they were counted by thousands, but now it was not difficult to take places right next to the side.

The lack of excitement was simply explained - this time the two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu did not come to the Moscow stage. Previously, crowds of Japanese fans followed him, who tried not to miss a single second when their idol was on the ice, and at the same time visited all the other rentals. Now, instead of them, there was only one fan of Chania at Megasport - the famous trainer Tatyana Tarasova, who looked at the brochure with photos of the Japanese for a long time and attentively, while briefly taking a commentary position.

The avalanche of Japanese fans was not even provoked by the arrival of another gifted skater Shoma Uno, who would especially need support. He flew to Moscow as an outsider who failed his previous Grand Prix stage in France. But at the same time, Uno was not alone in training - the famous skater Stefan Lambiel worked with him. Under his leadership, the Japanese solidly and without disruptions held a warm-up.

Pleased in the morning and Russian skaters. Alexander Samarin, Dmitry Aliyev and Makar Ignatov will perform in the men's tournament in Moscow, and all three have shown that they are ready to at least complete the four jumps. Samarin had successful attempts of the lutz, flip and sheepskin coat, Aliyev performed the lutz and sheepskin coat, while Ignatov submitted the sheepskin coat and salchow.

While the men were warming up, interesting events also took place in the stands of Megasport. Some spectators came to training as early as possible to hang banners dedicated to the skaters - not a single major tournament can do without these sincere wishes of good luck and declarations of love. But soon those canvases that hung too low disappeared and appeared on the upper tiers.

The stewards outweighed them on their own, arguing their actions either with the requirements of the owners of television rights, or with concern for the audience (so that the latter would not be distracted from the action itself), or with the requests of the skaters, whom bright images could prevent from skating. Without fan art, Megasport began to look a little less festive in its usual places.

By the women's training, all the banners have already taken the right places. In the first warm-up group came all those whom the audience was waiting for the most - Evgeny Medvedev and Alexander Trusov. Medvedev prepared a surprise for the fans: in a free program, she suddenly decided to include two lutz, although this jump is considered her most problematic due to the wrong rib. During a test rental under the Memoirs of a Geisha, she avoided falls, but allowed a step out on a triple flip.

Trusova’s training did not work out. She began to stretch her jumps from simple to difficult, and only at the end she began to practice quadruples. Two attempts without music ended in falls, after which she immediately ran to Eteri Tutberidze for explanations. When the first composition from the Game of Thrones struck, Trusova again appeared on the ice after the fourth salkhov. The skater made the remaining three jumps into four, but then the cascade of Lutz - Rittberger ended in a fall.

After the warm-up, the girls had to linger on the draw, which would determine the starting order in the short program. In anticipation of Trusov’s procedure, she chatted merrily with another Russian woman, Stanislava Konstantinova, who also failed to work out completely. Medvedeva, however, sat away from all her rivals, lost in herself, but came to life for a couple of seconds when Satoko Miyahara came up to greet her.

Medvedev got the 10th number from the bag with lots - on Friday she will go on the ice in the middle of the strongest group, after which she will wait for the performances of Miyahara and Mariah Bell, with whom she will obviously fight for silver. Trusova pulled out the seventh number and will open the strongest group. Konstantinova will go on the ice right in front of Medvedeva.