Competitions in women's singles skating presented the brightest sensation of the Russian Grand Prix stage.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva won them.
She bypassed both the reigning European champion Alena Kostornaya, and the bronze medalist of those competitions, Alexander Trusova, who, in the end, could not even gain a foothold in the top three.
After the short program, Tuktamysheva took second place, lagging behind Kostornaya by more than four points and having about the same margin in relation to Trusova.
In previous years, such a situation would not have promised the student of Alexei Mishin great success at the end of the competition.
Due to the lack of quadruple jumps, it would be impossible for her to keep Trusova behind herself, and Kostornaya would only increase her advantage over Tuktamysheva due to generous components.
But this time, both of Evgenia Plushenko's students could not show all their best qualities.
Trusova was the first of these three figure skaters to show her free program.
After winning the Russian Cup stage, she chose for rental a new spectacular dress with an open back and spikes that were pushed out of the sleeves during the performance.
The athlete left the set of elements the same: she again expected to perform four quadruple jumps, which should have ensured her first place.
However, the entire program of Trusova fell apart after the very first element, when she fell on a quadruple salchow.
After the fourth lutz, the athlete again found herself on the ice, and in addition, the judges saw an under-rotation.
It was impossible to get together on a quadruple toe loop after such a start, and Trusova also failed this jump.
Only a cascade of a double axel and a triple sheepskin coat allowed her to feel more confident.
But the second half of the program didn't work either.
Trusova barely resisted after another quadruple sheepskin coat and fell on a triple lutz.
Only due to fines, she lost six points at once, and the reduced marks for unfulfilled elements led to even greater losses.
The result for the free program was only 128.12 points, although Trusova once scored a hundred points only for technique.
At the end of two days, Plushenko's student earned 198.93 points.
This was not enough to bypass Anastasia Gulyakova, who was speaking in front of her, who had four under-rotations, but not a single fall.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in training more and more often performs quadruple jumps, but has not yet shown them in competitions.
The Grand Prix stage in Moscow was no exception, and in the free program she habitually relied on a triple axel.
The first attempt was very successful, on the second there were blots on the landing, but in general, the 2015 world champion coped with her most difficult elements.
She had only to finish the program cleanly in order to become the intermediate leader of the competition.
The student Mishina easily coped with this.
Her final score was 223.39 points - this result was her second at the official starts since the 2019 World Team Championship.
Only Kostornaya's impeccable performance and her high marks for components could prevent the 23-year-old figure skater from winning the first stage of the Grand Prix in two years.
The reigning European champion skated much lighter than her predecessors, as if making no effort at all to demonstrate her outstanding choreography.
But the judges immediately began to have questions about her technique.
Three jumps were assessed as under-rolled, resulting in the loss of precious points.
Kostornaya's components did not save the day - according to them, the former student of Eteri Tutberidze won less than two points over Tuktamysheva.
The athlete did not have enough ground, which was created after the short program, and she took second place with 220.78 points.
This season, Kostornaya has not yet won a single victory, both at the Russian Cup and at the Grand Prix stage.
Before the competition, the fans were waiting for the rivalry between the wards of Tutberidze and Plushenko, but in the end the women's competition ended in victory for Alexei Mishin's group - in addition to Tuktamysheva, Anastasia Gulyakova, who won the bronze, is also involved.
Also on Saturday, the 79-year-old specialist was pleased with his new student Mikhail Kolyada, who also took first place in the men's tournament.