The Channel One Cup has started in St. Petersburg, and is being held in a new format this season.

This time, the skaters were divided into three teams by drawing lots: their captains were Alina Zagitova (white), Anna Shcherbakova (blue) and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (red). 

True, the word drawing of lots in this case is probably not entirely appropriate.

Since only the colors of the teams and the order in which the participants were selected by the captains were randomly determined.

On paper, Shcherbakova's blues seemed to be the favorites.

On Saturday they confirmed their status, leading the standings with an impressive eight points ahead of the Whites and ten points ahead of the Reds.

On the first day of the tournament, athletes demonstrated short programs.

In ice dancing and sports pairs, only one duet per team could perform, and the captains immediately sent their strongest skaters into battle.

Once again this season, rhythm dance was shown by Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, Elizaveta Khudayberdieva and Yegor Bazin, as well as Irina Khavronina and David Narizhny.

Compared to the Russian Championship, the placement of athletes on the intermediate podium has not changed.

The five-time European Championship winners won again.

However, their performance did not turn out to be perfect: Alexander Zhulin’s players unexpectedly faltered after changing the tune.

But they still retained first place.

But in the sports pairs competition, Alexandra Boykova and Dmitry Kozlovsky finally got ahead of Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Gallyamov, who lost points on the parallel triple Salchow: the partner touched the ice with her hand when landing.

The top three were completed by Ekaterina Chikmareva and Matvey Yanchenkov, and they were just a little behind the world champions.

Then the organizers staged the “Battle of the Elements,” which also counted towards the tournament.

Sports couples had to do todes and rotational support for as long as possible.

In both cases, the best were “white”

Natalya Khabibullina and Ilya Knyazhuk.

Dance duos competed in twizzles and arch support.

The singles skaters took part in the solo jump relay, and then did quads and triples at the same time.

In addition, all skaters participated in the team relay.

The winner in this experiment, which turned out to be a little chaotic and not very well organized, was Tuktamysheva’s team.

The Reds became intermediate leaders, ahead of Shcherbakova's Blues by a point, and Zagitova's Whites by five.

However, the girls' competition significantly changed the balance of power, since each team already had two athletes competing.

In the declared six, Sofia Muravyova, who has a triple axel in her arsenal, was considered the main favorite.

Moreover, the skater refused it for the sake of a clean skate, but in the end she was still mistaken.

Evgeni Plushenko's student fell from a triple Lutz, losing her cascade.

“Eh... Well, okay,” Tuktamysheva, in whose team the athlete performed, commented on the result.

Muravyova was terribly upset about the fall and did not even sign her name on the camera, as all the tournament participants did.

And the Red captain hugged and calmed the girl.

Sophia was only sixth on the scoresheet, as the rest of the girls performed without any obvious glitches.

Ksenia Sinitsyna from Zagitova’s team won the short program, and second and third places were taken by “blue” Anna Frolova and Veronika Yametova.

Thus, after the singles skate, Shcherbakova’s team took the lead, and after the men’s competition, they created an impressive gap over their pursuers.

Once again, Vladislav Dikidzhi performed magnificently and, most importantly, flawlessly.

He beat Russian champion Evgeniy Semenenko by almost two points, who also skated cleanly.

The audience received Alexander Samarin especially warmly, since he announced his retirement at the Spartakiad, and this was the last tournament of the silver medalist of the 2019 European Championship.

In order not to let the team down, the skater abandoned his signature quadruple Lutz, performing only a triple flip, and finished the skate with a wide smile and tears in his eyes.

His coach Svetlana Sokolovskaya also cried at the side. 

“I want to thank everyone who helped me end up here: the federation, Channel One and my friends - teammates.

They hit me in the heart now, these days I am the happiest relative to my past self.

The tournament, as always, is at its best: a sea of ​​emotions, captains, teams are amazing, excitement, a storm of emotions, I am happy that I was given the opportunity to be part of this holiday.

You will definitely see me again and, I hope, more than once.

For now it’s difficult to say anything concrete.

And after the Channel One Cup I will go to Samara for a show.


It is possible that this is some kind of plan,” TASS quotes Samarin as saying.

Young Ivan Ramzenkov left a pleasant impression, although he had problems with a cascade of triple lutz and sheepskin coat.

Dmitry Aliev, again, as at the Spartakiad, did not avoid mistakes, and instead of a quad, the audience saw a “butterfly”, but then the skater performed everything cleanly and beat Samarin.

At the second tournament in a row, Matvey Vetlugin had problems with jumping.

He avoided falls, but a butterfly instead of a trixel and a double toe loop instead of a quadruple dropped the skater to last place.

“It’s probably all about me.

It’s me who somehow has a bad influence on everyone,” Tuktamysheva joked.

After all, Vetlugin, like Muravyova, was on her team


However, it is too early to be upset with the Reds.

After all, everything will be decided on Sunday, when the skaters will demonstrate their free programs, and there will also be a competition for captains.