The Italian’s decision to switch styles from the traditional classical music that the majority of skaters performed to throughout the evening to his Queen medley had the desired effect and captivated the audience.
The performance of Rizzo, the bronze medalist of the 2019 European Figure Skating Championship, captivated the packed audience inside the Platinum Arena as he stormed to the top of the leader board after a flawless show.
It was a very comfortable win in the end, with the judges awarding Rizzo a final score of 273.54, some distance ahead of Russian skater Maxim Kovtun, who took silver with a final score of 259.49. Georgia’s Morisi Kvitelashvili finished with a bronze medal with his 258.02, with all three well ahead of the rest of the skaters.
In the cross-country skiing, there was yet more success and a 1-2 on the medal front for host nation Russia, this time in the mixed team sprint competition.
Held at the Raduga Cluster, each team was comprised of one male and one female skier with the teams running six 1.5 kilometre laps each, substituting each other by turn.
The final race was ultra-competitive with pairings from Russia, Italy and Finland going in search of the gold medal, and it was the Russian pair of Alexander Terentev and Khristina Matsokina who came home first to claim it in a time of 22:11.37. The result meant Terentev became a two-time winner at this year’s Winter Universiade, whilst the gold medal was a first for Matsokina.
Silver went to another Russian pairing in the shape of Andrei Sobakerev and Polina Nekrasova, who finished just over 10 seconds behind in a time of 22:22.02. The Finnish pair of Joonas Sarkkinen and Katri Lylynperae took bronze in a time of 22:29.26
After the finish, all the female athletes were given tulips in recognition of International Women’s Day.
The first race of the giant slalom at the Winter Universiade 2019 Alpine Skiing competitions saw host nation skier Ivan Kuznetsov came out fastest.
A total of 102 skiers from 37 countries participated in the race at Bobrovy Log Funpark, but not all got to the finish. Several turns on the steep segment of the course accounted for many athletes. Switzerland’s Lukas Zippert, winner of the super giant slalom, skidded off and missed the gate and his compatriot and teammate Yannick Chabloz, winner of the alpine combined and silver medallist in the super-G, made a series of mistakes to see him finish 29th and just make the cut inside the top 30.
Kuznetsov however had no such troubles and was 14 hundredths of a second ahead of Julian Kienreich (Switzerland) and only 8 hundreths ahead of Livio Simonet (Austria).
The top 30 fastest qualifiers will now go forward to the next stage where competitors will start off in reverse order in the battle for medals.
Ekaterina Tkachenko made it a birthday to remember on Thursday as she won the gold medal in the women’s alpine ski giant slalom.
Her combined times of 1:58.52 were enough to hold off Denise Dingsleder and deny Austria its third gold medal over the first three women’s alpine skiing competition days.
Tkachenko may have been the leader after the first run but Dingsleder bettered her sixth place in the first run with the fastest final run of the day of 58.99 seconds. However the performance wasn’t enough to overtake Tkachenko, as the 24 year-old from Moscow posted a final run just +0.08 behind the Austrian to win by nearly a second.
Iulija Pleshkova of Russia rounded out the women’s podium to take bronze with the second fastest first run and fourth-fastest final run.