‘Absolutely terrible’: Russian skaters make shaky start at season-opener in Las Vegas

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Russia’s female skaters made an error-strewn start to the season-opening Grand Prix event Skate America in Las Vegas, having been widely considered among the frontrunners heading into the event.

Despite landing her signature triple axel, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva made a mistake on a triple toe-loop combination of jumps and under-rotated a triple lutz, giving the judges enough reasons to deduct her technical score for her short program.

READ MORE: Diva Las Vegas: Russian star Tutktamysheva ready to roll at Sin City season opener

The 2015 world and European champion failed to breach the 70-point barrier, collecting just 67.28 points which puts her in fifth place.

When asked how she would assess her skating, Tuktamysheva, 22, witheringly described it as “absolutely terrible.”

I forced myself to do all the elements” the skater said. I think jetlag influenced my performance. I demonstrated a solid skating at training sessions, but today it was far from being perfect.”

Rising Russian star Anna Shcherbakova also failed to impress in Las Vegas after a drastic fall on a sequence of steps. She is currently in fourth place, just 0.30 points ahead of compatriot Tuktamysheva.

The first-year senior, who has been training under renowned coach Eteri Tutberidze, promised to correct the mistake she made in the short program to improve her final result at the first Grand Prix event of the season.

The 15-year-old is expected to throw two quadruple Lutz jumps in her free program tomorrow, an element which has been rarely performed even by men.

Bradie Tennel of the USA, who was solid during her entire routine, won the short program with a result of 75.10 points. Japanese pair Kaori Sakamoto and Wakaba Higuchi are in second and third places respectively.

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