Home favourite Samarin wins Russian figure skating Grand Prix

Moscow (AFP) –


Russian Alexander Samarin led a clean sweep of the podium for the home nation at the figure skating Grand Prix event in Moscow on Saturday, as Olympic silver medallist Shoma Uno could only finish fourth.

Samarin produced a spectacular free skate to win with a total of 264.45 points, having also posted the highest score in Friday's short programme.

The 21-year-old, who took the European championships silver medal in Minsk earlier this year, saw off compatriot Dmitri Aliev by 4.57 points.

Aliev's strong free skate to Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" earned 169.24 points, enough to secure second place ahead of Makar Ignatov.

Japanese star Uno's difficult season continued as he ended 12.21 points behind Samarin overall.

The 21-year-old, who took 2018 Olympic silver behind Yuzuru Hanyu, was looking to bounce back after falling several times and posting his lowest-ever finish of eighth in Grenoble earlier this month.

But he could only muster 164.95 points on Saturday and failed to climb onto the podium after his disappointing short programme.

Later on Saturday, two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva will look to hold off rising star Alexandra Trusova in the women's event after taking a 2.72-point lead over her fellow Russian on Friday.