The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continued Saturday in Quebec, Canada with the Junior Free Dance, Junior Men's, Men's, Pairs and Ladies Free Skating.
Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS) lead Junior Dance sweep
Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin lead a Russian sweep in the Junior Ice Dance. Anna Yanovskaia/ Sergei Mozgov took the silver and Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin claimed the bronze medal.
Sinitsina/Zhiganshin gave a strong perfomance to Phantom of the Opera, picking up a level four five out of seven elements, only the step sequences were a level three. They scored 87.08 points which added up to a total of 147.53 points. This means a lot to us. It is a motivation for us to go on and not to stop where we are now. This season we still have two important competitions to come, the Russian (Junior) Nationals and the Junior Worlds. We want to do well there, Zhiganshin said.
Yanovskaia/Mozgov danced to a Flamenco and picked up a level four for their lifts, twizzles and the spin as well, but the footwork was graded a level two. The Muscovites earned 80.39 points and totaled 136.61 points overall to finish second in their debut in the Junior Final. We skated brilliantly today! We will work on our technique and gelling as a team. Our next competition is the first Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Mozgov told the press.
Stepanova/Bukin's dance to Live and Let Die included level-four lifts and twizzles, but the combination spin and the midline steps merited only a level two. The team from Moscow scored 82.69 points and moved up to third at 135.17 points to repeat at bronze medalists in the Junior Final. Last year we didn't expect to be here at all and we didn't really come to compete with anybody. This year, of course it was different and we wanted to be contenders. Unfortunately, because of the error (in the Short Dance) it didn't quite happen, Bukin noted.
Carolina Kostner (ITA) strikes gold
Carolina Kostner of Italy struck gold in the Ladies event. Japan's Akiko Suzuki took the silver medal and the bronze went to Alena Leonova of Russia.
Kostner's program to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 included a double Axel-triple toeloop combination, four more clean triples and two level-four spins. The three-time European Champion posted a new seasons best with 121.05 points and took her first Grand Prix Final gold medal and fourth Grand Prix Final medal in total with a total of 187.48 points.
It was a fight today. At first I was upset at the little mistakes I made on the loop and flip until the Axel (she singled), then I thought I have nothing to loose now and it's all or nothing. I am glad that I didn't let myself go, Kostner said.
Suzuki produced five good triple jumps and got a level four for two spins in her routine to Die Fledermaus to score 118.46 points.Overall she accumulated 179.76 points and took home her second Grand Prix Final medal after a bronze in 2009. The result is very good and I am happy with it. But the performance itself was disappointing. During today's practice time I felt very good and was hoping to continue like that in the competition. But during the six minutes warm up my body was stiff, and I was trying to be positive, but I did not succeed, the 26-year-old shared.
Leonova hit her triple toe-triple toe combination and three other triple jumps, but fell on the triple Lutz. With 115.96 points, the Russian was ranked fourth in the Free Skating, but remained in third place at 176.42 points. I am very disappointed about the Lutz, as after Rostelecom Cup my coach and I changed the approach going into the jump to feel more comfortable in order to have the correct edge. After the fall I just concentrated on the rest of the program, the 21-year-old explained. It was Leonova's first Grand Prix Final medal.
Elizaveta Tuktamischeva (RUS) was ranked second in the Free Skating and moved up to fourth at 174.51 points. Alissa Czisny (USA) slipped to fifth (156.97 points).
Patrick Chan (CAN) skates off with gold
Canada's Patrick Chan skated off with the gold medal in what was an exciting Men's Free Skating. Daisuke Takahashi of Japan pulled up from fifth place to claim the silver medal and Javier Fernandez of Spain took the bronze.
Performing to Concerto de Aranjuez, Chan hit a triple Axel and four more triples, but both his quad toeloops were not clean. The reigning World Champion earned a seasons best score of 173.67 points and racked up a total of 260.30 to win back to back Grand Prix Final titles. It's been a bit of a dream of mine to be able to repeat. I think it shows that what I've been doing off ice training, the preparation has all been very positive. It's a message to tell me that everything I'm doing is on the right track. I just hope to keep the momentum, Chan commented. It's joy, the most joy I had in a long time. It's finally a big event I was able to win in my home country, he added.
Takahashi stumbled badly on the opening quad but then reeled off eight triples including two triple Axels in his routine to Blues for Klook. The 2010 World Champion scored 172.63 points and accumulated 249.12 points overall. Yesterday's result was pretty bad, and because I had nothing to loose, it helped me relax today. The audience encouraged me to move better so I am very satisfied with my performance today. It was my best performance of the season because I had a good concentration after yesterday, the Japanese skater told the press.
Fernandez was the only man to produce two clean quads, a toe and Salchow in his program to a medley of Verdi operas. The Spaniard followed up with five triples. He was ranked fourth in the Free Skating with 166.29 points and remained in third place with a total of 247.55 points. I did not feel pressure after the short program as I always try to focus on myself, to do my work as best as I can and to fight through each performance. The Final is just another competition, but the experience here helped me a lot to gain confidence in myself. I can do better and I can win if I work harder, Fernandez explained.
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) finished fourth at 245.82 points, Jeremy Abbott (USA) slipped from second to fifth (238.82 points) and Michal Brezina (CZE) came sixth (218.98 points).