Barcelona / Spain

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continued on Thursday in Barcelona (ESP) with the Pairs and Ladies Short Programs.

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) claim Pairs Short Program

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada claimed the Pairs Short Program. Russia’s Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov finished second ahead of China’s Wenjing Sui/Cong Han.

Duhamel/Radford’s program to “Un peu plus haut” was highlighted by a side by side triple Lutz, throw triple Lutz and triple twist. The two-time and reigning World bronze medalists earned a level four for the side by side spin, the lift, the footwork and the death spiral to score 74.50 points, a new seasons best. “Our goal is to be on the podium and to get a personal best in the long program. We want to push ourselves and push the sport. It’s totally within our capabilities so it’s not a huge risk. We’re learning how to feel the quad in the program and it will be there on Saturday”, Radford commented.

Stolbova/Klimov produced a triple twist, a set of triple toes, throw triple Lutz and three level four elements in their routine to “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”. The World and Olympic silver medalists posted  a new seasons best of 72.33 points. “We skated OK, but I guess maybe only OK. I honestly don´t know what happened. We had to fight a bit, and obviously that was noticeable. We weren’t particularly nervous, but something happened. We haven’t looked properly at our marks yet so I can only speak from my own inner feelings at the moment”, Klimov told the press.

Skating to “Stray Cats Strut”, Sui/Han landed a triple twist, throw triple flip and collected a level four for five elements. However, Sui touched down with her hand on the triple toe. The 2014 Four Continents Champions received 66.66 points. “It’s not how we do it usually. I think we were a little nervous. Tomorrow is a training day and we will work hard and do our usual training so that we can do better on Saturday”, Han said.

Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN) are currently ranked fourth with 62.71 points. Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (CHN) came fifth at 62.46 points ahead of Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS/55.97 points).

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) grabs Ladies Short Program

The Russian Ladies, led by Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, swept the Ladies Short Program. Julia Lipnitskaia finished second and Elena Radionova currently is ranked third.

Tuktamysheva opened her program to “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel with a triple toe-triple toe combination, but then wobbled on the triple Lutz. Two spins and the footwork merited a level four and the 2013 Russian Champion earned 67.52 points. “Before I left for the competition I was a bit ill and maybe that showed a bit today but I’m glad I managed to push through the program. When I saw the marks I was so happy. There was a mistake on the Lutz but I saw the replay and it was a good jump so it was a shame but I’m glad I managed to pull myself together”, the 2012 Youth Olympic Champion said.

Lipnitskaia’s program to “Megapolis” featured a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple flip and impressive level-four spins. The 2014 European Champion picked up 66.24 points.” I was much more confident and technically stronger today than in my previous competitions, but unfortunately I lost points on the triple flip because of an edge call. I need to pull onto the correct edge on the free program and make sure I don’t do it again”, the 16-year-old noted.

Elena Radionova completed a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, a double Axel and two level-four spins, but she fell on a triple loop. The two-time World Junior Champion earned 63.89 points. “I can’t say I’m satisfied. If I’d skated clean I would have been, but there were mistakes, like falling on the triple loop. But everything happens for the best. Now I know I need to work harder. I don’t know why I fell, maybe I was tired, maybe it was nerves, maybe it was a technical mistake. But regardless, I need to be better in the free program”, the 15-year-old commented.        

Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) placed fourth with 61.34 points. Rika Hongo (JPN) is sitting in fifth with 61.10 points and Ashley Wagner (USA) follows in sixth (60.24 points).

 The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continues Friday with the Junior Free Dance, Junior Ladies, Junior Men, Junior Pairs Free Skating, Men’s Short Program and Short Dance.