Regina / Canada

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World silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) really shone in the Ladies Short Program Friday at Skate Canada International in Regina (CAN) to take a strong lead. Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya trails the Canadian Champion by just over seven points and Maria Sotskova, also of Russia, sits in third place after the first segment of the competition.

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Osmond’s jumps in her program, to ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’ and ‘Milord’, were big – a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple Lutz and double Axel. The 21-year-old collected a level four for her spins and set a new personal best score of 76.06 points. “There are definitely a few things that I want to improve,” Osmond said, “but for today I was happy that I was able to do what I do in practice, which is to focus on each element at a time. I felt confident on the ice and it all went very well today.”

Pogorilaya’s solid Flamenco routine featured a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, triple loop and a double Axel, but two spins and the footwork were rated a level three. The 2014 Skate Canada Champion earned 69.05 points. “I did everything I wanted to do quite calmly and with confidence,” Pogorilaya said. “Obviously I realize it is not enough, but for today I am pleased. After Worlds (the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships, in which she finished 13th) I worked a lot on myself and I had to overcome many things in my training and inside myself. But nobody says that life is easy. You have get up and move on,” the 2017 European silver medalist said.

Skating to ‘Swan Lake’, Sotskova produced a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and a triple flip, but she under-rotated the double Axel. The ISU Grand Prix Finalist scored 66.10 points. “There was an error on the double Axel that cost some points, but overall I am quite pleased,” the 17-year-old said. “I showed the emotions in my program to the crowd and that is the most important thing for me right now. You work on the elements in practice, but in competition you want to show the beauty of skating.”

Courtney Hicks (USA) landed a somewhat shaky triple flip-triple loop combination and sits in fourth on 64.06 points. U.S. Champion Karen Chen follows in fifth (61.77) ahead of Rika Hongo (JPN) with 61.60 points. 2016 World silver medalist Ashley Wagner (USA) under-rotated two jumps and is currently ranked seventh (61.57 points). 2017 World Junior silver medalist Marin Honda (JPN) fell on her triple Lutz-triple toe combination and singled the Axel to finish 10th (52.60 points).

Skate Canada International is the second of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya (JPN) in December. The global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$272,000.

Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here.  Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating.