2017 World Junior Champion Alina Zagitova, of Russia, continued her impressive senior-level debut this season. Coming from fifth place the teenager jumped up the placings to top the podium at the Internationaux de France de Patinage in Grenoble on Saturday. Her teammate Maria Sotskova (RUS) completed a one-two finish for the Russian Ladies while overnight leader Kaetlyn Osmond, of Canada, had to settle for bronze.
Zagitova put out a precise performance to ‘Don Quixote’, reeling off a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, double Axel-triple toe as well as four more triples and level-four spins and footwork. The 2017 World Junior Champion posted a personal best of 151.34 points and racked up 213.80 points overall to vault to first place. “I am not very pleased with my Short Program, because not everything worked out, but I am pleased with the Free Skating, because I did everything to the maximum,” Zagitova said. “The Short Program was on a different day, today was new day, I started from scratch and tried to go out with a cool head,” the 15-year-old added.
Sotskova’s performance to ‘Claire de Lune’ by Claude Debussy included a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, five more triple jumps as well as two double Axels and difficult steps and spins. The 2016 World Junior silver medalist picked up a personal best of 140.99 points for a total of 208.78 points. “Today I am pleased to have skated a clean long program and that I was able to cope with my nerves. It was not the maximum of what I can do, but it was a consistent performance and from there I just want to improve,” the Skate Canada silver medalist commented.
Osmond’s ‘Black Swan’ routine was highlighted by five clean triple jumps, but she fell on a triple loop and singled an Axel. The World silver medalist scored 137.72 points which added up to 206.77 points overall. She slipped from first place to third. “It wasn’t great. I made a few mistakes, but overall I felt like I skated a strong program and the things that I’ve done I’ve done at the best I could do,” the Canadian Champion said. “(In the Grand Prix Final) I mainly want to improve on my performances here, skate a clean short and to improve my long program, make it cleaner.”
Zagitova qualifies with two gold medals from China and France for her first senior-level Grand Prix Final. She is the current ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion. Sotskova has a good chance to return to the Final with her silver medals from Skate Canada and Internationaux de France. Osmond advances with a gold and a bronze medal from her two events.
2017 Four Continents Champion Mai Mihara (JPN) remained in fourth place at 202.12 points. Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) pulled up from sixth to fifth and was ranked third in the Free Skating (200.98 points). Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN) dropped from third to sixth after falling on a triple loop (193.18 points).
The Internationaux de France de Patinage are the fifth of six events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series that consists of six events and culminates in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya (JPN) in December. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final. 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.