Japan's Rika Kihira completed a stunning routine to lead the Short Program © International Skating Union
ISU Grand Prix Final Champion Rika Kihira of Japan stormed into the lead in the Ladies Short Program at Skate Canada in Kelowna, following a thrilling duel with Korea’s Young You where both skaters hit a triple Axel. World Junior Champion Alexandra Trusova of Russia finished third.
Kihira opened her program to “Breakfast in Baghdad” with a solid triple Axel and followed up with a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple loop and level-four spins and footwork. The 2019 Four Continents Champion scored 81.35 points.
“The quality of my triple Axel and my triple loop was good, like in practice, but in some parts of the program I was nervous and I didn’t do my spins so well. Tomorrow in practice I want to focus on my jumps and spins. I want to keep a positive attitude,” the 17-year-old said.
Young Yu skated her way to second place on the leaderboard with a romance-inspired routine © International Skating Union
Skating to “Romeo and Juliet” by Craig Armstrong, Young pulled off a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and triple flip to achieve a new personal best with 78.22 points.
“The triple Axel was not as good as in practice, but it was still good and the other elements were as good as in practice. I have been working on the triple Axel for three years. Now I feel good and have more confidence,” the Korean Champion explained.
Russia's Alexandra Trusova was happy with her third-place performance on day one
Trusova’s dynamic routine to “Peer Gynt” by Edvard Grieg featured a double Axel, triple Lutz-triple loop and triple flip. The two-time World Junior Champion picked up 74.40 points.
“I am pleased with my performance today, but I will continue to work on my spins, skating skills and I hope to do the triple Axel soon. I’ve waited a long time to be able to compete at the senior level and I really like it,” the 15-year-old commented.
Bradie Tennell (USA) remains close to the podium in fourth place on 72.92 points. Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) follows in fifth place at 63.94 points. Olympic silver medalist Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) placed sixth after falling on her triple Lutz and stumbling on the double Axel (62.89 points).
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Ladies
Overall, 60 skaters/couples representing 14 ISU members are competing at Skate Canada International from October 25 - 27. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Torino (ITA), from December 5 - 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Where to watch and follow the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019?
Viewers will be able to watch the Series either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel as of season 2019/20. You will find the full list in the Where to watch news here.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019/20
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known as the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six international senior invitational events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the previous ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Competitors collect points in their ISU Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Only the top six Skaters / Couples in each discipline can qualify for the Final.