Grenoble, France

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Grand Prix debutant Alena Kostornaia of Russia grabbed a narrow lead over Olympic Champion and teammate Alina Zagitova in the Ladies Short Program at the Internationaux de France in Grenoble on Friday. Mariah Bell (USA) finished third.

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Russian teenager Kostornaia gave an impressive display in her first senior Grand Prix © International Skating Union

Kostornaia opened her performance to ‘Lullaby’ and ‘November’ by Max Richter with a triple Axel, but underrotated the jump. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion went on to complete a triple Lutz, triple flip-triple toeloop combination as well as level-four spins and footwork to pick up 76.55 points.

“I am pleased that I was able to show my maximum, but obviously there is something that can be fixed. Overall it was a good start for my senior competitions,” the 16-year-old said.

Zagitova’s expressive flamenco routine to ‘Me Voy’ by Yasmin Levy featured a triple flip, double Axel as well as difficult spins and footwork that merited a level four. However, the 2019 World Champion underrotated the back end of her triple Lutz-triple loop combination. She scored 74.24 points.

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Alina Zagitova did a flamenco routine to ‘Me Voy’ by Yasmin Levy © International Skating Union

“I went out on the ice with the thought that I wanted to enjoy my performance and I think this is what I did. Obviously, there is still some work left to do, but overall I am pleased with myself today,” the 17-year-old said.

Skating to ‘Radar’ and ‘Work’ by Britney Spears, Bell produced a triple flip-triple toe combination, triple Lutz and double Axel to earn 70.25 points.

“I’m really pleased with my skate today. I had a lot of fun. I think there is obviously some room to improve, but I’m really proud of that skate for my opening Grand Prix of the season,” the 23-year-old said.

Starr Andrews (USA) came fourth on 66.59 points with a clean performance, followed by 2018 World silver medalist Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) on 64.78 points. 2018 Four Continents Champion Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) fell on her double Axel to place sixth (64.08 points).

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US skater Mariah Bell is in third place with 70.25 points © International Skating Union

Overall, 59 skaters/couples representing 13 ISU members compete at Internationaux de France November 1-3. The top six qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Torino (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on

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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