Two-time World Champion Nathan Chen (USA) struck gold at the Internationaux de France in Grenoble on Saturday and qualified for his fourth consecutive ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final with 30 points to spare. The silver medal went to Russia’s Alexander Samarin. To the delight of the home crowd, Kevin Aymoz of France claimed the bronze, his first Grand Prix medal.
American star Nathan Chen dominated the Men's event in Grenoble © International Skating Union
Performing to music from 'Rocketman', the Elton John biopic, Chen completed a quadruple Lutz, quadruple toeloop-single Euler-triple Flip, quadruple toeloop, quadruple Salchow as well as two triple Axels, but some jumps were wobbly. The ISU Grand Prix Final Champion scored 194.68 points and totaled 297.16 points to take his second gold medal on the Grand Prix circuit.
“I am happy to have qualified for the Final. Placement-wise of course I’m happy with the results, both Skate America and France. Of course, both Skate America and France I made mistakes. I made a lot of silly errors, errors that I need to fix,” the 20-year-old university student said.
Alexander Samarin was third in the Free Skating but came second overall © International Skating Union
Samarin opened his performance to 'Good News' by Apashe with a big quadruple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and also landed a quadruple toeloop, but he fell on the quad flip and a triple Lutz. The 2019 European silver medalist was ranked third in the Free Skating with 166.62 points, but remained in second place at 265.10 points.
“Overall I am happy with the result. I won’t go into details now on what worked and what didn’t work, but I want to thank everyone for their support. My next event is the Grand Prix in Russia, at home. Now I’ll forget about this competition and start to prepare for the next one,” Samarin said.
Aymoz produced five clean triple jumps including two Axels and difficult spins and footwork in his routine to 'Lighthouse' by Patrick Watson, but he stepped out of his quadruple toeloop as well as out of the quadruple-triple toeloop combination and stumbled on a triple Lutz. The French Champion achieved a personal best of 172.14 and was second in the Free Skating, but overall finished third on 254.64 points.
Kevin Aymoz amassed 254.64 points to grab his first Grand Prix medal © International Skating Union
“I am really happy about my first Grand Prix medal at home. It is good to have done it here. It was a good competition for me and a fight with me during my programs. I put all the energy I have into this competition. Figure skating for me is to share the emotion and to fight,” he said.
Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO) moved up from fifth to fourth place on 236.38 points. World Junior Champion Tomoki Hiwatashi (USA) came back from a faulty Short Program with a strong Free Skating to pull up from 10th to fifth place (227.43 points). Sergei Voronov (RUS) came sixth (220.98 points) and Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN) dropped from fourth to eighth after several errors (215.84 points).
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 isu.org.
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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.