World silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada edged Russia’s World Junior Champion Alina Zagitova for the lead in a high-level Ladies Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya on Friday.2015 World silver medalist Satoko Miyahara of Japan came third in the first segment of the Ladies competition.
Osmond nailed a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple Lutz, double Axel as well as level-four spins and footwork in her routine to ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’ and ‘Milord’. The Canadian Champion posted a new personal best of 77.04 points. “I felt really controlled and I felt the program was really myself. I really wanted to get another clean program done, because not having a clean program in France really upset me,” Osmond said. “I just really wanted to enjoy my performance so I told myself to be calm and do what I do in practice, to have fun and enjoy it. That is exactly what I did.”
Zagitova’s ‘Black Swan’ featured a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, double Axel and difficult spins and footwork that were graded a level four, but she stepped out of the landing of the triple flip. Nevertheless, the 15-year-old managed a personal best with 76.27 points. “I am pleased that I was able to deal with my nerves and to finally do my combination jump in the short program. I was more confident. I skated the short program a lot in practice and with my coaches we discussed many details. We also cut my skirt a bit shorter and it feels better. I think I relaxed (on the triple flip), because I was happy to have done the combination. But the flip itself was not bad,” the World Junior Champion noted.
Performing to ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, Miyahara completed a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, triple loop, double Axel and exquisite spins to achieve a season’s best of 74.61 points. “Since I was the first skater, I was prepared to feel very nervous but I was very calm when I started to skate. This season, I didn't have the Grand Prix Final in my mind, but now that I am here I didn't want to waste this amazing chance that I got. I thought my jumps were better than at Skate America and my scores were better as well. I knew if I skated a clean program I will go over 70 points, and I had a clean skate so I was very satisfied,” Miyahara told the press.
Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) put out a clean performance to finish fourth on 73.26 points. Maria Sotskova (RUS) earned a personal best score of 74.00 and is sitting in fifth place. 2012 World Champion Carolina Kostner (ITA) reduced her combination to triple toe-double toe to come sixth (72.82 points).