Grenoble / France

European Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov, of Russia, captured their second Grand Prix Pairs gold medal this season at the Internationaux de France de Patinage in Grenoble Saturday. 

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Home-crowd favorites Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres, of France, won the Free Skating but took silver overall. Italy’s Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise claimed the bronze, their first medal on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. 

Tarasova/Morozov opened their boogie-woogie program to ‘Candyman’ and ‘Naughty Naughty Boy’ with a quadruple twist followed by a solid side-by-side triple Salchow and a throw triple Salchow. However, Tarasova then singled the toeloop in their jump combination and two-footed the throw triple loop. The World bronze medalists scored 140.36 points and were ranked second in the Free Skating, but overall held on to first place on 218.20 points. “It was not our best performance, we made one-and-a-half mistakes,” Morozov told the post-event press conference.“We lost concentration for the second jump and missed it. Overall, I think this program was better and we’ll keep in mind what we need to do better.”. 

Skating to ‘Say Something’, James/Cipres produced a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe combination and triple Salchow, as well as a throw triple Lutz and strong lifts. James landed the throw quadruple Salchow on two feet, but that was the only glitch in the otherwise-smooth routine. The European bronze medalists picked up 141.14 points for 214.32 points overall. “It was amazing to skate at home,” Cipres said. “It was not easy because they pushed a lot before we skated and we were nervous. Again we missed some points on the levels, but we will work on this.”. 

Della Monica/Guarise’s program to the ‘Tree Of Life Suite’ featured a triple Salchow, triple twist and level-four lifts and spins, but Guarise popped the toeloop into a double and stumbled. The Italian Champions earned 126.94 points for the Free Skating and totaled 197.59 points. “It was a hard competition, I felt the tension in the long program, my legs were shaking from the beginning,” Guarise said. “But we finished with a smile. This is our first medal in the Grand Prix and we need to be happy with that.”

Liubov Ilyushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) remained in fourth place on 193.07 points and Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN) came fifth (188.14 points).

Tarasova/Morozov, the defending ISU Grand Prix Final Champions, booked their ticket to Nagoya, Japan for this season’s Finalwith two victories on the circuit. James/Cipres will have to wait and see if a second and third place is enough to qualify them for the Final for the first time.

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