World bronze medalists Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres of France came back from a faulty Short Program in the Free Skating to claim their second Grand Prix gold medal this season as competition wrapped up at Internationaux de France in Grenoble on Saturday.
In an event that produced a few surprises, Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea (USA) captured the silver medal while overnight leaders Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia earned the bronze. Both Kayne/O’Shea and Boikova/Kozlovskii won their first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal.
Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres of France claimed their second Grand Prix gold medal this season | 2018 ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Performing to “Wicked Game” and “The Last Feeling”, James/Cipres produced a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, throw triple flip and Salchow as well as a level-four lift, spin and death spiral. The only major glitch came when James doubled the triple Salchow. The French pair scored 140.53 points and to 205.77 points overall.
“We’re really happy to win this competition,” Cipres said. “It’s the first time for us to win two Grand Prix in the season and to go to the Grand Prix Final. We have a lot of work to do for these next two weeks. Added James: “We’re both happy with the fight today, especially after a disappointing short program yesterday. We’re very proud to have our second gold medal at a Grand Prix. We just have more work to do mentally and try to skate even better than at Skate Canada. It’s nice to have made these few mistakes here to learn from them and be perfect for the next competition.”
Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea (USA) posted a season-best score in taking the silver medal | 2018 ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Kayne/O’Shea’s routine to “Swan Lake” was highlighted by a triple twist, a triple Salchow-single Euler-double Salchow combination and a spectacular carry lift. However, Kayne stumbled on the double Axel. The 2018 Four Continents Champions posted a season’s-best score of 127.98 points for an overall total of 191.43. “Danny and I are very pleased with how we skated at this competition on the whole, especially the free skate,” Kayne said. “Our free skate at NHK (Trophy), our first Grand Prix, was less than desirable, especially on my part. So to have come to France and make this much improvement in just two short weeks made us both very happy.”
Overnight leaders Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia took the bronze | 2018 ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Boikova/Kozlovskii completed a side by side triple Salchow, a big triple twist and a throw triple Salchow in their “Nutcracker” program. But Boikova struggled with the triple toeloop and fell on the throw triple loop. The 2017 World Junior silver medalists scored 121.01 points in the Free Skating and dropped two spots to third on 189.84 points. “We had a good experience here, but we have to work harder. I hope you’ll see us in a better shape next time,” Boikova said. Added Kozlovskii: “It was our first medal in the Grand Prix, which is nice, and I hope that we’ll skate better in the future. We need to do step by step.”
Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim (PRK) slipped from second to fourth after they made errors on the double Axel and throw triple loop (187.95 points). Camille Ruest/Andrew Wolfe (CAN) finished fifth on 164.10 points.
Overall, 57 skaters/couples representing 14 ISU members competed at Internationaux de France from November 23-25, the sixth and final event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The top six qualifiers in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Vancouver, Canada, from December 6-9.