World champions lead Trophee de France figure skating GP

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/11/12 8:36:51

Trophee de France, the 2016-2017 season's fourth figure skating Grand Prix out of six events, kicked off here on Friday when world champions dominated field after short programs and short dance.

Russian's reigning world and European champion Evgenia Medvedeva stormed into Saturday's free skate on top of the women's singles rankings after setting a new personal best of 78.52 points en route.

The 16-year-old, who's won the second leg of this year's circuit Skate Canada in Mississauga last month, performed to "River Flows in You" and "Winter" in her short program, which was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toe combination, triple loop, double Axel and level-four spins and steps.

"I am pleased with today' s performance, but this is still not the limit. I think I can improve my second score, because I think it' s not enough for senior skating. I have to work harder on it," she said.

Canadian Gabrielle Daleman, who landed a triple toe-triple toe combination, a triple Lutz and double Axel to crack the 70-point barrier for the first time with 72.70, took second place ahead of Russia' s world junior silver medalist Maria Sotskova by a 3.99-point margin.

Three-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan underrotated the triple flip in her combination to finish just the eighth on 61.29.

On men's part, two-time world champion Javier Fernandez recovered from a fall on his first jump to take a 3.72-point lead over teenage skater from the United States Nathan Chen, as world and Olympic medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan was a distant third at 7.36.

Skating to "Malaguena" performed by Paco de Lucia and Placido Domingo, Fernandez, a four-time European champion from Spain, fell on his quadruple toe loop attempt but calmed down soon enough to perfectly deliver a quadruple salchow-triple toe loop combination and landed a triple axel.

The Rostelecom Cup winner of last week's Russian event said he needed to improve his short program after his second place in Russia but was happy with the adjustments he made.

"We did have an improvement in the short program in the spins and steps. In Moscow, the levels were quite low," he said. "Still it wasn' t perfect, there was a fall on the quad toe. But (if) I have the best program now, what I' m going to have later?"

Chen, only 17 years old but already the first skater to perform four quadruple jumps in a free skate during competition in January at the US nationals, became the first to land a quadruple lutz and a quadruple flip in the same program.

"I'm not trying to make history, I'm just setting personal goals," said the debutant on senior circuit.

Meanwhile, world champions and local favorites Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron delivered a commanding performance for a nearly 10-point lead over Russia's Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin in the ice dance, and European runners-up Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot of Germany led the pairs short program to edge out Russia' s Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov by 1.31 points.

The 180,000 US dollars Trophee de France features 55 skaters/couples from 19 member associations of the Internatioanl Skating Union (ISU). The Cup of China and the NHK Trophy later this month will be the last chance for skaters to qualify for the Grand Prix Final in Marseille on Dec. 7-11.

Held in Bordeaux last year, the event was cancelled after the first day of competition because of the terror attacks in Paris.

Posted in: WINTER SPORT

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