The second to last International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix event began today in France – the 2021 Internationaux de France – and the top performers delivered exciting results throughout: including, a new short program by Anna Shcherbakova, a dominant result by Yuma Kagiyama, an expected first place by Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii, and a master class by Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.
2021 World champion Anna Shcherbakova presented a new short program routine to a mixture of Dangerous Affairs and Total View by Inon Zur. The 17-year-old Russian figure skater began her performance with a double axel and a triple flip, and later opted for a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination instead of her traditional choice of a Lutz-loop. Shcherbakova received level four ratings on all of her spins and her step sequence. She earned the top short program score of 77.94 points, which is her new season’s best result but over three points shy of her career best.
2020 European champion Alena Kostornaia opened her short program performance with a double axel, rather than her famed triple attempt. Skating to a remix of the New York, New York theme, the 18-year-old team-mate of Shcherbakova at Sambo-70 later successfully completed a triple Lutz and a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. She received level four ratings on all three of her spins and earned a total short program score of 76.44 points.
Fifth at Skate America, her debut in the senior level ISU Grand Prix series, Kseniia Sinitsyna was the first to deliver her short program and held the top spot until her compatriots took the ice at the very end. The 17-year-old Russian started her performance with a double axel and triple flip. Skating to Lullaby by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sinitsyna commenced her routine with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and earned a score of 69.89 points.
Results after short program:
- Anna SHCHERBAKOVA (RUS) – 77.94
- Alena KOSTORNAIA (RUS) – 76.44
- Kseniia SINITSYNA (RUS) – 69.89
- Yeonjeong PARK (KOR) – 67.00
- Karen CHEN (USA) – 64.67
- Wakaba HIGUCHI (JPN) – 63.87
- Ekaterina RYABOVA (AZE) – 63.34
- Haein LEE (KOR) – 63.18
- Lea SERNA (FRA) – 62.75
- Mariah BELL (USA) – 60.81
- Yuhana YOKOI (JPN) – 52.32
Gold medalist at the Grand Prix of Italy two weeks ago, Japanese figure skater Yuma Kagiyama dominated the men’s event in France. The 2021 World silver medalist provided a contrasting short program today by earning over one hundred points, as opposed to an eighty-point performance in his prior ISU Grand Prix appearance in Italy.
Skating to When You’re Smiling by Michael Buble, the 18-year-old completed a quad Salchow-triple toe loop combination, a quad toe loop, and a triple axel. He received a negative grade of execution on the axel but earned level four ratings on all of his spins and his step sequence. Kagiyama received a score of 100.64 points.
Latvian representative Deniss Vasiljevs achieved a new personal best short program result of 89.76 points and is in second position heading into tomorrow’s free skate event. The 22-year-old four-time national champion presented a clean skate with all positive grades of execution and all level four ratings. Only missing a quad – which Vasiljevs mentioned he is ready for, to his coach, in the the kiss-and-cry area while waiting for his results – the Latvian completed a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a triple axel, and a triple Lutz.
2015 U.S. national champion and silver medalist at Skate Canada this season, Jason Brown was solid as always but committed one error which cost him a position – the landing of the triple axel attempt. The 26-year-old American successfully completed a triple flip and a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination, and earned the top program component score of the event. Brown received 89.39 points for the short program.
Results after short program:
- Yuma KAGIYAMA (JPN) – 100.64
- Deniss VASILJEVS (LAT) – 89.76
- Jason BROWN (USA) – 89.39
- Shun SATO (JPN) – 87.82
- Dmitri ALIEV (RUS) – 85.05
- Keegan MESSING (CAN) – 85.03
- Adam SIAO HIM FA (FRA) – 84.47
- Artur DANIELIAN (RUS) – 76.81
- Andrei MOZALEV (RUS) – 68.77
- Romain PONSART (FRA) – 66.38
- Gabriele FRANGIPANI (ITA) – 66.33
- Kevin AYMOZ (FRA) – 63.98
2020 European champions Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii confirmed their favorites’ status in the short program as they topped the standings.
The Russian pair began their short program routine with side-by-side triple Salchows, followed by a great triple twist lift and a successful triple flip throw. Boikova and Kozlovskii – who currently hold the world record for the short program score of 82.34 points – received a score of 77.17 points.
Bronze medalists at the Grand Prix of Italy two weeks ago, Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev managed to break their personal best short program score by nearly three whole points. The 2020 World Junior bronze medalists began their performance with a triple twist lift, and then were successful with the triple flip throw and side-by-side triple toe loops. They received a score of 73.02 points.
First-year pair Vanessa James and Eric Radford were fourth at Skate Canada, but find themselves in a podium position after the short program at the Internationaux de France. The former French Olympian and Canadian Olympic gold medalist performed a clean routine with all positive grades of execution and achieved their best score together. James and Radford completed an excellent triple twist lift, executed a good triple Salchow throw, and landed their side-by-side triple Salchows. They earned a score of 71.84 points.
Results after short program:
- Aleksandra BOIKOVA / Dmitrii KOZLOVSKII (RUS) – 77.17
- Iuliia ARTEMEVA / Mikhail NAZARYCHEV (RUS) – 73.02
- Vanessa JAMES / Eric RADFORD (CAN) – 71.84
- Alexa KNIERIM / Brandon FRAZIER (USA) – 70.15
- Rebecca GHILARDI / Filippo AMBROSINI (ITA) – 64.60
- Camille KOVALEV / Pavel KOVALEV (FRA) – 55.25
- Ioulia CHTCHETININA / Mark MAGYAR (HUN) – 52.26
- Coline KERIVEN / Noel-Antoine PIERRE (FRA) – 51.93
2018 Olympic silver medalists and four-time World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron got off to a strong start at their home ISU Grand Prix event – skating to Made to Love and U Move, I Move by John Legend, the French couple earned a score of 89.08 points for their rhythm dance presentation. The high score is only 0.95 points shy of the rhythm dance world record that belongs to Papadakis and Cizeron themselves since the 2019 NHK Trophy.
Winners of Skate Canada, 2020 Canadian national champions Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier uncharacteristically dropped a few points on step sequences but did well enough to earn a score in the eighties. Skating to music by Elton John, the ice dancers are currently in second place with a score of 81.35 points.
Bronze medalists at the Grand Prix of Italy two weeks ago, Russian ice dancers Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin find themselves in third position again. Skating to a mixture of Everybody by The Backstreet Boys and Monster by Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber, the reigning Russian national champions haven’t seen scores under the eighties since late 2018 but weren’t clean enough in their steps, receiving 79.89 points today in Grenoble.
Results after rhythm dance:
- Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON (FRA) – 89.08
- Piper GILLES / Paul POIRIER (CAN) – 81.35
- Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN (RUS) – 79.89
- Christina CARREIRA / Anthony PONOMARENKO (USA) – 70.74
- Evgeniia LOPAREVA / Geoffrey BRISSAUD (FRA) – 69.23
- Annabelle MOROZOV / Andrei BAGIN (RUS) – 68.45
- Juulia TURKKILA / Matthias VERSLUIS (FIN) – 64.62
- Allison REED / Saulius AMBRULEVICIUS (LTU) – 64.43
- Loicia DEMOUGEOT / Theo le MERCIER (FRA) – 63.95
- Jennifer JANSE van RENSBURG / Benjamin STEFFAN (GER) – 57.14