- Paris, France
The competition at Trophée Eric Bompard concluded Saturday in Paris, France, with the Pairs and Men's Free Skating, Free Dance and Ladies Free Skating. Trophée Bompard was the fifth of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 series.
Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) skate to Pairs gold medal
China's Qing Pang/Jian Tong skated to the Pairs gold medal. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada took the silver medal and Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA) earned the bronze.
Performing to I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, Pang/Tong produced a triple twist, throw triple loop and level-four lifts and spins, but he fell on a triple toe and singled an Axel. The two-time World Champions scored a seasons best of 126.17 points and totaled 193.86 points to win the Trophee Bompard for the first time in their long career. We are excited about the gold medal. This is our last season and the gold medal is very good for us. We tried to show good skating in the Grand Prix, Tong commented.
Duhamel/Radford's program to Alice in Wonderland included a triple twist, side by side triple Lutz, throw triple Lutz and loop as well as five level-four elements. The Canadian Champions earned a new seasons best with 124.82 points which added up to 190.89 points overall. That was a very difficult skate for both Meagan and I. We knew what was on the line. Of course we were aiming to win here, but our other goal was to make the Grand Prix Final. We fought for our lives out there to make sure we stayed on our feet and made everything happen, Radford noted.
Denney/Coughlin completed a triple twist, throw triple loop and flip as well as side by side triple toes in their routine to Phantom of the Opera to score 120.49 points. Overall they collected 184.01 points and moved up from fourth place. We are very excited with our skate. We know exactly what we will work on to get ready for Boston (U.S. Nationals) and hopefully the Olympic Championships, but more importantly it is an honor and a privilege to be on the podium with Pang and Tong in their final Grand Prix. They are a team that we respect very much and hope to be like, Coughlin told the press.
Vera Bazarova/Juri Larionov (RUS) slipped from third to fourth at 180.07 points. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) finished fifth with 172.27 points.
Pang/Tong qualified with 28 points for the Final and Duhamel/Radford should make it as well (24 points).
Patrick Chan (CAN) skates off with gold
Patrick Chan of Canada skated off with the Men's gold, setting new personal best scores on the way. Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu claimed the silver medal and Jason Brown (USA) picked up the bronze.
Chan delivered a flawless performance of his Four Seasons program, reeling off a quad-triple toeloop combination, another quad toe, triple Axel as well as five more triples and level-four footwork. The three time World Champion set a new personal best for himself in the Free Skating with 196. 75 points and overall with 295.27 points, surpassing his own record scores set at the ISU World Championships 2011. Today was a challenge, because I have done very well in the short program in the past and haven't had the best track record with the long program. I kind of set a goal and I wanted of course skate a clean long program which I have done in practice. I was of course nervous and a bit worried, but I really thought about what I think in training. The trick I found is just to take one element at a time, Chan said.
Hanyu overcame a shaky start into his Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota when he missed the take-off of his quad Salchow and crashed on the quad toe, to hit eight triples including two Axels. The 18-year-old earned 168.22 points and accumulated 263.59 points overall. For the quad Salchow I had too much power in my body and then I was thinking too much about missing the quad Salchow and the quad toe didn't go well either. But then I calmed down and I think I did a good performance after that and that was nice for me, the reigning Grand Prix Final silver medalist explained.
Brown's Irish themed program to Reel Around the Sun featured seven triples as well as level four spins and footwork. The 2013 World Junior silver medalist posted a new personal best with 158.32 points and had 243.09 points overall to win his first medal at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. It's so exciting and to be on the podium with two most incredible guys is just a dream come true. I was so excited to skate the way I did. I know I messed up the second Axel, but I'm very excited about how I thought on my feet and re-arranged some of the other jumps in my program to make up for that, the 18-year-old commented.
Han Yan (CHN) remained in fourth place at 214.23 points. Michal Brezinza (CZE) pulled up from sixth to fifth at 206.22 points and Nan Song (CHN) came sixth (204.73 points).
With two victories on the circuit, Chan is the top qualifier for the Grand Prix Final right now (30 points). Hanyu made it with two second places (26 points). Brown won't make it (18 points), but Yan (24 points) has a good chance to be in Fukuoka.
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) take the gold
Canada's Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir took the gold medal. Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia pulled up from third to capture the silver medal while Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat of France settled for the bronze.
Virtue/Moir turned in a strong performance of their Free Dance to Seasons by Alexander Glazunov. Two lifts, the twizzles and the spin merited a level four while three other elements got a level three but one curve lift garnered a level two only. The Olympic Champions scored 105.65 points and accumulated 189.96 points overall. It's one of our favorite events. We love competing in Paris. It was a great crowd out there, it was a lot of energy. We felt we had a pretty strong performance. We left a lot of points on the board again, which is something obviously we have to work on going forward, but at the same time we are very proud of with how we performed this week and how we competed. We're using all the competitions this year as a stepping stone to the Sochi Olympics, Moir said.
Dancing to Swan Lake, Ilinykh/Katsalapov picked up level four for their lifts, spin and twizzles and a level three for both step sequences to earn a personal best of 102.82 points. They totaled 171.89 points to overtake Pechalat/Bourzat. First of all I want to thank the audience for their support and I want to share this emotion. We are happy to have the opportunity to skate with such great champions as Tessa and Scott and Nathalie and Fabian. We are pleased with our performance today, something we did better than a week ago in Japan (at NHK Trophy) and other things maybe didn't go as well, but overall it was a very successful event for us, Katsalapov shared.
Pechalat/Bourzat's dance to Le Petit Prince et sa Rose featured innovative lifts and smooth footwork, but the two-time European Champions received a deduction for an extended lift and their spins was graded a level three. The 2012 World bronze medalists scored 100.49 points and slipped to third at 171.08 points. We had a great performance, but maybe it wasn't as good as in China (at Cup of China), but it was still a good performance. We lost a few points with the deduction for the extra long lift. I guess it's hard for me to count until six, so I will try to fix that until the next competition, Bourzat explained.
Nelli Zhiganshina/Alexander Gaszi (GER) finished fourth with 147.27 points ahead of Gabriella Papadakis/ Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) with 143.26 points.
Virtue/Moir qualified for the Grand Prix Final with the maximum of 30 points. Pechalat/Bourzat booked their ticket to Fukuoka with a first and third place (26 points) while Ilynikh/Katsalapov will have to wait and see what happens in Moscow next week.
Ashley Wagner (USA) strikes gold
Ashley Wagner (USA) struck gold in the Ladies event. Russia's Adelina Sotnikova and Anna Pogorilaya took the silver and bronze medals, switching places after the Short Program.
Wagner produced four good triples and two level-four spins in her program to Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev, but her triple flip-triple toe combination was shaky. The U.S. Champion was ranked second in the Free Skating with 127.62 points but overall remained in first at 194.37 points. Tonight was a pretty decent night for me. I was happy to build upon my scores from Skate America with a program that wasn't perfect. I left a couple of points on the table with the three-jump-combination that was non-existent. Other than that I was very happy with my levels, I have a little bit left to work on, but I think there is room for improvement, the 22-year-old told the press.
Sotnikova's program to Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens included six triples as well as excellent spins. The European silver medalist earned 129.80 points, a new personal best score and totaled 189.81 points. I am just overwhelmed with emotions now, because finally I skated a clean long program for the first time in two years. I am also very happy to make it to the Grand Prix Final, the Muscovite noted.
Pogorilaya pulled off seven triples including a triple Lutz-triple toe combination in her routine to Mermaids from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. She posted a new personal best with 124.66 points which added up to 184.69 points overall. I really rate this performance highly, because it was very hard. There was pressure from all sides. It was a such a great performance for me, because doing ideal jumps is so much easier than when you have to fight for each jump in the program and land them even in situations where many people won't pull them off, the 15-year-old commented.
Samantha Cesario (USA) finished fourth with 172.70 points followed by Mae-Berenice Meite (FRA) with 166.11 points and Amelie Lacoste (CAN) with 158.11 points.
Wagner qualified with 28 points for the Grand Prix Final and Pogorilaya with 26. Sotnikova has 26 as well and most likely will go to the Final as well.
For full and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/14 please refer to Entries/Results.
Trophé Bompard concludes Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series moves to Moscow, Russia, next week for the Rostelecom Cup, the sixth and last event of the series.