Grenoble, France

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2021 World silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan skated to a strong lead in the Men’s Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix Internationaux de France, winning with 11 points to spare. Latvia’s Deniss Vasiljevs finished second, edging Jason Brown (USA) by less than half a point.

Skating to “When You’re Smiling” by Michael Bublé, Kagiyama hit a quad Salchow-triple toeloop, a quad toeloop and a somewhat shaky triple Axel and had all reason to smile when his score of 100.64 came up, a season’s best and almost equaling his personal best.


Yuma Kagiyama of Japan © International Skating Union (ISU)

“My short program hasn’t been going so well in my previous competitions,” said Kagiyama. “Coming in, I was wondering if there will be another disappointment, but after my practice and six-minute warm-up I gained confidence that I might do well today.

“There are some things I regret, but even with mistakes I got a 100 points and I think that shows my growth.”

Vasiljevs’ intense performance to “Sarakiz: II. Romanza” and “The Battle Drums” was highlighted by a triple flip-triple toe, triple Axel, triple Lutz and difficult steps and spins. The Latvian Champion posted a new personal best with 89.76 points. 


Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia © International Skating Union (ISU)

“I am excited to be back in Grenoble and even if we are in the ‘bubble’, it is exciting to skate for an audience,” Vasiljevs said. “Developing a character in skating is like a bottle of wine – it needs time to get that taste,” he added.

Jason Brown (USA) produced a triple flip, triple Lutz-triple toe and excellent spins in his program to “Sinnerman”. However, he touched down with his hand on the triple Axel. The 2020 ISU Four Continents silver medalist picked up 89.39 points.


Jason Brown of the United States © International Skating Union (ISU)

“There were things I loved about this program, I loved the fight,” said Brown. “There were a few little errors in the program that I am not so pleased with, but tomorrow is another day,” Brown noted.

ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Shun Sato (JPN) remained close to the podium in fourth place at 87.82 points. 2020 European Champion Dmitri Aliev (RUS) doubled his Axel and sits in fifth (85.05 points), followed by Keegan Messing (CAN) in sixth (85.03 points).

For full results, see here.