Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva clinched her first ISU Grand Prix gold medal in four years, edging out Japan’s Mako Yamashita by 0.26 points as the competition wrapped up at Skate Canada International in Laval, QC, on Saturday. Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia surged from seventh to take the bronze medal.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Performing to “You Don’t Love Me”, “Petite Fleur” and “Cat Groove”, Tuktamysheva fell on her opening triple Axel but recovered to land five triple jumps and two double Axels. With 129.10 points, the 2015 World Champion ranked third in the Free Skating but managed to stay in first place with a total of 203.32.
“I didn’t skate so well today, I fell on my triple Axel and I was nervous to be honest,” Tuktamysheva admitted. “I’m happy I am in first place but I need to work a lot. My next event is the NHK Trophy in Japan and I’m very glad I can go there. I want to improve my triple Axel and skate better in Japan.”
Mako Yamashita (JPN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Yamashita nailed six clean triples in her routine to “Madame Butterfly”, including two triple Lutz-triple toe combinations and only a triple loop was underrotated. The 15-year-old scored136.76 points and was second in the Free Skating. Overall, she moved up to second place on 203.06 points. “I didn’t expect to win a medal today. I did the best I could and this led to me winning a medal. I learned a lot and I need to improve a lot,” said Yamashita, who was competing in her first Grand Prix event.
Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Medvedeva’s determined performance to Astor Piazzolla Tangos featured six clean triples jumps, including a triple flip-triple toe and a triple Salchow-triple toeloop combination. The only glitch came when she underrotated a triple loop. The Olympic silver medalist picked up 137.08 points to win the Free Skating and accumulated 197.91 points to surge from seventh to third.
“It wasn’t my best at all, there were a lot of mistakes. My next Grand Prix is in France and I have three weeks. In three weeks, I can do a huge [amount of] work. I want to improve my skating skills and focus on my technique, on the spins, my jumps. In France I have to win in order to be sure to go to the Final,” the two-time World Champion said.
Mariah Bell (USA) placed fourth on 190.25 points with a solid outing. Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) moved up from sixth to fifth on 185.71 points while Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) dropped from second to sixth after making some errors (181.29 points).