Grenoble, France

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Boikova/Kozlovskii are competing in their first full senior season © International Skating Union

Young Russian pair Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii produced an upset to win the Pairs Short Program at the Internationaux de France in Grenoble on Friday. Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea were second, while pre-competition favorites Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres of France placed third.

Performing to “Dark Eyes”, Boikova/Kozlovskii landed a side by side triple Salchow, triple twist, throw triple Salchow as well as a level-four spin and step sequence. The 2017 World Junior silver medalists, who are competing in their first full senior season, posted a season’s best of 68.83 points.

“Our performance was good, but I feel myself not in the right place right now, sitting here with these great sportsmen,” Kozlovskii said.

His partner Boikova said: “I feel comfortable and I think this is our place, but tomorrow is the free skating and we need to do our job.

“We were a bit sad when we were fourth at Skate Canada, but we were motivated to work even harder. Maybe it was good that we were fourth.”

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Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim (PRK) scored a season's best of 67.18 points © International Skating Union

Ryom/Kim put out a solid program to “A Day in the Life” that featured a side by side triple toe, a triple twist and throw triple loop. The 2018 Four Continents bronze medalists earned 67.18 points, a season’s best.

“We are very happy to do a clean performance and tomorrow we want to do our best again. We focused (after our first Grand Prix in Helsinki) on each technical element and the overall performance in practice,” Ryom said.

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Vanessa James/Morgan Cipre are aiming to climb the podium on Saturday © International Skating Union

World bronze medalists James/Cipres started off well with a level-four triple twist in their routine to “Uninvited” by Alanis Morisette, but James doubled the toeloop and the landing of the throw triple flip was shaky. The French pair scored 65.24 points.

“Obviously that was not the performance we wanted to skate in France for the public and for ourselves, but it is normal that we sometimes make mistakes - we are human beings,” Cipres said.

James added: “I don’t think this will be our spot tomorrow but if it is, it is because we deserve it. We deserved this spot today.”

2018 Four Continents Champions Tarah Kayne/Danny O'Shea (USA) are sitting in fourth on 63.45 points while Camille Ruest/Andrew Wolfe (CAN) finished fifth (58.25 points).

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