From the International Skating Union (ISU):
Trophée Eric Bompard opened Friday in Paris, France, with the Pairs and Men’s Short Program, Short Dance and Ladies Short Program. Trophée Bompard is the fifth of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 series.
Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) capture Pairs Short Program
China’s Qing Pang/Jian Tong captured the Pairs Short Program, edging out Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada by 1.62 points. Vera Bazarova/Juri Larionov of Russia are not far behind in third place.
Skating to “Lady Caliph” by Ennio Morricone, Pang/Tong produced a triple twist, throw triple loop and four level-four elements, but he fell on the triple toe. The two-time World Champions scored 67.69 points. “I was still feeling the jetlag, hopefully we’ll skate much better tomorrow”, Tong said. “I don’t know how many times we’ve been at this competition, but we never won and this is our last opportunity, so it would be nice to win”, he added.
Duhamel/Radford’s program to “Tribute”, composed by Radford himself, included a level four lift, spins, footwork and death spiral and throw triple Lutz, but she fell on the side by side triple Lutz (underrotated). The Canadian Champions earned 66.07 points. “We felt that we skated the program better than we did at our first Grand Prix Skate Canada. Obviously there was a big mistake, and this is two years in a row that we find ourselves second after the short at this competition. But we plan to skate a much better long program tomorrow. I will land a nice triple Lutz and we hope to get a personal best”, Duhamel told the press.
Bazarova/Larionov struggled with the solo jump as well as she crashed on an underrotated triple toe, but the 2012 European silver medalists recovered to complete a triple twist and throw triple flip. The Russians picked up 65.67 points. “This is our first Grand Prix this season here in Paris and the first major international competition for us this season. Today we were not able to skate without mistakes, I made an error on the jump, it was not expected. Tomorrow we’ll try not to repeat any mistakes”, Bazarova noted.
Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA) are sitting in fourth place at 63.52 points followed by Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) with 56.78 points.
Patrick Chan (CAN) leads Men after Short Program
Canada’s Patrick Chan leads the Men after the Short Program and set a new highest score on the way. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan came second and Jason Brown (USA) follows in third place.
Chan turned in a strong performance to an Elegie by Sergei Rachmaninov, nailing a quad-triple toeloop, a triple Axel and triple Lutz. The three-time World Champion earned a level four for two spins and the step sequence to score a personal best of 98.52 points, slightly surpassing his previous record score of 98.37 set at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2013. “I didn’t even know I broke the record. I just was so happy that I had skated well. I didn’t feel perfect in the air on some of the jumps, I felt like I was rotating all the way down on a lot of the jumps, but honestly I think that’s where training comes into play. You don’t necessarily have the best air position or the best jump, but your training just kicks in and you’re still able to make the best out of the situation. I was ecstatic with the way I skated. I love skating in a big rink, finally”, Chan shared.
Hanyu reeled off a quad toe, triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and three level-four spins in his program to “Parisian Walkways” to post a new personal best with 95.37 points. “I really didn’t have short programs without mistakes in 2013, so I really was happy. When we talk about the scores, it was lower than Patrick’s, but I was still happy. I did my best. I still have something to improve like steps and spins. I’ll keep on working on that”, the 18-year-old commented.
Brown landed a triple Axel, triple flip-triple toe, triple Lutz as well as level four spins and footwork in his routine to “The Question of You” by Prince. He achieved a new personal best with 84.77 points. “It’s such an honor to be up here with these guys. I looked up to them for years and to be at the same event with them is amazing. My goal when I get to events is always to get a personal best and to skate the way I know how I’ve been training. I was really excited to go out there and to perform and do just that”, the 2013 World Junior silver medalist said.
2012 World Junior Champion Han Yan (CHN) is within striking distance of the podium at 84.34 points. Florent Amodio (FRA) finished fifth at 73.65 points ahead of Michal Brezina (CZE, 71.91 points).
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) take Short Dance
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada danced to a confident lead in the Short Dance. France’s Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat and Russia’s Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov are separated by just 1.52 points in second and third place.
Virtue/Moir’s Foxtrot, Quickstep and Foxtrot to songs by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong featured level four twizzles and footwork as well as a level-four rotational lift. The Olympic Champions earned a level three for both Finnstep sequences and posted a new seasons best with 75.31 points. “Tessa and I were very happy with our skate today. It was important goal for us at this competition to have a strong short dance. We made quite a lot of changes since the first Grand Prix and we felt like we came out and executed them well, just like we do it in training”, Moir said.
Performing to “Big Spender”, “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Mein Herr”, Pechalat/Bourzat picked up a level four for the Finnstep, the twizzles and the lifts. The two-time European Champions set a new seasons best with 70.59 points. “We are happy with our short dance. Technically it was stronger than at the Cup of China and we are always happy to skate in front of a home crowd”, Pechalat noted.
Ilinykh/Katsalapov danced to “Bei mir bist du schoen” and “16 Tons”. Their rotational lift, twizzles and first Finnstep pattern merited a level four and the Russians improved their personal best with 69.07 points. “We felt really good. We only had one day in Moscow (following NHK Trophy), but it is such a nice atmosphere here in Paris and we were happy to skate again. We feel so good about our performance today, because we did so much better technically”, Ilinykh commented.
Nelli Zhiganshina/Alexander Gaszi (GER) finished fourth at 60.13 points and Gabriella Papadakis/ Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) are currently ranked fifth at 58.10 points.
Ashley Wagner (USA) wins Ladies Short Program
Ashley Wagner (USA) won the Ladies Short Program. Russians Anna Pogorilaya and Adelina Sotnikova follow almost tied in second and third place.
Wagner hit a triple loop, double Axel and level four spins and footwork in her program to “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, but underrotated the back end of her triple flip-triple toe combination. The U.S. Champion scored 66.75 points. “Today was a very solid skate. I was happy with how I performed. I feel that I did improve on some of my spin levels. I’m sure that my triple-triple got downgraded, because I was there, too and I saw the ice. Overall I’m very happy with what I did, because I went for everything. I feel I’m working my way up”, the 2012 Four Continents Champion explained.
Pogorilaya produced a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple loop and strong spins, but she popped her double Axel into nothing. The Muscovite eanred 60.03 points. “I am very pleased with the beginning of my program. The triple Lutz-triple toe was great, the loop and the flying camel spin as I had problems with it in practice. The Axel – I thought so much about not popping it in training because I popped it in the past three competitions in the free skating”, the 15-year-old noted.
Sotnikova went for a triple Lutz-triple loop but landed forward on the loop (downgraded). The triple flip and the spins were strong, but she singled the Axel. The reigning European silver medalist picked up 60.01 points. “I am absolutely not happy with my performance. This was probably one of the worst in a couple of years. I don’t know what happened on the double Axel, it just went, maybe something happened in my head”, the 17-year-old commented.
Christina Gao (USA) came fourth at 58.81 points. Samantha Cesario (USA) finished fifth at 56.65 points and Mae-Berenice Meite (FRA) placed sixth (56.50 points).
For full and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/14 please refer to www.isu.org.
Trophé Bompard continues Saturday with the Pairs, Men’s Free Skating, Free Dance and Ladies Free Skating.