That Was The Week That Was In Figure Skating (5-11 December 2016)

We take a quick look back at what happened in the world of skating over the course of the past week.

Skating Stars Shine At Grand Prix Final in Marseille

The cream of world skating battled it out at the Palais Omnisports Marseille in the south of France. Yuzuru Hanyu won an unprecedented fourth title in the men’s event despite a flawed free skate. Veterans like Patrick Chan and Javier Fernandez also faltered and missed the podium and a new generation, headed by Nathan Chen and Shoma Uno, stepped up to the plate. Chen and Uno finished first and second in the free with the American holding off the Japanese for the silver.

Evgenia Medvedeva retained her crown from last year with a very comprehensive victory. The World champion won both segments of the event comfortably. Satoko Miyahara also repeated her silver from last season’s Grand Prix Final edging out Anna Pogorilaya who medalled for the first time at this competition.

There was a somewhat unexpected result in the pairs event. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov posted new personal bests en route to capturing the first major title of their career. Silver went to the new coupling of Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang. The Chinese only formed their partnership earlier this year. There were two very disappointing performances for Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford who went home with bronze. The World champions had last suffered defeat at the Grand Prix Final last year.

At their sixth attempt, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir finally won the only title that had eluded them in their illustrious career. Local favourites Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron had to be content with second place, while Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani came third.

Junior Grand Prix Final Puts Spotlight On Young Talent

Russia dominated the Junior Grand Prix Final in Marseille taking three out of four titles and seven out of twelve medals on offer. After finishing second last year, Dmitri Aliev won the men’s event over compatriot Alexander Samarin. Jun Hwan Cha from Korea pulled up from fourth after the short to pick up the bronze.

Alina Zagitova extended the Russian winning streak in the ladies event to seven and, as in the previous three years, another Russian, this time Anastasiia Gubanova, claimed silver. Kaori Sakamoto from Japan ended up in third place.

The pairs competition was handsomely won by Russia’s Anastasia Mishina and Vladimir Mirzoev who amassed almost 23 points more than their nearest rivals. Anna Duskova and Martin Bidar from the Czech Republic bagged silver for the second year in a row with Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii from Russia winning bronze.

Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons from the United States of America came from behind after the short dance to prevent a clean Russia sweep of the events. Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd were less than a point behind in second place. Last season’s Junior World and Junior Grand Prix Final champions Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter has to be content with third.

Kostner Makes Comeback In Zagreb

In her first competitive appearance since the 2014 World Championships, Carolina Kostner returned to the ice at Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia. After leading the field in the short program, the Sochi Olympic bronze medallist made a number of errors in her free skating, but still had enough in hand to win. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who now trains alongside the Italian, moved up from fifth after the short to second overall after posting the highest score in the free. Alena Leonova rounded out the podium.

The men’s event was an Israel 1-2 with Alexei Bychenko and Daniel Samohin coming first and second respectively. Canada’s Keegan Messing was third.

Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise clung on to first in pairs  by the skin of their teeth with Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov finishing a mere 0.16 behind them. Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc from the U.S. took bronze.

Italy got a third title in Zagreb courtesy of Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri as they claimed victory in the ice dance category. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker were second and Alisa Agafonova and Alper Ucar third.


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