There was star power on show in Helsinki this weekend for the third stage of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
Yuzuru Hanyu cruised to the title with a flawless short programme and an unprecedented technical feat in the free skating. The double Olympic champion became the first skater to land a quadruple toe loop-triple Axel sequence. He claimed gold by over forty points.
Consistency has not always been a word associated with Michal Brezina, but he backed up his silver medal performance at Skate America with another second place in Helsinki. In doing so he became the first singles skater to book himself a spot in the Grand Prix Final. It will be only the Czech skater’s second appearance at the event.
Junhwan Cha landed on the podium for the second week in a row when he took home bronze.
Despite faltering in the short where she singled the second part of a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, Alina Zagitova came back in the free to deliver a solid performance and maintain her perfect record at Grand Prix competitions. Teammate Stanislava Konstantinova was fourth after the short and with a third place in the free rose up to second overall. Kaori Sakamoto had been languishing in seventh after the short, but skated strongly in the free to move up to third and keep her hopes of making the Grand Prix Final alive.
It was not a vintage pairs competition. Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert were lying narrowly in second following the free. A solid if not perfect free pulled them up give them the first Grand Prix title of their careers. Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise grasped silver by the slimmest of margins over Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin of Russia.
The battle for ice dance gold came down to Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin and Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri. The latter incurred a time violation in the rhythm dance and Guignard had an unfortunate fall in the free dance that took the Italians just enough out of the race to give the Russians the edge for their first Grand Prix title. Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter from the United States were a distant third and secured their first senior Grand Prix medal.
You can find full and detailed results for the Grand Prix of Helsinki here.