Grenoble Seals Final Places

The closing Grand Prix event of the season saw skaters travel to Grenoble for the Internationaux de France de Patinage with places in the Grand Prix Final on the line.

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Nathan Chen had a shaky start to the event when he fell on a quadruple flip in the short programme and found himself in third place. The World champion came back strong in the free skating with a three quad routine that lifted him up to his second Grand Prix win of the season and a trip to Vancouver next month for the Grand Prix Final.

Earlier this season Jason Brown had struggled in competition and missed the podium in both the Autumn Classic and Skate Canada. In Grenoble, he appeared to have regained his confidence and posted a new career best score of 96.41 to lead after the short. There were a few minor errors in the free, but the American held on to secure silver.

Alexander Samarin had been second after the short and found himself pushed down to third overall following the strong showing by Chen.

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All eyes were on Rika Kihira in the ladies event. However, she popped a planned triple Axel in the short into a single which lost her some very valuable. Fortunately for her, other skaters also made mistake and she was in second going into the free. In the free, she did land a triple Axel, although it was deemed to be under-rotated, and won her second Grand Prix of the season to book her place in the Final.

Mai Mihara had been in the lead after the short. The 2017 Four Continents champion skated a solid free to slot in behind Kihira in the final standings.

Bradie Tennell rallied from sixth after the short to pick up the bronze.

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Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres arrived in Grenoble as the heavy favourites going into the pairs competition. The 2018 World bronze medallists had a sub par performance in the short, but eventually overcame their competitors to win their first French Grand Prix title and qualify for the Grand Prix Final for the first time.

There was a silver lining for Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea who had been fourth after the short. A strong showing in the free lifted them up to second place.

Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozslovskii had been in the lead following the short, but errors in their free dropped them down to third.

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After withdrawing from NHK Trophy, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron made their competitive season debut in Grenoble. There were never challenged by their competitors and sailed to a fourth French Grand Prix title.

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov took their second silver Grand Prix medal of the season and booked themselves a place in the Grand Prix Final for the first time.

As at Skate Canada, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier finished behind the Russians to earn bronze.

Full detailed results for the Internationaux de France de Patinage 2018 can be viewed here.

2018 Grand Prix Final Qualifiers

Men – Yuzuru Hanyu, Shoma Uno, Nathan Chen, Michal Brezina, Sergei Voronov, Junhwan Cha.

Ladies – Alina Zagitova, Rika Kihira, Satoko Miyahara, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Kaori Sakamoto, Sofia Samodurova.

Pairs – Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres, Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov, Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert, Cheng Peng/Yang Jin, Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise, Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin.

Ice Dance – Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue, Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin, Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov, Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri, Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker, Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro.

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