GRENOBLE, France (Reuters) - Russia’s Alina Zagitova rebounded from an error-laden short program with a graceful free skate on Saturday to earn her second grand prix title this month and qualify for next month’s final.
Performing to “Don Quixote” at the Internationaux de France in Grenoble, the world junior champion cleanly executed all the elements of her jump-packed free program, earning first place with a total of 213.80 points.
Wearing a red tutu, the 15-year-old demonstrated her ability to bounce back after a rough short program on Friday in which she fell on her triple lutz triple toe combination, as well as on her triple flip.
“I am not very pleased with my short program because not everything worked out, but I am pleased with the free skating because I did everything to the maximum,” Zagitova told the International Skating Union (ISU) website.
“The short program was on a different day, today was new day, I started from scratch and tried to go out with a cool head.”
With wins at the France and China grand prix events, Zagitova has secured a spot in her first senior-level Grand Prix Final in Japan.
Compatriot Maria Sotskova, who had finished second behind Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond in the short program on Friday, finished second overall with 208.78 points, expertly executing a triple lutz triple toeloop combination at the start of her skate.
Osmond, the world silver medallist who won the Skate Canada event last month, failed to capitalise on her lead in the short programme, finishing third with 206.77 points.
Despite performing a series of quality jumps in her free program, Osmond took a step after her double axel-triple toeloop combination before falling on her triple loop.
But her third place in France and her Skate Canada title are enough to see her through to the Grand Prix Final, taking place two months before the start of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In ice dance, France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron pleased the home crowd with a stunning free dance that saw them tally 201.98 points overall, a world record.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States finished more than 20 points behind the French pair, while Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin took third place with 177.24 points.
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber from Moscow, editing by Ed Osmond