Zagitova wins in France, qualifies for Grand Prix final

  • Zagitova wins in France, qualifies for Grand Prix final

Zagitova wins in France, qualifies for Grand Prix final

Russia's Alina Zagitova jumped from fifth to first to win the women's title at the Internationaux de France de Patinage today - the fifth leg of the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating season.

But in France on Saturday, the two-time world champion finished more than 10 points ahead of Japan's Shoma Uno, who also fell twice in his free program.

And there was more success for Russian Federation in the pairs free skating, with European champions Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov securing their second Grand Prix gold of the season. Performing to "Don Quixote" in a red outfit, she delivered a superb free program to turn things around, landing all her jumps including a triple Lutz-triple loop combination and a double axel-triple toe.

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.

Maria Sotskova of Russian Federation turned in a season-best 67.79 to sit in second place, while Japan's Yuna Shiraiwa is third heading into Saturday's free skate at 66.05.

Fernandez, after his shaky free skate, saw his almost 14-point lead over Shoma Uno of Japan reduced to 10.39 points.

Spain's Javier Fernandez scored 107.86 to take a huge lead after the men's short program, just shy of his personal best of 109.05.

Dance favourites Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron are leading on home soil with 81.40 points, followed by Madison Chock and Evan Bates well back in second with 73.55 points, and Russia's Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin in third at 70.02.

Spaniard Javier Fernandez topped the podium with a total of 283.71, while Uzbekistan's Misha Ge (258.34) settled for bronze.

Two weeks ago, Papadakis and Cizeron became the first ice dance team to break 200 points with 200.43 to win the Cup of China.

Uno, second after Friday's short program, scored 179.40 points at Patinoire Polesud for a total of 273.32 at the fifth event of the ISU Grand Prix Series, despite missing practice after catching the flu before the tournament. The Grand Prix Final is in Nagoya, Japan, next month, the last major competition before the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise of Italy claimed the bronze.