Sunday, 19/11/2017 | : : UTC-8
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Trophée Eric Bompard: PANG/TONG, CHAN, WAGNER & VIRTUE MOIR WIN GOLD

PANG/TONG AND DUHAMEL/RADFORD CONFIRM FIRST AND SECOND PLACE, DENNEY/COUGHLIN SKATE INTO THIRD.

The first two pairs made some mistakes in the Long Program, with Jian Tong having some difficulties in landing cleanly his side-by-side jumps and and Qing Pang landing on two feet the throw 3 Salchow. Also Eric Radford made a mistake in the side-by-side jumps, putting a hand down on the 3 Salchow and not executing the planned combination. Denney/Coughlin didn’t make major mistakes, and a solid Free Skate allowed them to go ahead of the Russians Bazarova/Larionov, who both had problems with the side-by-side jumps.

The Chinese pair Pang/Tong won the Free Skating and the overall competition with 193.86  points, winning for the very first time the Trophée Bompard. “This is our last season, this gold medal is very good for us. We tried to skate well and thank you very much for the support. As any skater, we want an Olympic gold medal. It’s the last season for us. It’s an impossible dream. We try to do the best and put our heart into the skating.”

Meaghan Duhamel/Eric Radford came in second place with 190.89  points: “It was a very hard skate, we knew what was on the line, we wanted to skate well here but the goal was the GPF. Next season hopefully here we will win finally the gold – I have 2 bronze and 2 silvers…“

Caydee Denney/John Coughlin climbed up from fourth to third place, obtaining the bronze medal with 184.01 points: “We are so excited with our skate, we know what to work on to get ready for Boston Nationals and hopefully for the Olympic Games as well. More importantly, it’s an honour and privilege to be on the podium with Pang/Tong in their last Grand Prix. We are looking up to them.”

CHAN WINS THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX WITH A PERFECT PERFORMANCE AND ANOTHER WORLD RECORD. HANYU AND BROWN GAIN SILVER AND BRONZE MEDALS

After a perfect Short Program, Chan performed a perfect Long Program as well, setting a new world record of 295.27 points. Despite mistakes on the Salchow and Toeloop quad jumps, Yuzuru Hanyu was able to recover and complete a good program, earning 263.59 points overall. The only mistake Brown made was to single the second 3 Axel: apart from that, the American performed a clean program, winning the first senior Grand Prix medal of his career with 243.09 points.

Patrick Chan commented on his Long Program performance: “I haven’t done really well in the Long Program in the past competitions, I always failed to skate well. I set a goal here, I wanted to skate a clean Long Program, which I’ve done in the practice but not in competition. I was nervous, eager and worried. It’s hard to get ahead of yourself when you have two quads and a 3 Axel, but the trick I learned is to breath between the elements. It’s bad if you rush between the program and rush into the next element, so I just breath all the way through the program. I think I want to be able to repeat two good programs at the future competitions – the Grand Prix Final, Nationals and the Olympics. I’m glad I was able to do it early.”
Yuruzu Hanyu explained what went wrong in his two quads: “I went too powerful into the 4 Salchow and I was thinking about that missed jump too much: the 4 Toeloop didn’t go so well either, but then I calmed down and I thought I got a good performance after, so that was nice. I’m really disappointed now. It was the same at Skate Canada – I couldn’t do the 4 Salchow and I am so disappointed. I have to keep working on my key jumps – my two quads – I have to go home and do it again.”

Jason Brown told about his performance and the creation of his Long Program: “I’m so excited to be on the podium with these two incredible guys. It’s a dream come true, I’m so excited. I know I missed the second 3 Axel, but I was happy about how I stood on my feet and made up for that.

(About the Long program) My choreographer chose the music, the coach was very shocked with the choice. But he had it for sure and he wanted me to skate to it. The first day I went on the ice I didn’t know whether I’ll be able to connect to it, but once he started choreographing I fell in love with it. It pushed me in so many ways – artistically, mentally etc, but I love it.”

VIRTUE/MOIR ON TOP OF THE PODIUM, ILINYKH/KATSALAPOV BEAT FOR THE FIRST TIME THE HOMECROWD FAVOURITES PECHALAT/BOURZAT

The Canadians won the event with 180.96 points, above the Russians who surpassed the French (171.08 points) with 171.89 points.

Virtue/Moir earned 105.65 points in the Free Dance, although receiving a level 2 and 3 on the lifts and two “extended lift” deductions: “It’s one of our favourite events. We love the city, and it’s always special to come here. We had a pretty strong performance, though we left a lot of points on the table. We are proud at the way we competed, so it’s something positive to take away. We use every competition as a stone on the way to the Olympics. We are not yet sure it’s our last season. We’ll decide after Sochi. We even have lists on our phones of the ideas for Free Dances, but we’ll see. For Tessa and I this is a special Free Dance. It took a while to find the music that we really wanted, the goal was to show the 17 years together, to show our love towards each other and figure skating.”

Ilinykh/Katsalapov received level 4 for every element, apart from the two step sequences level 3 worth. They earned 102.82 in the competition segment, setting a new personal best and a national record: “We are glad we did somethign better than a week ago in Japan. The competition was really successful for us. During the summer we worked so much on the elements, on the lifts, we worked with a technician from Circle du Soleil. I think we will work more on the choreography now and we will show more of it, unfortunately we didn’t have time to show all we wanted, choreography wise.”

Péchalat/Bourzat lost the silver because of a level 3 in the spin, earning 100.49: “Tonight we felt a bit like at Worlds in Nice. The crowd was cheering for us, it was good skating in front of our audience. Perhaps we didn’t skate as well as in China, we lost a ferw points on lifts, but we had a better scores than in the previous event, so it’s good.
Our Free Dance is a mime: we decided to work first with the book. There is a mini character in the book, the rose, so Nathalie interprets the rose and I am the Little Prince.”

WAGNER IN FIRST PLACE DESPITE BEING SECOND IN THE FREE SKATE, SOTNIKOVA SURPASSES POGORILAYA AND QUALIFIES FOR THE GRAND PRIX FINAL

Wagner, second in the Free Skate but first overall, won Trophée Bompard with 194.37. Sotnikova’s clean program was worth 189.81 points, while Pogorilaya won the bronze with 184.69.

Wagner set a new personal best with 127.62: she only had problems landing the two 3 Flip (two-footed and step-out) : “Tonight was quite a good night for me. I was happy to skate after the Skate America performance, which was not perfect. I was happy with my levels, I have room to work on – the three-jumps combination didn’t happen here. I always want to tell a story in my Long Programs. Wilson did the choreography, but it’s not the Romeo and Juliet you always see. I’m trying to focus more on the passion Julia has. I didn’t want to portrait a victim for four minutes, but that was what I was doing at Skate America. So David Wilson and I worked on that – we were working on the stronger Juliet, this time I was trying to show how fierce she is, how much she would do and how far she would go to get what she wanted.”

Sotnikova’s perfect Free Skate earned 129.80 points: “Finally I had skated the Long Program like I didn’t before, I’m overwhelmed with  emotions. It’s the first time in two years I had a clean Long Program. I will skate in the Grand Prix Final, it’s a huge thing for me, the first time in my senior career. For me personally it’s a great thing. It took me a long time to make it to the Grand Prix Final, I am so proud of myself. The Russians are very strong, and another girl will probably make it – Lipnitskaya, I think – we will fight with each other and the rest of the ladies field.”

Pogorilaya also had a personal best with her Long Program score of 124.66 points: “I was under a huge pressure, I was pressuring myself. I was under so much things: the practices were not good, the warm up was bad…but the skate was great for me. I did all the jumps. Some jumps were not landed well, so it was hard to do the following jumps from there. Since I was fighting for every jump, it took much more power than a normal landing and jumping. Today it was so hard to skate the programme till the end and show the emotions. I was almost crying by the end – I couldn’t not breath.”

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