The competition at the Trophée Bompard in Paris, France concluded Saturday with the Pairs, Ladies Free Skating and the Free Dance. The Trophée Bompard was the first of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.
Pairs, Free Skating
Russia’s Maria Mukhortova/Maxim Trankov of Russia upset reigning World Champions Aliona Savchenko/ Robin Szolkowy of Germany and won the gold medal. Canada’s Jessica Dubé/Bryce Davison earned the silver medal while the Germans settled for the bronze.
Mukhortova/Trankov skated to the “Love Story” soundtrack and delivered a flawless, flowing program that was highlighted by a high triple twist, a side by side triple toe-double toe combination and a beautiful throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow. The current European bronze medalists also completed difficult lifts and earned a level four for all three of them as well as for their spins and the death spiral. The couple from St. Petersburg was awarded 126.05 points (64.77 element score/61.28 program component score) which added up to 192.93 points overall. The Russians improved their personal best by 10.86 points and moved up to first place to take the first Grand Prix gold medal of their career. “We skated very well today. Our coach (Oleg Vasiliev) told us that we shouldn’t fight with anybody, we just should skate like we do in practice. We have been practicing very well the past three weeks in St. Petersburg and so we were confident that we could skate well here”, Trankov commented.
Dubé/Davison chose the music from the movie “The way we were” for their free skating. The 2008 World bronze medalists opened with a triple twist followed by a double Axel-double Axel sequence, but his second Axel was a little shaky. The team showed interesting lifts with many changes of position for Dubé, but she two-footed the throw triple Lutz and touched down with her hand on the throw triple loop. The Canadians scored 116.43 points (58.91/57.52) and pulled up from third to second at 180.97 points.
Savchenko/Szolkowy run into trouble right at the beginning of their program to “You’ll never walk alone” when she underrotated the second jump in their triple toe-triple toe sequence. The throw triple flip was strong, but then Savchenko slipped in the spiral sequence and Szolkowy went down on the side by side triple Salchow. The couple also missed the death spiral and singled the throw Salchow. They picked up points for their difficult lifts and spins, but with a Free Skating score of 101.44 (46.16/57.28) they dropped from first to third at 174.42 points overall.
Ladies, Free Skating
Yu-Na Kim of Korea cruised to the gold medal in the Ladies event. Japan’s Mao Asada and Yukari Nakano took silver and bronze.
Overnight leader Kim gave an inspiring performance of her program to “Concerto in F” by George Gershwin, reeling off a soaring triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a double Axel-triple toeloop, a triple Salchow and Lutz. Her flying combination spin was graded a level four while the spiral sequence, the other two spins and the footwork got a level three. The only glitch in the otherwise smooth program came when Kim set up for her triple flip but then omitted the jump completely. The reigning World Champion earned 133.95 points (67.55 element score/66.40 program component score) for this performance, setting a new personal best for herself. She racked up a new record score of 210.03 points, beating her previous record of 207.71 points, achieved at the 2009 World Championships. “This is my first competition since I became World Champion (in March). I was a little worried about it, but I skated without any major mistake”, Kim said. “When I was setting up for the flip, I thought that there was something on the ice and I was shaky”, she answered when asked about leaving out the flip. “But I was able to do all the other jumps without any mistakes afterwards and I’m happy about that.”
Asada rallied back from a faulty Short Program. The 2008 World Champion hit a beautiful triple Axel-double toeloop combination right at the beginning of her program to “Bells of Moscow” by Sergei Rachmaninov and three more good triples followed. However, the Japanese stepped out of the second triple Axel that was downgraded. Also the triple loop was downgraded by the Technical Panel. Asada received a level four for the flying sit spin and the combination spin and picked up 115.03 points (55.07/60.96) which added up to 173.99 points overall. Asada moved up from third to second place.
Nakano produced a double Axel-double Axel sequence, a triple flip-double toeloop combination, a triple flip and triple toe, but the triple Lutz was landed forward as was the Salchow. The Japanese scored 106.06 points (48.86/57.20) and slipped to third at 165.70 overall.
Ice Dance, Free Dance
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada won the Ice Dance event ahead of France’s Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat and Sinead Kerr/John Kerr from Great Britain.
Virtue/Moir have chosen the Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony for their Free Dance and gave a beautiful, flowing performance. Their romantic dance featured innovative lift such as a straight line lift with her balancing on his back and exiting with a little jump and a whirling rotational lift. The current World bronze medalists completed also intricate footwork that was graded a level three by the Technical Panel. Virtue/Moir got 97.39 points (49.50 element score/49.89 program component score) and collected 100.32 points overall. They received two points deduction for extended lifts. “Tessa and I are extremely pleased with our result and we’re happy with how we skated today. It’s a good starting point for us. We love the program that Marina (Zueva) and Igor (Shpilband) have made for us, and I really think it’s going to take us to great places”, Moir told the press. “Overall we’re pretty excited about it. The program is in a very early stage and it’s going to grow into a lot more – the speed, the power, the expression”, he continued.
Pechalat/Bourzat picked “Time” as the theme of their dance that is set mainly to “Requiem for a Dream”. The French produced a dance combination spin, a curve-rotational lift with many changes of position and synchronized twizzles. They picked up a level four for the spin, the twizzles and two lifts and a level three for the circular and diagonal footwork. Pechalat/Bourzat earned 89.77 points (45.46/44.31) and totaled 181.64 points.
Kerr/Kerr’s routine to “Krwlng” by Linkin Park told the story of a troubled man that receives guidance from a spirit. The brother-and-sister team performed interesting lifts such as a straight line lift in a low position and a straight line-rotational lift. Their inverse lift at the end when Sinead Kerr lifted her brother drew extra applause from the crowd at Paris Bercy. However, the footwork was graded a level two. The reigning European bronze medalists scored 86.25 points (42.10/44.15) and remained in third place at 177.11 points.
For full results please refer to www.isu.org. The Trophée Bompard concludes Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series continues next week with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS