Gold medals were awarded in three disciplines on Day 2 of the 2018 ISU Grand Prix Final — an exciting Friday of skating that also provided the host country with its first chance to celebrate.
Two weeks shy of his 14th birthday, Stephen Gogolev of Canada made his Grand Prix debut a winning one, while Nathan Chen of the United States became a repeat champion and the junior ice dance event offered up the most dramatic finish of the day.
American Nathan Chen went wire-to-wire in retaining his Grand Prix Final crown, winning both the short and long programs in posting a 282.42 overall total. That was more than seven points better than silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan (275.10), while South Korea’s Jun-Hwan Cha (263.49) made his senior Grand Prix debut memorable by seizing the bronze medal.
The pairs competition is building up to a tight finish, with the top three in Friday’s short program a mere 1.65 points apart. China’s Cheng Peng and Yang Jin (75.69) set the pace, followed closely by Russia’s Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert (75.18). Their teammates, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, sit in third (74.04).
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. are chasing their first-ever Grand Prix medal, and are in position to make it gold after winning the rhythm dance (80.53). They were a little more than two points better than Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (78.30). Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov are right on their heels in third (77.33).
Stephen Gogolev of Canada only got into this Grand Prix Final as an injury replacement, but he made the opportunity count in the biggest way possible by winning the junior men’s title in his debut at the event. A 233.58 overall total made the 13-year-old a comfortable winner over Russia’s Petr Gumennik (218.75) and Koshiro Shimada of Japan (214.38).
By far the closest competition of the day came in the junior dance event, which saw Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko (170.66) prevail by a scant .01 points over Russian teammates Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov (170.65). The battle for the bronze was nearly as tight, with Russia’s Elizeveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov (164.54) edging Canada’s Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha (164.51) by a mere .03 points.