The much-anticipated senior Grand Prix debut of Russia’s Alexandra Trusova did not disappoint. Though the 15-year-old ranked third in the short program, she rebounded in the long program to claim the ladies title by a 10.69-point margin.
No doubt many of the men were happy Trusova was not competing in their event, given that she attempted four quads in her free skate. Though she fell on the opening quad Salchow, she went on to land a quad Lutz, quad toe-triple toe loop, and quad toe loop-Euler-triple Salchow. Trusova earned 166.62 points for the free and captured her first senior Grand Prix title with a score of 241.02.
Trusova knows she needs to improve her spins and work on her skating skills. She is also working on mastering the triple Axel. “I’ve waited a long time to be able to compete at the senior level and I really like it,” the Riazan native said. “I am only upset that I missed the Salchow. It happens in practice quite often that I miss the first jump, but I just pull myself together and carry on.”
Japan’s Rika Kihira won the short — despite suffering from a case of nerves — with 81.35 points. “The quality of my triple Axel and my triple loop was good, like in practice, but in some parts of the program I was nervous and I didn’t do my spins so well,” the 17-year-old said.
She opened her long program with a step out of the opening triple Axel but within seconds landed a triple Axel-double toe combination. Kihira earned 148.98 for the free but finished second overall with 230.33 points. “I made a mistake on my triple Axel and I regret that and after that I wanted to do all my other jumps, which I did, but some of my landings could have been better,” she admitted. “My next event is the NHK Trophy and I am aiming for the Grand Prix Final.”
South Korea’s Young You, second after the short, fell on the opening triple Axel attempt in her long program but went on to land a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and five other triple jumps. She ranked fourth in the free with 139.27 points and dropped to third overall with a combined score of 217.49. “I was disappointed with the triple Axel, but the other elements were good,” the 15-year-old said. “I am happy to have won the bronze medal at my first Grand Prix event. This is a great chance for me.”
Bradie Tennell of the U.S. finished fourth with 211.31 points, ahead of Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva (209.62). Marin Honda, rose from 10th after the short to finish sixth (179.26).