The first Senior medals were awarded at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The two Chinese pairs Sui/Han and Peng/Jin stole the scene and won first and second place among the Senior Pairs. The Senior program opened in the late afternoon with the Ice Dance: a great show on the ice at Torino’s Palavela, with six pairs all within little more than 4 points of each other. The Ladies performed brilliantly as well, with Kostornaia in the lead after the Short Program.

Senior Ice Dance

Four-time World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron of France danced to a narrow lead in the Rhythm Dance at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Torino (ITA) Friday. Defending ISU Grand Prix Final Champions Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) are just a little over a point behind in second place while Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) came third in the first segment of the Ice Dance event. The competition was very close with the top five teams being separated by less than three points. 2019 World silver medalists Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) are not far behind in fourth place after he stumbled on a twizzle (81.51 points). Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) follow in fifth place on 81.14 points and Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) finished sixth (79.53 points).

Performing to “Fame”, Papadakis/Cizeron scored 83.83 points. “We had a couple of mistakes in the step sequence, which explains why we didn’t get that much of the scores, but we’ve had high scores in the previous Grand Prix, and it’s fine, we might just be tired from the last two Grand Prix competitions. We will do better tomorrow, to improve and prepared,” she continued.

Hubbell/Donohue’s Marilyn Monroe themed dance to “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” and “Let’s Be Bad” picked up 82.72 points. “I think once you get to the Grand Prix Final there’s such a curated group of skaters it’s always going to be really close. I think everyone skated really well, pretty strong performances from what I see, but it was a tough panel and not everyone got the levels they were hoping for,” Hubbell shared.

Chock/Bates put out a characteristic dance to “Too Darn Hot” for a score of 81.67 points. “It feels great to be at this event. It’s such a prestigious event, arguably the most prestigious of the whole season in a non-Olympic year, and it’s just wonderful to be here among the best in the world. We’ll have to look at the protocols to see where we can get some more points but overall we’re happy with how we skated,” Bates told the press.

Senior Ladies

Alena Kostornaia of Russia set a new record score to win the Ladies Short Program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Friday in Torino (ITA) ahead of teammates Alina Zagitova and Anna Shcherbakova. Bradie Tennell (USA) sits in fourth on 72.20 points. 2019 World Junior Champion Alexandra Trusova (RUS) fell on her triple Axel to finish fifth on 71.45 points. Defending ISU Grand Prix Final Champion Rika Kihira (JPN) landed a shaky triple Axel but missed her triple flip-triple toeloop combination to place sixth on 70.71 points.

Skating to “November” and “Departure” by Max Richter, Kostornaia surpassed her own Short Program record score established at NHK Trophy with 85.45 points. “I’m very happy because I did my best, I tried to skate my program clean and I enjoyed it,” the 2018 World Junior silver medalist said.

Zagitova gave an emotional performance to “Me Voy” by Jasmin Levy. The 2018 Olympic Champion picked up a season’s best of 79.60 points. “I got a season’s best score, and I’m happy about that. However, it is not my personal best so there is room to grow. I feel like I could have skated with more commitment. I was keeping the maximum of control and so I feel I was a bit tight,” the 2019 World Champion commented.

Shcherbakova’s performance was on “Perfume. The Story of a Murderer” and the 2019 World Junior silver medalist set a new personal best with 78.27 points. “I am in a very good mood after that skate, I felt very happy doing everything today. All practices had been really good so I could go into the program very calm and I am completely happy with everything I did today.” the Russian Champion shared.

Senior Pairs

Olympic silver medalists Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China added the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final title to their impressive resume Friday in Torino (ITA). Teammates Cheng Peng/Yang Jin repeated as Grand Prix Final silver medalists. Newcomers Anastasia Mishina/Alexander Galliamov of Russia claimed the bronze medal. Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS) slipped from second to fourth after some errors (201.84 points). Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (CAN) finished fifth (197.99 points) while  Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS) dropped from third to sixth place.

Skating to “Rain, In Your Black Eyes”, the Olympic silver medalists ranked second in the Free Skating with 134.19 points, but remained in first place on 211.69 points overall. “This is our fourth time in the Final, before we always missed the Grand Prix Final. We had many problems but we will work on that and make the program better. Before coming here we were quite nervous because we haven’t had the gold medal from Grand Prix Final yet,” Sui explained. “We were also a little exhausted because of the quick turnaround of previous Grand Prix. We also had a lot of problems this time, like the levels and consistency for the jumps, but we will work on those in the future. We are also glad that the other Chinese pair did well and we were able to get gold and silver medals for China,” she added.

Peng/Jin rallied back from a faulty Short Program that had left them in fifth place. The Chinese team won the Free Skating with a season’s best of 134.60 points and totaled 204.27 points to take the silver like they had last year. “Today I’m really happy we won a silver medal at the Grand Prix Final. For the short program we didn’t do that well but we were able to adjust ourselves mentally and were able to skate a clean free skate smoothly today,” Jin told the press.