Kostornaia leads Zagitova in battle of Russian teens at Grand Prix of France
American Nathan Chen top male after Friday's short program
Olympic gold medallist Alina Zagitova was beaten by fellow Russian Alena Kostornaia in the short program at the Grand Prix of France on Friday, while world champion Nathan Chen led the men.
Kostornaia landed a triple axel on her Grand Prix series debut to score 76.55 points, beating Zagitova's 74.22.
Mariah Bell was third on 70.25, one place ahead of fellow American Starr Andrews.
No Canadians competed in the ladies' competition.
The fight for the lead pits Zagitova, who is still only 17, against the 16-year-old Kostornaia, one of a group of Russian skaters with strong jumping skills who have moved up from juniors this season.
WATCH | Russian teens battle in singles:
An under rotation from Zagitova on her triple lutz-triple loop combination and a deduction for a time violation left her behind Kostornaia going into Saturday's free skate.
Chen, the two-time reigning men's world champion from the U.S., landed two quadruple jumps and scored 102.48 points to lead but put both hands down on his triple axel.
WATCH | Chen leads men:
Alexander Samarin of Russia, who landed a high-scoring quad lutz but had errors on other elements, was second at 98.48, while Kevin Aymoz of France was third with 82.50.
Uno was fourth with 79.05 after falling on his quad toeloop and triple axel.
Montreal-born Nicolas Nadeau earned a score of 69.42 and sits ninth heading into Saturday's free program.
After his win at Skate America last month, Chen is on course to qualify for next month's finals in Italy.
WATCH | Papadakis, Cizeron get physical:
French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron beat their own record score for the rhythm dance with 88.69, taking an big lead over Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates at 80.69.
Italy's Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri were third with 79.65.
Canadian duo Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus sit seventh at 68.61.
WATCH | Russia's Pavliuchenko, Khodykin hold pairs lead:
Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin claimed the top spot in the short program with 76.59 points, followed by fellow Russians Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov at. 73.77.
Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier sit third iwth 68.65 points.
Camille Ruest and Andrew Wolfe of Canada are seventh heading into the free program with 57.90.
That Figure Skating Show
If you're looking for more figure skating coverage, CBC Sports has put a fresh new twizzle on the Grand Prix Season with That Figure Skating Show, hosted by former Canadian national team members Asher Hill and Olympian Dylan Moscovitch.
The two analyze each event with a fun, tongue-and-cheek approach that will make you LOL. New episodes are posted each Grand Prix Sunday on the CBC Sports YouTube channel. If you haven't already, watch the latest episode on Skate Canada:
With files from CBC Sports