Road To The Olympic Games

Figure Skating

Nathan Chen, Alena Kostornaia win at Internationaux de France

Nathan Chen has secured qualification for the figure skating Grand Prix finals with victory at the Internationaux de France.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron claim ice dance gold on home ice

American Nathan Chen competes in the men's free skate during the ISU figure skating Grand Prix of France in Grenoble, France, on Saturday. (Francois Mori/The Associated Press)

Alena Kostornaia left no doubt there's a new era in women's figure skating by a convincing win over Olympic gold medallist Alina Zagitova at the Internationaux de France, while Nathan Chen won the men's event on Saturday.

In a battle between the two Russians, 16-year-old Kostornaia landed two triple axels as she skated clean on her debut in the Grand Prix series to score 159.45 points in the free skate for a total of 236.

That was nearly 20 points more than Zagitova, who put a hand down on her opening jump on the way to a score of 216.06.

Kostornaia is one of three young female Russian skaters, all working with Zagitova's coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who have stepped up to senior level this season. The trio has swept the first three Grand Prix events after Anna Shcherbakova took gold at Skate America and Alexandra Trusova won Skate Canada.

Mariah Bell took bronze for the United States on 212.89.

WATCH | Kostornaia wins gold in Grand Prix debut:

16-year-old Russian figure skating Alena Kostornaia wins the women's event at Grand Prix of France. 8:21

Chen wins 8th Grand Prix in a row

Men's world champion Chen made errors landing three of his four quadruple jumps in the free skate but his total of 297.16 points was more than enough for the American to claim his eighth consecutive win in Grand Prix events. He's heading to the finals in Turin, Italy, next month.

Russian Alexander Samarin took second, a full 32 points behind Chen on 265.10, and France's Kevin Aymoz claimed his first Grand Prix medal with bronze on 254.64.

Olympic silver medallist Shoma Uno finished eighth after falling five times in his two skates. It was his worst placing in senior international competition.

The Japanese skater was thoroughly out of sorts again on Saturday, landing just two of his seven jumps and combinations cleanly.

WATCH | Chen skates to another gold medal:

The American topped the podium once again, skating to a score of 194.68 in the men's free program to claim the laurels at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating's France International in Grenoble, France. 8:12

Vive la France!

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron pleased their French home crowd by keeping up their winning run in ice dance events since their February 2018 Olympic silver, scoring 222.24 points for the win.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates just hung on to their second place from Friday's rhythm dance, scoring 204.84 to take silver and beat Italians Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri by half a point.

WATCH | Papadakis and Cizeron win on home ice:

The French pair of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron once again topped the ice dance field, scoring 133.55 in the free dance at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating's France International in Grenoble, France. 8:06

Russians win a pair of pairs medals

In the pairs event, Russia claimed both gold and silver — Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, the defending World Junior champs, took first with 207.58 points while Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin came second with 206.56. Bronze went to American pair Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier. 

Canadians Camille Ruest and Andrew Wolfe came sixth.

WATCH | Russians Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov take gold:

Russia's Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov claim gold at Grand Prix of France. 7:35

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

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