Golden Skate

Wagner wins second consecutive Grand Prix gold in Paris

Ashley Wagner at 2012 Trophee Eric Bompard

USA’s Ashley Wagner won her second consecutive Grand Prix gold medal at 2012 Trophée Eric Bompard.

USA’s Ashley Wagner skated off with her second consecutive Grand Prix gold medal at 2012 Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris. Russian teenagers Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Julia Lipnitskaia took silver and bronze, respectively.

Wagner’s program to Samson and Delilah included a triple flip-double toe-double toe, a triple Salchow, two triple loops (one in a sequence with a double Axel), a solo triple flip, and a triple Lutz (with an edge call). She also earned a level three on two of her spins as well as her footwork.

The reigning Four Continents champion won the free skating with 127.54 (62.91/64.63) points and the competition with 190.63 points overall.

“Today was a big accomplishment for me, because I went out there and I’ve been feeling sick today,” said the 21-year-old explained. “To be able to accomplish that program when I’m not at a 100 percent was a great for me mentally. I don’t have to be always at the top of my game to perform like that.”

She added that she feels she has a head cold. “I’m not terribly sick, but just not my best.”

Later in the season, Wagner plans to include a triple-triple combination if it is consistent in practice.

Tuktamysheva showed much improvement in her program compared to Skate Canada. Performing to Dark Eyes” the Olympic Youth champion hit a triple Lutz-triple toe, double Axel-triple toe, triple Lutz, triple flip, and triple Salchow-double toe-double loop, but she underrotated a triple loop.

The skater from St. Petersburg collected 121.36 (63.88/57.48) points, a new season’s best, and moved up one spot with 179.62 points overall.

“At the end of my program I was overwhelmed with emotions,” confessed the 15-year-old . “I was so happy to have landed all my elements. There was only the double Axel left and I landed it as well. This was a big victory over myself. I really wanted it, but I didn’t expect it. So at the end of my program, I was in shock, I was ecstatic, and there were a lot of emotions.”

Lipnitskaia, who is still battling a sore right ankle, pulled herself together to produce a triple Lutz-triple toe. When she did only a double Axel-single toe, she quickly regrouped and hit the planned double Axel-triple toe-double toe right after that. However, the triple loop was wobbly and the triple Lutzes had edge calls and she doubled the Salchow. The amazing spins, on the other hand, all earned a level four this time.

The World Junior Champion achieved a new season’s best with 115.76 (58.72/57.04) points, but she dropped one spot to third overall with a score of 179.31.

“It wasn’t my best performance today,” said the 14-year-old. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to skate clean on the free program next time. Right now it is not happening for me. I am glad I was able to compete at all. It was an important experience for me to compete with an injury, but I still could do my triple-triple combination, and I repeated the (double Axel) combination when I missed it.”

Wagner now advances to the Grand Prix Final with two victories and Lipnitskaia should be in as well with a second and third place. Tuktamysheva has a shot, but it will depend on the outcome of NHK Trophy next week.

USA’s Christina Gao put out a solid free skate that contained six triples to move up to fourth at 164.71 points.

Maé Bérénice Méité of France dropped from fourth to fifth. She took a hard fall on her opening triple flip attempt, but made no further mistakes, landing five triple jumps. The Frenchwoman scored 157.58 points.

Polina Korobeynikova’s program to Swan Lake was highlighted by a double Axel-triple toe combination and nice spins, however, the Russian made some mistakes as well: The 16-year-old doubled her flip and a Salchow, stepped out of an underrotated triple loop, and also fell on an underrotated triple Salchow. She accumulated 144.82 points to finish sixth.

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