Takahito Mura of Japan surprised many by winning his first Grand Prix medal, the gold, in Paris at 2012 Trophee Eric Bompard Saturday. USA’s Jeremy Abbott slipped to second place, while Frenchman Florent Amodio surged from seventh to third.
Thus far, the Japanese men have won three of the five Grand Prix events.
Performing his “Shogun” routine, Mura reeled off a quadruple toe, a triple Lutz-triple toe, two triple Axels, and three more triples. The Japanese skater popped a flip and failed to get a level four for his spins, which were rated a level one, two and three.
Mura finished second in the long program with 154.03 (78.11/76.92) points, and with a total score of 230.68 points, edged out Abbott to win the gold.
“Thinking of last year and the year before, I couldn’t even imagine to win. I am very surprised,” the 21-year-old said. “This victory gives me the possibility to get closer to the top. The judges looked at me like at a skater with a certain level, but now they look at me as the winner of the Grand Prix.”
Abbott produced a triple Lutz, triple flip-double toe, triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe (shaky), and a triple loop in his program to Bring Him Home by Steven Jamail. However, he cheated and two-footed his quad toe (it was downgraded), singled an Axel, and doubled the Salchow.
Despite the mistakes, the 27-year-old earned a new season’s best with 146.45 (63.75/82.70) points, and accumulated 227.63 points overall.
“I got through it (the program) very well. It was not my best, but I felt good at the end of the program,” said the three-time U.S. champion. “I had legs and my back didn’t hurt. I had a couple of big mistakes and some issues with spin levels, and that cost me the first place.”
“I love this program, I love skating it and I was so happy to do it. I’m happy I’m done and I’m in one piece,” the American joked.
Amodio opened his routine to Jumpin’ Jack, Broken Sorrow, and To Build a Home with a quad Salchow and followed up with seven triples, including two Axels and a triple Salchow-triple toe. The 22-year-old just didn’t repeat the Axel in combination, which cost him a few points. He was ranked first in the long program with a score of 154.12 (76.60/77.52), and move up four spots to third overall with 214.25 points.
“It was very hard yesterday,” admitted the 2012 European bronze medalist. “I was ready to do a good short program, but I missed it. My goal for today was to fight like I do in practice. I am proud of myself and of the job I did.”
Brian Joubert of France slipped to fourth with 210.16 points. He fell on an underrotated quad toe and then only opted for a triple toe as the next jump. He landed six more triples, including an Axel, in his program to Inception, however, he received low levels on his spins. Still, the Frenchman was pretty pleased as he was not fully prepared for the event due to his recent illness.
China’s Nan Song was ranked fifth with 205.48 points. His program to Peter Tchaikovski’s Symphony No. 4 featured a quad toe and six good triples.
Teammate Jinlin Guan missed a quad toe, but landed five triples to come in sixth at 191.99 points.
Jorik Hendrickx from Belgium had to withdraw before the free skating due to a twisted ankle which occurred during the off-ice warm up for the morning practice.
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