Figure Skating

Shoma Uno finishes fourth as Russian men sweep home Grand Prix meet

Kyodo

Shoma Uno’s best free skate of the season was not enough to reach the podium as he finished fourth in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating’s Cup of Russia on Saturday.

The Pyeongchang Olympic silver medalist set his season high with 164.95 points in his free program to finish with a 252.24 total, 0.63 shy of the podium, which was swept by skaters from Russia.

Alexander Samarin held on to his lead from the short program to win his first Grand Prix championship with a 264.45 total. Countrymen Dimitri Aliev and senior circuit debutant Maka Ignatov were second and third, respectively. Japan’s Kazuki Tomono, who was seventh in Friday’s short program, finished eighth.

As he had in his short program, Uno fell on his opening jump, this time a quad salchow, and fell again on a quad toe loop near the end of his program that he under-rotated.

“I was unable to produce a good score, but I’m now looking at how best to attack the second half of the season,” Uno said.

Samarin’s win and his second-place at the Internationaux de France earned him a spot in December’s Grand Prix Finals in Turin, Italy.

The Russian was docked for an unclear edge on a triple flip but was otherwise sharp in a program that included a quad lutz and a pair of triple axels.

Satoko Miyahara also ended one place short of the podium on Saturday in the women’s competition, while 15-year-old home favorite Alexandra Trusova claimed her second straight Grand Prix crown after winning on her debut at Skate Canada last month.

Skating to “Hativka,” Miyahara earned 129.33 points in Saturday’s free skate and landed off the podium with a total of 192.42.

Russia’s “quad queen” Trusova put on a dazzling performance to “Games of Thrones” and scored 160.26 for a 234.47 total to overtake compatriot Evgenia Medvedeva, who finished second. American Mariah Bell held on to third for bronze.

Trusova missed an opening quadruple salchow and fell on a triple lutz/triple loop combination, but landed a quad lutz, a quad toeloop/triple toeloop and a quad toeloop/euler/triple salchow, in addition to a triple flip and double axel.

“I am very happy to have won my second Grand Prix event and to have qualified for the Grand Prix Final. However, I made some mistakes in the short and free program and I’ll continue to work to skate two clean programs next time,” Trusova said according to the International Skating Union.

“I would like to compete with the men, because they can do a quad in the short program and we are not allowed to. Also, it would be interesting to compete with skaters that do many quads in the programs.”

Among other Japanese, Yuhana Yokoi finished sixth in her Grand Prix debut, while Yuna Shiraiwa fell from seventh to 10th.

The 2019-2020 Grand Prix series continues next week with the NHK Trophy in Sapporo. The series’ top six qualifiers in each discipline will advance to the Grand Prix Final.