The ladies free skate closed out Skate America today, October 26, 2014. Some of the skaters came back strong today, while others seemed to simply run out of steam.
Edging out teammate Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Elena Radionova came out fighting for every element, which gave her the win and her first Gand Prix title. Radionova loaded her program with seven triple jumps, which included two triple-triple combinations. Elena’s strength clearly lies in her technical abilities and she will need to develop her maturity as well as her artistry in order to be more of a complete skater.
“I am very happy because this is the first Grand Prix that I was able to win,” Elena said in a USFS media release following the event. “It’s a completely different emotion than being in second or third place. It’s even hard to speak now because I’m overwhelmed by all of my emotions. I’m just excited that I was able to do everything I can do.”
Fellow Russian, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, settled for the silver after an error-filled free skate. Tuktamysheva has already competed in three international events this season in a matter of weeks and could very well be feeling worn down. Elizaveta had a strong start to her program, but as it continued she began to double a lot of her planned triple jumps. It was not the best we have seen from her this season, but it was enough to overcome American Gracie Gold by ten points.
Gold skated well once again, but not great. She gave away some points in her free skate by doubling two of her planned triples and adding too many double toe loops. When asked by the NBC commentator what her bronze medal says about her, Gracie responded, “It says that I am in the running for being the top in the world.” A bronze is better than not medaling at all, but Gold will also need to be realistic as this field was packed with some of the best skaters in the world, but certainly not all of the best in the world, which is what she will be up against if she makes the world team. It was a decent start to the season for Gracie, but she will have to work hard to stay in the running.
Coming in fourth place was American, Samantha Cesario who had a very nice free skate. She was a bit slow and her spins could use some work, but overall it was a solid showing for Samantha. Her consistency is refreshing and she has a lot of potential, but she still needs to pull everything together to be the full package.
Some had written off Mirai Nagasu for this competition, because she was in tenth place going into the free skate, but anyone who has seen Mirai skate before, knows that she will fight for a comeback. Nagasu had a good free skate that helped her finish in sixth place. It was certainly not what Mirai wanted for this event, but the fact that she finished strong says a lot about her as a competitor and as a person.
“Obviously it was a better skate than yesterday. One-hundred and eight is an OK score, but I know that I can get a much higher score,” Nagasu said in a USFS media release. “I know I under-rotated a lot of those jumps out there today, but this was a very stressful week because I was expecting so much more out of myself, especially in the short program.”
The Grand Prix will make its next stop on Friday, October 31 at Skate Canada. Competitors include Ashley Wagner, Javier Fernandez, Max Aaron, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, Madeline Aaron and Max Settelage along with many others.
Final standings after the free skate:
1 Elena RadionovaRUS 195.47 WATCH NOW
2 Elizaveta Tuktamysheva RUS 189.62 WATCH NOW
3 Gracie Gold USA 179.38 WATCH NOW
4 Samantha Cesario USA 174.58 WATCH NOW
5 So Youn Park KOR 170.43 WATCH NOW
6 Mirai Nagasu USA 158.21 WATCH NOW
7 Elene Gedevanishvili GEO 158.10 WATCH NOW
8 Haruka Imai JPN 157.97 WATCH NOW
9 Mae Berenice Meite FRA 152.71 WATCH NOW
10 Brooklee Han AUS 150.37 WATCH NOW
11 Natalia Popova UKR 148.15 WATCH NOW