2017 World Junior Champion Alina Zagitova, of Russia, vaulted from fourth place to first in the Ladies Free Skating at the Audi Cup of China in Beijing on Saturday, winning gold in her Grand Prix debut.
Performing to ‘Don Quixote’, Zagitova nailed a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, four more triples of excellent quality, and level-four spins and footwork. The only glitch was an under-rotated triple Lutz. The 15-year-old scored 144.44 points and totaled 213.88 points. “To win the gold medal in my first Grand Prix means a lot to me, but I need to continue to work and I cannot rest on my laurel,” the Muscovite said. “I was not pleased with my Short Program but I was pleased with the free (skate) as I did everything. I was a little tight, but I was able to show what I have been training,” she added.
Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi stayed in second place to earn the silver medal while Russia’s Elena Radionova claimed the bronze.Higuchi’s James Bond routine was highlighted by seven triples including two triple Lutz-triple toe combinations. The two-time World Junior bronze medalist picked up 141.99 points which contributed to 212.52 points overall. “I think I moved very well on the ice today and I am satisfied with what I did here,” the 16-year-old said. “However, I still have a lot of things to improve in future training and competitions. I have a little regret that I am not at the top here, there is still a gap.”I think I met my goal to go to the Grand Prix Final and I want to show my best there.”
Audi Cup of China is the third of six events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series that culminates in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya (JPN) in December. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final. The global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$272,000.
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