What a week for Team USA! The Americans hauled in three medals, including one in each discipline in which it was represented.
Ashley Wagner is now a two-time Trophee Bompard champion, and with the win, should cement her spot at the 2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Japan. Meryl Davis and Charlie White punched their ticket to the event last weekend.
Wagner’s total score of 194.37 points represented an ISU personal best. She finished second in the free skate behind silver medalist Adelina Sotnikova of Russia. Wagner’s Romeo and Juliet free skate, which she performed in a lovely new maroon dress, featured a triple flip-triple toe combination and two Level 4 spins. Wagner’s PCS mark of 65.81 was the highest of the event. The bronze medal went home with Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya.
Samantha Cesario, who finished fourth, set ISU personal bests all around. Her clean “Carmen” free skate earned 116.15 points as she finished with 172.70 overall. Christina Gao endured a tough free skate and finished eighth overall.
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin won the first American pairs medal of the Grand Prix season, taking home bronze behind China’s Qing Pang and Jian Tong (193.86 total points) and Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (190.89 total points). The gold medal for Pang and Tong is their 10th on the Grand Prix Series.
Denney and Coughlin, who earned 184.01 points overall, produced a clean Phantom of the Opera free skate that featured the highest technical score of the competition. Their free skate score totaled 120.49, including 63.54 on the first mark. Highlights included three Level 4 lifts in the program’s second half and a huge triple twist worth 7.00 points (including 1.20 on GOE). The bronze-medal win is the third of Denney and Coughlin’s career.
Jason Brown, in this second career Grand Prix appearance also won the bronze medal behind perennial power houses Patrick Chan of Canada and Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. Chan, the three-time World champion, posted world record scores in the free skate (196.75) and overall (295.27) as he sailed to victory. Hanyu was also superb as he earned 263.59 points overall.
And for Brown, while it may not have been perfect, his free skate was easily enough to put him in medal position when combined with his clean short program from the day before. In fact, Brown’s total score of 243.09 points was nearly 30 points more than that of fourth-place finisher Han Yan of China. Brown set personal superlatives throughout the week. His “Reel Around the Sun” free skate featured a triple Lutz-loop-triple Salchow combination worth 12.37 points and added triple flip-triple toe worth 10.54.
Team USA didn’t have any ice dancers compete in France. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada won the title followed by Russia’s Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalpov and France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat.
Next week, the Grand Prix Series will wrap up in Moscow with Rostelecom Cup. Team USA will also have a team competing at Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria.