FIGURE SKATING: Kostornaia upsets Zagitova in Internationaux de France; U.S.’s Bell gets third

New star: Russia's Alena Kostornaia, winner of the Internationaux de France (Photo: ISU)

Russia’s 17-year-old Alina Zagitova had been queen of the ice for two full seasons, winning the Olympic title in 2018 and then becoming World Champion last year.

But 16-year-old Alena Kostornaia, in her first year on the senior level, scored an impressive 236.00-216.06 win over Zagitova at the ISU Grand Prix’s Internationaux de France in Grenoble, winning both the Short Program and the Free Skate.

“I am pleased that I was able to skate well and to show a clean program,” said the winner “I hope to improve my jumps and my program with each competition and to perfect myself. I had a show number to this music and I liked it so much and we decided to use it for this season.”

Kostornaia, the 2018 World Junior runner-up, had six triple jumps in her Free Skate and scored a lifetime best of 159.45. Zagitova stumbled on her opening jump and finished third in the Free Skate, with American Mariah Bell taking second with one of her top performances and scored a personal best 142.64, but finished a very creditable third overall.

In Pairs, the Russian entries remained 1-2, but in a different order. Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov won the Free Skate and jumped from second to first at 207.58, just better than teammates Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin (206.56). The latter dropped to third in the Free Skate, behind Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, who remained in third overall. Summaries:

ISU Grand Prix/Internationaux de France
Grenoble (FRA) ~ 1-3 November 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Nathan Chen (USA), 297.16 (1st in Short Program + 1st in Free Skate); 2. Alexander Samarin (RUS), 265.10 (2+3); 3. Kevin Aymoz (FRA), 254.64 (3+2); 4. Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO), 236.38 (5+5); 5. Tomoki Hiwatashi (USA), 227.43 (10+4).

Women: 1. Alena Kostornaia (RUS), 236.00 (1+1); 2. Alina Zagitova (RUS), 216.06 (2+2); 3. Mariah Bell (USA), 212.89 (3+2); 4. Kaori Sakamoto (JPN), 199.24 (6+4); 5. Starr Andrews (USA), 180.54 (4+5).

Pairs: 1. Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS), 207.58 (2+1); 2. Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS), 206.56 (1+3); 3. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA), 199.40 (3+2); 4. Ashley Cain-Gribble/Timothy Leduc (USA), 195.78 (4+4); 5. Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer (AUT), 181.26 (8+5).

Ice Dance: 1. Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), 222.24 (1+1); 2. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA), 204.84 (2+2); 3. Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA), 203.34 (3+3); 4. Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz (ESP), 188.18 (4+4); 5. Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS), 184.44 (5+5).