The International Skating Union’s Challenger Series usually doesn’t get too much attention; it’s the ISU’s second-level series, below its well-known Grand Prix circuit. However, there was a lot going on at this past weekend’s Skate Canada Autumn Classic International in Oakville, Ontario (CAN).
At the top of the men’s event was Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who returned from the right ankle injury which hampered him earlier in the year. He won the Short Program easily, but was second in the Free Skate to Korea’s Jun-Hwan Cha, but won with 263.65 points to 259.78 for Cha. American Jason Brown was fifth (233.23).
Bradie Tennell of the U.S. pulled an upset in the women’s division, moving from second after the Short Program to win the Free Skate and claim the title over Olympic silver medalist Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS), 206.41-204.89. It was Tennell’s second career Challenger Series medal and her first win … and her first win over Medvedeva.
France’s Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres were easy winners in Pairs, 210.21-176.32 over Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, with Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. in third.
In Ice Dancing, Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje won easily with 197.27 points to 171.41, ahead of Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz (ESP).
The ISU Grand Prix starts next month with Skate America on 19-21 October.