• Figure Skating

Japan Figure Skaters Rion Sumiyoshi, Yuma Kagiyama Both Place Third at Grand Prix in France

Reuters
Isabeau Levito of the U.S., center, celebrates after winning the women’s free skating alongside second place Belgium’s Nina Pinzarrone, left, and third place Japan’s Rion Sumiyoshi at Grand Prix de France in Angers, France, on Saturday.

ANGERS, France (AP) — Isabeau Levito’s quest for a first Grand Prix victory is over.

The 16-year-old American figure skater won the Grand Prix de France on Saturday with a total of 203.22 points for her two programs.

Levito, who had built a big lead of more than five points after Friday’s short program, was less impressive in the free skate and had to be content with the third best total.

Levito landed a triple lutz-triple toe and four other triple jumps but stumbled on her last spin.

Her performance was still good enough to prevail as Anastasiia Gubanova of Georgia and Lee Hae-in of South Korea — who were second and third after the short program — also struggled in their free skate.

Levito beat Nina Pinzarrone of Belgium by a comfortable margin of 4.42 points. Rion Sumiyoshi of Japan ended third.

“I guess we’ll call this screwing up the second half of my spin a dramatic finish,” Levito said. “I’m just glad that I did the first half very nicely. I’m glad I got through this and I will definitely be working on this [second half of the program] a lot more once I get back to training.”

Levito had previously claimed four runner-up finishes at other Grand Prix events, including at Skate America last month.

With her victory, Levito qualified for the Grand Prix Final in Beijing from Dec. 7-10. The Grand Prix de France was the third of six events in the ISU Grand Prix series.

“I’m very proud I was able to improve from last season’s result on the Grand Prix circuit, Levito said. “It was my goal to win one of my Grands Prix at least, to secure that I would make it to the Final.”

Sumiyoshi won the free skate with a personal best score of 136.04 points.

“Today I fixed the problems I had yesterday and performed as I wanted,” said Sumiyoshi, who landed a clean quadruple toe-loop. “I’m trying to make it more consistent so that it will be my weapon to win competitions.”

In the men’s competition, U.S. skater Ilia Malinin could not keep his lead from the short program and finished second behind Adam Siao Him Fa of France, who dominated the free skate and posted a total of 306.78 points.

The defending champion’s performance delighted the home crowd with four quadruple jumps and he became just the sixth man to score a total of more than 300. Malinin finished with 304.68.

Yuma Kagiyama of Japan ended third with 273.14. The Olympic silver medalist was taking part in his first Grand Prix in two years after recovering from an ankle injury.

Reuters
Third placed Yuma Kagiyama celebrates on the podium after the men’s free program.

Also, Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy won the dance competition. Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen took the silver medal ahead of Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud of France.

Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud of Canada won the pairs competition to claim a first Grand Prix win. Italians Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii of Italy were second, ahead of France’s Camille Kovalev and Pavel Kovalev.