Ice Network

Trusova earns narrow ladies victory at JGP Final

Skoptcova, Aleshin hoist dance gold; Carreira, Ponomarenko earn silver
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Despite slipping to second in the free skate, albeit by a slim margin, Russia's Alexandra Trusova was able to secure her third victory on this season's JGP circuit with yet another strong performance. Her segment mark of 132.36 points, which she earned while skating to Antonio Vivaldi's "Summer" from 'The Four Seasons,' proved to be a new personal best, while her two-day score of 205.61 was enough to hold off teammate Alena Kostornaia by a narrow 1.03 points. -Getty Images

Russia's Alexandra Trusova secured a narrow victory Saturday on the final day of competition at the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan, holding off teammate Alena Kostornaia for the title. In ice dance, the Russian team of Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin earned the gold medal over Team USA's Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko.

Ladies free

Trusova under-rotated and fell on her opening quad salchow attempt, but she rallied back to produce a triple flip-double toe-double toe, triple lutz-triple toe and two solo triples. The Muscovite earned a personal-best 132.36 points for her free skate to "Summer" from The Four Seasons and racked up 205.61 points overall to win the title.

"Not everything worked out today -- I am upset about missing the quad salchow, and I also made a little error on my combination -- but I am happy that I was able to win the Junior Grand Prix Final," Trusova said. "I'll work on my jumps. I want to do the triple axel and quad toe, and I want to perfect the quad salchow."

Kostornaia's program to "Stella's Theme" by William Joseph featured seven triple jumps, including two triple-triple combinations, as well as Level 4 spins and footwork. The 13-year-old set a new personal best of 132.93 points en route to winning the free skate but remained in second overall with 204.58 points.

"I am pleased with my performance today, but actually, to be honest, it could be better," Kostornaia said. "I must work harder, and that is what I am going to do after coming home."

Skating to "Sarabande Suite (Aeternae)," Tarakanova also landed seven clean triples and set a new personal best (131.74 points). She remained in third place after collecting 199.64 points overall.

"I am glad that I could calm down and skate both of my programs clean here. I was really nervous that I didn't even feel my feet on the ice," Tarakanova said. "The short program was clean, so I really wanted to show a clean free program, too."

Rika Kihira of Japan became the first lady to land a triple axel-triple toe at an ISU competition, but she popped her second planned triple axel and came in fourth (192.45 points).

Russians Daria Panenkova and Sofia Samodurova finished fifth (191.16) and sixth (187.74), respectively.

Free dance

Skoptcova and Aleshin put out a strong performance of their tango free dance, collecting a Level 4 grading for their lifts and twizzles, while their serpentine step sequence was rated Level 3. The Muscovites achieved a season's best with 87.74 points, and their total mark of 153.61 proved to be enough for the gold medal.

"For us, each competition is important; we make no distinction between important or not important events," Skoptcova said. "We try to win each time."

Finishing second to the Russians in the final standings, Carreira and Ponomarenko put out a fluid free dance to music from the W.E. soundtrack that was highlighted by difficult lifts and smooth footwork. The 2017 world junior bronze medalists earned the same levels as their Russian counterparts to set a new season's best of 87.66 points. Overall, the Americans accumulated 151.76 points.

"We feel really good about how we skated. We are super happy, but we still have a lot of things to work on," Carreira said. "Our ultimate goal is to win the Olympics, but for this season, we would like to win junior worlds."

Performing to 'Black Swan,' the Russian team of Sofia Polishchuk and Alexander Vakhnov produced a flawless dance, which included four Level 4 elements. They registered a season's best mark of 85.87 points in the segment, which added up to a bronze-medal clinching 149.04 points.

"We are pleased with our performance here; in general, we did everything we planned," Vakhnov said. "There were some little mistakes, but that means that you always have room to grow."

Russia's Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko finished fourth with 144.38 points. Their teammates, Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov, landed in fifth (141.88), while Canada's Majorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha (141.28) took sixth.