Russian Polina Shelepen was able to move up from her second place short program standing to win the gold medal at the first event of the Junior Grand Prix series, in Courchevel, France. The 15-year old earned a personal best 103.31 points in the free skate, and won the competition by over ten points. American Yasmin Siraj also delivered a strong free skate and pulled up from sixth place to win the silver medal, scoring 97.92 points in the portion. Siraj received the highest components scores of the night. Shelepen's teammate Rosa Sheveleva earned the bronze medal, scoring 94.87 points in the free skate. Surprise short program leader Yretha Silete of France celebrated her birthday today but dropped to fourth place overall, while the other American, Nina Jiang, finished fifth. Sheveleva competes at the next circuit stop (Romania), while the other two medalists have not yet been assigned to a second event.
The first ever ice dance short dance competition in an ISU event is now in the books. Russians Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin are the leaders with 47.98 points, while teammates Evgenia Kosigina and Nikolai Moroshkin sit second. Americans Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus are third, and had the luck of being the first ever team to compete in the short dance.
The competition wraps up tomorrow with the free dance and mens free skate. For ladies event protocols as well as more detailed standings for the men and ice dancers, visit the ISU results page.
Mirai Nagasu has been dealing with an ankle injury for the last six weeks and has withdrawn from the Japan Open in early October. The official event website says that "some competitors will change", but does not yet list her replacement. Nagasu was part of Team North America, along with Joannie Rochette, Jeffrey Buttle, and Adam Rippon. Nagasu is still attending the USFS Champs Camp this weekend, but she is not debuting her programs in front of officials. The American skaters with senior Grand Prix assignments are able to show their programs and receive feedback before competing internationally at the camp. Nagasu will resume training on September 1st, and most likely start her season at her first Grand Prix event: Cup of China, which begins November 5th.
The latest in the Brian Orser/Yu-Na Kim never-ending ordeal has Kim's team, including choreographer David Wilson, upset that Orser revealed details about Yu-Na's 2011 free skate, which will be set to music from "Arirang". I've definitely learned over the years that reporting skaters' music selections before they are ready to announce them can cause some major drama... as if this story didn't already have enough.