MOSCOW, November 18 (R-Sport) - American skater Ashley Wagner continued her breakout season with a second Grand Prix gold in Paris that ensures she will compete at the finals in Sochi.
The California-based skater’s best Grand Prix finish before this season had been second place in Moscow in 2009, but her wins in Paris and at Skate America mark her out as one of the top contenders for victory in Sochi next month.
Wagner, 21, skated to victory in Paris with a total score of 190.63 to beat two Russian prodigies despite reportedly suffering from an illness.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, 15, came second on 179.62 points as she failed to replicate her win on her Paris debut last year.
Fourteen-year-old Julia Lipnaitskaia had held the lead after Friday’s short program but finished third after losing out to Tuktamysheva by just 0.31 points, adding bronze to the second place she achieved in China earlier this month at her first senior Grand Prix.
Christina Gao of the United States was fourth overall after failing to match her second place from last month’s Skate America.
France’s Mae Berenice Maite scored her best Grand Prix finish with fifth, while Coupe de Nice champion Polina Korobeynikova of Russia was sixth.
In the ice dance, the French pair of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabien Bourzat shone in front of their home crowd as they completed a double-gold Grand Prix season for the second time.
Pechalat and Bourzat scored 168.90 to win by a vast 15.64-point margin from Italy’s Anna Capellini and Luca Lanotte, with Russia’s Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko third on 146.03 points.
The last regular Grand Prix event is the NHK Trophy in Sendai, Japan, starting Friday, where the final spots at the Sochi finals will be decided.