Nathan Chen Takes Home Gold, Americans Earn Four Medals in France

(11/2/2019)Nathan Chen won Internationaux de France on Saturday afternoon, highlighting a strong performance by Team USA in Grenoble this week. Chen’s performance marks his eighth consecutive win dating back to the 2018 World Championships.

Chen earned 194.68 points on Saturday to total 297.16 overall which topped the field by over 30 points. With the title, he qualifies for his fourth consecutive Grand Prix Final.

“I’m happy with the placement of course, but I could have skated much better this weekend,” Chen said. “I know it wasn’t a perfect skate and that I have a lot that I can improve on. It’s great to qualify for the [Grand Prix Final] in Torino.”

Tomoki Hiwatashi had a strong performance on Saturday, earning 158.73 points to place fourth in the free skate. He finished fifth overall with 227.43 total points.

Alexander Samarin of Russia finished second and Kevin Aymoz of France took third place.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates earned their 13th Grand Prix medal (including the Final), finishing second overall with 204.84 total points. The duo earned 124.15 points in Saturday’s free dance.

“We are happy with our performance in the rhythm and the free,” Bates said. “We really want to focus more on the performance and less on the technicality. Obviously this is a good result but we don’t have a lot of time to make changes before China, but we think that both of these programs are in a good place. This is a good start for us and we’re excited to be back on the Grand Prix [after a season away].”

The French team of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron took home the gold medal while the Italian tandem of Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri finished third.

In the ladies competition, Mariah Bell impressed the crowd with her second-place, 142.64-point free skate which gave her the bronze medal with 212.89 total points. Bell finished less than four points behind reigning Olympic and World champion Alina Zagitova of Russia.

“I’m so happy,” Bell said. “I’ve skated last many times, but this time was more challenging because I knew the points were pretty close after the short. Everybody had the goods to do a really great [free skate]. I was listening to music really loud and just trying to stay in the zone.”

Starr Andrews finished fifth overall with 180.54. She scored 113.95 points in Saturday’s free skate.

Russia’s Alena Kostornaia and Zagitova finished first and second, respectively.

In pairs, Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier followed a strong performance on Friday with another one on Saturday, earning the pairs’ second bronze medal of the Grand Prix series this season. The duo scored 130.75 on Saturday night for 199.40 overall points.

“This one was a quick turnaround and continued progress from Skate America,” Frazier said. “You have to look at a few results and outcomes to see where you are at. We try not to focus on that, but this was a tough one this week. It was different physically and mentally coming off an exciting competition at Skate America.”

Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc finished fourth with a 129.66-point free skate for 195.78 points overall.

Russia’s pair of Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov and Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin and tandem of are first and second, respectively.

The Grand Prix Series, now in its 25th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 300 athletes from 30 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in up to two of the six scheduled events. The top six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the 2019 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, set for Dec. 5-8, in Torino, Italy.

Fans can watch the entire event live, commercial-free and on-demand with the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold. Fan can also watch NBC’s recap show on Sunday, Nov. 3 from 4-6 p.m. ET.

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series will continue next week with Cup of China in Chongqing, China with eight members of Team USA set to take the ice.