World champion Chen, teen Kostornaia win French Grand Prix

Nathan Chen has qualified for the ice skating Grand Prix Finals (AFP Photo/EZRA SHAW)
Nathan Chen has qualified for the ice skating Grand Prix Finals (AFP Photo/EZRA SHAW)

Paris (AFP) - Double world champion Nathan Chen booked his place at December's figure skating Grand Prix Finals by winning gold at the French leg of the series in Grenoble on Saturday.

America's Chen scored 297.16 points to beat Russia's Alexander Samarin in second place and France's Kevin Aymoz who finished third to secure a spot in Turin's season finale with three events to spare.

"I am happy to have qualified for the final. Placement-wise of course I'm happy with the results," Chan told isu.org.

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"I made a lot of silly errors, errors that I need to fix," he added.

Chen's second gold medal of the series after winning at Skate America in Las Vegas hands the 20-year-old a chance to claim his third straight overall Grand Prix title.

Later Saturday, 16-year-old Russian Alena Kostornaia carried her lead from the short programme to the free skating with an overall score of 159.45 points to clinch her second senior medal in only three competitions.

Kostornaia, who claimed gold at the Finlandia Trophy in mid-October, saw off Mariah Bell of the United States who was second on 142.64 and compatriot and Olympic champion Alina Zagitova in third with 141.82.

"I am pleased that I was able to skate well and to show a clean programme. I hope to improve my jumps and my programme with each competition and to perfect myself.

"I had a show number to this music and I liked it so much and we decided to use it for this season," said Kostornaia who skated to 'Twilight', 'New Moon' and 'Supermassive Black Hole'.

Elsewhere, four-time world champion ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron clinched their fifth French Grand Prix win in the space of six years.

The French pair scored an overall 133.55 points to beat the American pair of Madison Chock and Evan Bates with Italy's Charlene Guignard and Marco Gabbri in third.

Russia's Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov took the pairs won ahead of compatriots Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin.

Grenoble is the third stop on the six-round Grand Prix series.

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