“Quad God” Ilia Malinin (USA) cruised to his second ISU Grand Prix Skate America title with a performance that brought the house down at the Credit Union Texas Event Center, smashing his personal best scores in Allen, Texas (USA) on Saturday. Kevin Aymoz of France claimed silver in the Men’s event following another stunning performance in the Free Skating, while Japan’s Shun Sato took the bronze .
Performing to the “Succession” soundtrack, Malinin looked calm and confident. The 2023 ISU World bronze medalist reeled off a triple Axel, quad Lutz, quad Salchow, quad Lutz-Euler-triple Salchow and quad toe-triple toe as well as a triple Lutz-triple Axel sequence. The 18-year-old collected a level four for his spins and footwork to achieve a new personal best of 206.41 points. Overall, he racked up 310.47, another personal best, winning with almost 30 points to spare.
“I was really not expecting this outcome. I’m still speechless,” Malinin said.
“I have no words to explain how I really feel. It’s just a mix of emotions. I’ve put in so many hours, and I think that it really paid off that I took a lot of time to focus on everything, to try to improve everything, to try to have the least possible amount of mistakes in the program. And overall, I’mreally happy with how I did today.”
Aymoz put out an incredibly intense performance to Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” that was highlighted by a quad toe, seven clean triples, difficult footwork and spins. The Frenchman earned a season best score with 181.75 points for an overall total of 279.09.
Sato’s program to “The Four Seasons” included a quad toe-double toe and five triples, but two other quadruple jumps were not clean. The Japanese ranked fourth in the Free Skating with 155.89 points but remained in third place overall with a final score of 247.50.
“I was glad to come in third,” Sato said. “But in my Free Skating from start to end I was looking really tired. For my next comp in Finland I hope to be in great shape.
“I worked with Guillaume Cizeron in Canada on the choreography. At first, I was nervous about it, but he was very kind and we built a beautiful program.”
Nika Egadze (GEO) moved up one spot to fourth place with 237.45 points. Vladimir Litvintsev (AZE) ranked third in the Free Skating to move up from eighth to fifth overall (237.44 points). Nozomu Yoshioka (JPN) slipped from fourth to sixth place (233.56 points).
Malinin pocketed 15 points and is in a very good position to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix Final at his next event, the Internationaux de France. Aymoz collected 13 points and will compete again at the Grand Prix Espoo in Finland, where he will meet again Sato (11 points). All three medalists have been to the ISU Grand Prix Final before and hope to return.
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Where to Watch
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ISU Grand Prix Schedule
The schedules of each ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events are available below:
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known as the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six invitational international senior events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The top six of the past World Championships are seeded. Competitors collect points in their events towards the qualification for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Only the top six Skaters / Couples in each discipline qualify for the Final.