American prodigy Ilia Malinin took the lead in the French Figure Skating Grand Prix after the short program on Friday in Angers, beating the title holder by a hair, Frenchman Adam Siao Him Fa.
Malinin, 18 years old and bronze medalist at the Worlds in March, finished the short program in the same point as the European champion, 22 years old and crowned in Angers last year.
The two skaters, who crossed the 100-point barrier while waiting for the free program on Sunday, are ahead of the Japanese Yuma Kagiyama, Olympic vice-champion in Beijing, who is making his return to the Grand Prix circuit after a season marred by injuries .
The first skater to achieve a quadruple axel in competition, Malinin did not attempt this figure in his short program, full of elegance despite a fall, two weeks after winning Skate America, the first of six Grand Prix stages of the season.
Among the women, the young - 16 year old - American Isabeau Levito, in silver at Skate America, performed a very mastered short program to dominate by a head two of the favorites of the competition: the Georgian European champion Anastasiia Gubanova and the South Korean world vice-champion Haein Lee, penalized by some technical details but author of an intense program completed in front of the judges.
In ice dancing, the Italian world vice-champions and European champions Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri are in the lead after the rhythmic dance, led to the very 80s sounds of Bonnie Tyler and Phil Collins.
They are ahead with a comfortable lead of the Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen, and the French Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud, third at Skate America.
The results of the first day:
. Women's short program:
1. Isabeau Levito (USA) 71.83 points
2. Anastasiia Gubanova (GEO) 66.73 pts
3. Haein Lee (KOR) 66,30 pts
4. Nina Pinzarrone (BEL) 65.74 pts
5. Rion Sumiyoshi (JPN) 61,72 pts
. Men's short program:
1. Ilia Malinin (USA) 101.58 points
2. Adam Siao Him Fa (FRA) 101.07 pts
3. Yuma Kagiyama (JPN) 97.91 pts
4. Lukas Britschgi (SUI) 86.94 pts
5. Stephen Gogolev (CAN) 86,14 pts
. Rhythmic dance:
1. Charlene Guignard / Marco Fabbri (ITA) 86.62 points
2. Laurence Fournier Beaudry / Nikolaj Soerensen (CAN) 80.98 pts
3. Evgeniia Lopareva / Geoffrey Brissaud (FRA) 76.95 pts
4. Christina Carreira / Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) 72.94 pts
5. Marie-Jade Lauriault / Romain Le Gac (CAN) 70,48 pts