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Figure Skating Results
Trophee Lalique
Paris, France
Nov. 20 - 22, 1998
Fourth Event of the Grand Prix Series

The fourth event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Trophee Lalique, concluded at the Bercy Palais Omnisports in Paris, France, on Saturday (results and standings attached).

Michael Weiss (USA) won the men's short program. Skating in the first group, he presented a clean program including a triple axel, triple flip/triple toeloop combination and a triple lutz. Alexei Yagudin (RUS) skated in the second group and, for the first time this season, the previously faultless world champion made errors in his circus program. He could only add a shaky double toeloop after his triple axel, he doubled a planned triple lutz and a spin was off-centre. His strong presentation marks kept him in second behind Weiss and Dmitry Dmitrenko (UKR) took third.

Weiss opened with a quadruple toeloop but just two-footed the landing. He followed up with a triple axel, again with a shaky landing and stumbled on a step but then flowed smoothly through his program, reeling off six perfect triples and fast, intricate spins. But he knew that he had left the door open for Yagudin. This time Yagudin made no mistakes. He opened with his trademark high triple axel/triple toeloop and then landed a perfect quad toeloop - his second in successive competitions. Five more triples followed in a program packed with fast step sequences and complex choreography. It won him a total of eight marks of 5.9 and his third Grand Prix victory. Emmanuel Sandhu (CAN), competing in his first Grand Prix, was the surprise of the night with a classical program that included nine triples to move him up from fifth to third.

Yagudin qualifies for the Grand Prix Final with the maximum 24 points and Weiss, on 18 points, must wait to see if that is enough Sandhu skates again in the final event in Japan.

Nicole Bobek (USA) was the unexpected leader after the short program in the ladies' competition. The 1995 world bronze medallist, now training with Richard Callaghan, skated a clean flamenco-style short program, landing a triple lutz/double toeloop combination, a triple toeloop and a double axel. Her marks included a 5.8 and three 5.7s for presentation. Elena Liashenko (UKR), winner at Skate Canada, also went clean, including the same combination as Bobek but a triple flip as her solo jump. The judges' vote went to Bobek in a split decision. Maria Butyrskaya (RUS), the world bronze medallist, fell on her triple lutz combination but the overall strength of her skating put her in third place, ahead of 1997 world bronze medallist Vanessa Gusmeroli (FRA).

In the free, after successfully landing her opening triple lutz/double toeloop combination Liashenko caught her blade and fell heavily and never fully recovered. She placed fourth to drop to fourth overall. Gusmeroli was next, landing three clean triples in her first performance of a new entertaining program. Bobek followed and opened strongly, landing a triple lutz/double toeloop and a triple salchow/double toeloop but doubled three jumps before landing a clean triple toeloop. Butryskaya seized the opportunity. She landed four clean triples to win her third Grand Prix and qualify with maximum points for the Grand Prix Final. Bobek was second and with 14 points from her two events must now wait and see if she will win a place to the Final in St Petersburg.

"This means a lot to me," said Bobek. "It's my first international medal for three years. Now I want to win my national title back and a world title."

Sarah Abitbol & Stephane Bernadis (FRA) looked a different pair to the couple who placed sixth at Skate America. They skated a clean program including side by side triple toeloops and a thrown triple loop to win the short in a split decision ahead of 1996 world champions Marina Eltsova & Andrei Bushkov (RUS). The Russians won two marks of 5.8 for presentation but the French duo's required elements marks were high enough to give them the lead. Kristy Sargeant & Kris Wirtz (CAN) also skated a clean program to place third ahead of Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman (USA).

Ina & Zimmerman were the first of the top contenders to skate in the free. They too showed a big improvement from Skate America, their first competition together. They landed side by side double axels and a high thrown triple salchow and their choreography included complex spin combinations. Sargeant fell on a triple toeloop and singled a double axel in a disappointing performance from the Canadians who dropped to fourth. Eltsova & Bushkov, in their first competition of the season, also struggled with their jumps and their superior speed and artistry was not enough to keep them ahead of the Americans. Abitbol & Bernadis skated last, cheered on by the home crowd, and landed a thrown double axel, triple loop and side by side triple toeloops in a program that featured fast step sequences and innovative lifts. They received first places from all the judges to win their first major international title and 12 Grand Prix points.

With a total of 15 points from their two events, Abitbol & Bernadis currently lie second in the overall Grand Prix standings and must wait and see if that will win them a place in the Final. The Americans and Russians compete again next week in the Cup of Russia.

Olympic bronze medallists Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat (FRA) dominated the dance competition. Their performance of the Blues won one mark of 5.8 and a total of six 5.7s in the compulsory dance. Disaster struck in the original dance just over halfway through their fast and intricate waltz after Peizerat caught his foot on a sequin on the ice as he was lifting Anissina and both fell. Consequently their marks for composition ranged as low as 5.1 but their presentation marks included three 5.8s. Barbara Fusar-Poli & Maurizio Margaglio (ITA) again placed second and Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas (LIT) third. In the free dance, the French won four marks of 5.9 for presentation and a total of four 5.8s to win the title and the 12 maximum points. The judges split 5:2 in favour of the Italians over the Lithuanians to leave both couples tied on 16 points from their two events. They too must wait to see if that will get them to the Final. Anissina & Peizerat skate again in Japan.

The next Grand Prix event is the Cup of Russia in Moscow on 26-29 November.

Contact: Lukas Wyder, ISU, on +41 21 612 6666 (tel) or +41 21 612 6677 (fax)

Grand Prix Series Standings


	                                  				Factored Grand Prix
PLC     SP      FP                              			Placing Points  
1.      3       1               Maria Butyrskaya        	RUS     2.5     12
2.      1       2               Nicole Bobek    		USA     2.5     9
3.      4       3               Vanessa Gusmeroli       	FRA     5.0     7
4.      2       4               Elena Liashenko 		UKR     5.0     NPS     
5.      5       5               Laetitia Hubert 		FRA    	7.5     4
6.      6       6               Diana Poth      		HUN     9.0     3
7.      8       7               Mojca Kopac     		SLO     11.0    2
8.      7       8               Andrea Diewald  		GER     11.5    1
9.      9       9               Tara Ferguson  		 	CAN     13.5    -
1.      2       1               Alexei Yagudin  		RUS     2.0     12      
2.      1       2               Michael Weiss   		USA     2.5     9
3.      5       3               Emmanuel Sandhu 		CAN     5.5     7
4.      3       4               Dmitry Dmitrenko        	UKR     5.5     5
5.      4       6               Laurent Tobel   		FRA     8.0     4
6.      8       5               Andrejs Vlascenko       	GER     9.0     NPS
7.      6       8               Roman Skornyakov  		UZB     11.0    3
8.      9       7               Sven Meyer      		GER     11.5    2
9.      7       9               Thierry Cerez   		FRA     12.5    1
10.     11      10           	Makoto Okazaki  		JPN     15.5    -
11.     10      11           	Angelo Dolfini  		ITA     16.0    - 
1.      1       1               Sarah Abitbol/Stephane Bernadis 	FRA     1.5	12
2.      4       2               Kyoko Ina/John Zimmerman        	USA     4.0	9
3.      2       3               Marina Eltsova/Andrei Bushkov   	RUS     4.0	7   
4.      3       4               Kristy Sargeant/Kris Wirtz      	CAN     5.5	NPS
5.      5       5               Tatiana Totmianina/Maksim Marinin    	RUS	7.5    	4   
6.      6       6               Valerie Saurette/J-S Fecteau    	CAN     9.0	3
7.      7       7               Olga Bestandigova/Josef Bestandig       SVK	10.5   	-
PLC     CD      OD      FD      
1.      1       1       1       Marina Anissina/Gwendal Peizerat       	FRA	2.0     12
2.      2       2       2       Barbara Fusar-Poli/Maurizio Margaglio   ITA	4.0    	 9
3.      3       3       3       Margarita Drobiazko/Povilas Vanagas     LIT	6.0    	 7
4.      4       5       4       Anna Semenovich/Vladimir Fedorov      	RUS	8.6      5
5.      7       4       5       Galit Chait/Sergey Sakhnovsky   	ISR    	10.2     4
6.      6       7       6       Marie-France Dubreuil/Patrice Lauzon    CAN	12.6     3
7.      5       6       7       Isabelle Delobel/Olivier Schoenfelder   FRA	12.6     2
8.      10      9       8       Eliane Hugentobler/Daniel Hugentobler   SWI	17.4     1  
9.      8       8       10      Magali Sauri/Olivier Chapuis    	FRA    	18.0     -
10.     9       10      9       Debbie Kogel/Oleg Fediukov      	USA    	18.6   	 -

NPS= non points scoring event

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