by Klaus-Reinhold Kany
(27 October 2017) Kaetlyn Osmond was the silver medalist at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, seven months ago. The 20-year-old skater from Edmonton, Alberta, performed to the two songs "Sous le ciel de Paris" and "Mylord" of French singer Edith Piaf and took the lead with 76.06 points after an excellent performance. She was the only skater to get a standing ovation from the 2,500 spectators in the rink. Originally she had chosen a different new music ("Summertime"), but then went back to her music of last season. She began with an outstanding combination of triple flip and triple toe-loop for which she got four GOEs of +3 and five +2, followed by a very good triple Lutz out of steps, also with four GOEs of +3. The three level 4 spins got mainly +2, the double Axel and the step sequence were very good as well. Her components had an average of 9.0, with two 9.75 from the Turkish judge as highest ones. She commented: "There are definitely a few things that I want to improve, but for today I was happy that I was able to do what I do in practice, which is to focus on each element at a time. I felt confident on the ice and it all went very well today.”
19-year-old Anna Pogorilaya from Russia was only 13th at Worlds after a bad free program, but this time she skated well and finished second with 69.05 points. Interpreting the Flamenco "Esperanza" by Maxim Rodriguez, her first element was a good combination of triple Lutz and triple toe-loop, but her toe-loop came very close to the barrier. Her triple loop and her double Axel were clean. Two spins had a level 3, one a level 4. Her components were around 8.3. "I did everything I wanted to do quite calmly and with confidence,” Pogorilaya said. "Obviously I realize it is not enough, but for today I am pleased. After Worlds I worked a lot on myself and I had to overcome many things in my training and inside myself. But nobody says that life is easy. You have get up and move on.”
Third is her countrywoman Maria Sotskova, earning 66.10 points. The 17-year-old Maria Sotskova from Russia was eighth in Helsinki and interpreted "Swan Lake" in Regina. Her combination of triple Lutz and triple toe-loop was good, the triple flip as well, but her double Axel under-rotated. The four level 4 spins got mainly GOEs of +1. She said, "There was an error on the double Axel that cost some points, but overall I am quite pleased,” the 17-year-old said. "I showed the emotions in my program to the crowd and that is the most important thing for me right now. You work on the elements in practice, but in competition you want to show the beauty of skating.”
Courtney Hicks of California came as an alternate for the injured South Korean skater Nahyun Kim. The student of Todd Sand was the best of the three Americans and sits in fourth position, winning 64.06 points. She overturned the triple flip, but could add a triple loop. The other elements were at least good. She skated in a very dynamic style to the soundtrack of "Malificent" and received components of around 7.2. The reigning U.S. National Champion Karen Chen from the school of Tammy Gambill in Riverside/California is currently fifth with 61.77 points. She stepped out of her triple Lutz and could not add the triple toe-loop which was planned. But later she added a double toe-loop to her triple loop, so she had at least a valid jump combination. Two of her spins were excellent and she skated to "Tango de Roxanne" of the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack which is very often used in skating. Her components had an average of 7.6. Sixth is Rika Hongo from Japan who under-rotated the second triple toe-loop of her combination, but had an otherwise clean program to "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff.
Ashley Wagner, who trains with Rafael Arutunian in California, sits only in seventh place, earning 61.57 points. In her combination, the triple flip was clean, but then she under-rotated the triple toe loop. The double Axel was good, but later she under-rotated the triple loop. The flying sit spin was excellent, but the two other spins only clean. The dynamic step sequence was her best element and received GOEs of +2 from seven of the nine judges for it. She skated to "Hip Hip, Chin, Chin" by the Club des Belugas, a piece she had used a few years ago. Her components had an average of 8.3.
Laurine Lecavelier from France trains with Kori Ade in Monument, Colorado and is currently eighth with 59.08 points. She began with a combination of triple Lutz and triple toe-loop, but the triple toe-loop was clearly under-rotated. The other elements were relatively clean and she skated to the soundtrack of "Summer of 42". Kailani Craine from Australia came as an alternate for Roberta Rodeghiero from Italy who is injured. In September Craine won Nebelhorn Trophy and an Olympic spot for Australia, which is very probably for herself because she is much better than the other Australian ladies. She finished ninth with 54.99 points and seemed to be happy because she was at her first Grand Prix and did not fall. But her triple flip was under-rotated and her second triple loop in her combination was downgraded.
Marin Honda from Japan did not skate her best and finished only tenth with 52.60 points. She said she suffered a bit from the time difference to Japan. In her combination of triple Lutz and triple toe-loop, she fell on the second jump and later had only a single Axel instead of the required double version of this jump. Alaine Chartrand from Canada sits eleventh with 46.51 points after three mistakes. Her countrywoman Larkyn Austman is 12th with 41.79 points.