Team Canada - Kaetlyn OsmondPhoto: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Osmond wins Grand Prix bronze at Internationaux de France

Kaetlyn Osmond claimed her second Grand Prix medal of the season, this one a bronze at the Internationaux de France in Grenoble.

Osmond had been the short program leader, but dropped to third place after a couple of jump errors in her free skate. That included a hard fall on a triple loop and the singling of a planned double axel. She scored 137.72 in the free skate for an overall total of 206.77.

That put her on the podium behind a pair of young Russians. Reigning world junior champion Alina Zagitova jumped from fifth place to the top step with a clean free skate that included all seven of her triple jumps in the second half of the program, giving her bonus points on each of them. She totalled 213.80 for the gold while Maria Sotskova, the 2016 World Junior silver medallist who had been second to Osmond at Skate Canada International, earned 208.78 for the silver.

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With a first place finish (15 points) and a third place finish (11 points) in her two Grand Prix events, Osmond is now qualified for the Grand Prix Final, which will take place December 7-10 in Nagoya, Japan. Last season, Osmond had been the first Canadian woman to advance to the Grand Prix Final since 2009.

Team Canada - Kaetlyn Osmond

Team Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond competes in the free skate at the ISU Grand Prix of France in Grenoble, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

“It wasn’t great. I made a few mistakes, but overall I felt like I skated a strong program and the things that I’ve done I’ve done at the best I could do,” the reigning world silver medallist said of her performance in Grenoble. “(In the Grand Prix Final) I mainly want to improve on my performances here, skate a clean short and to improve my long program, make it cleaner.”

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje missed the ice dance podium by just 0.27 of a point, despite both partners being a little banged up. Weaver was dealing with a displaced rib, which actually had them considering withdrawing. Meanwhile Poje had taken a hard crash into the boards during the warmup for the short dance, in which he missed their first twizzle, costing them about five points on the element. They were extremely emotional after fighting their way through the free dance.

Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch also finished fourth in the pairs event, four and a half points off the podium.

The six-stop Grand Prix series ends next weekend with Skate America in Lake Placid, New York. Canadian entries include two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, who will be looking to lock up their own spot in the Final after winning gold at Skate Canada. Also competing are world bronze medallist Gabrielle Daleman, pair Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, as well as Kevin Reynolds and Roman Sadovsky.

With their two victories, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are already confirmed qualifiers for the Grand Prix Final. For the first time this season, they will go head-to-head against France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron in a preview of the battle for Olympic gold.