Russia’s 16-year-old Olympic and European champion Alina Zagitova took an early grip on the competition as the International Skating Union’s third Figure Skating Grand Prix event began in Helsinki.
The prodigious Zagitova, who also won the last Grand Prix final, finished more than five points clear in the opening short programme of the ladies competition at this International Skating Union event at the Helsinki Arena.
The Russian scored 68.90 points, way clear of second-placed Japanese skater Yuna Shiraiwa, who recorded 63.77, 0.60 ahead of Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx.
Zagitova’s compatriot Stanislava Konstantinova lies fourth with 62.56 ahead of tomorrow evening’s concluding free skate.
Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise of Italy headed the pairs short programme with a total of 68.18 points, followed by two Russian partnerships.
Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert scored 67.59, followed by compatriots Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin, who totalled 63.80.
The pairs free skating will also take place tomorrow.
In the ice dancing category, the opening rhythm dance section was won by the Russian pairing of Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, who totalled 78.18.
Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri stand second ahead of tomorrow night’s concluding free dance, on 77.36.
Lorraine McNamara and Qunn Carpenter were third with 71.40, ahead of US compatriots Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, who reached 66.93.
Tomorrow’s competition will start with the men’s short programme, with the men’s free skating programme bringing the third Grand Prix to a close on Sunday (November 4) evening.