At the first round of the International Grand Prix Series held in the United States, the men’s singles skating attracted special attention. After the short program, it became obvious that the composition of the participants was quite diverse, and each skater brought a unique approach to the sport.
In fourth place was Nika Egadze from Georgia, a student of Eteri Tutberidze. His free skating program started confidently with a quadruple tulup and a cascade of quadruple salchow in a triple tulup. However, he made a mistake, falling on the salchow and doing only double jumps instead of triple jumps in the cascade. These flaws lowered his scores, and despite the creative theme of the musical “Moulin Rouge” in his choreographic program, his emotional performance left much to be desired. In the end, he scored 151.69 points for the free program and 237.45 overall, which earned him fourth place.
Surprisingly, Nika Yegadze beat Vladimir Litvintsev of Azerbaijan by only one hundredth of a point in the final total, and this was largely due to his performance in the short program.
Japan’s Shun Sato won the bronze medal at the first round of the Grand Prix despite difficulties in the second part of the competition. His free skating program contained many inaccuracies in the execution of jumps, and he even revised his program on the fly. Despite this, he managed to score 155.89 points for the free program and 247.50 in total.
Kevin Aimoz from France kept the second place. His technical level in the free skating program was more modest, but he did not make any falls or serious mistakes, which was highly appreciated by the judges. His performance to the music of “Bolero” ended emotionally and lifted the audience, and he scored 181.75 points for the free skate and 279.09 in the total.
Ilia Malinin of the United States won the event. Even without the quadruple axel, he scored more than 300 points in total for the two routines. His free skating program included four quadruple jumps, two lutzes (one in a cascade with a triple salchow), a salchow and a tulup in a cascade with a triple tulup. He also has a triple axel and a rittberger at the beginning of his roll, and it is logical that as the season progresses, he will also add turns to them. All of his jumps were executed cleanly and the judges rated them highly. His choreography is still a work in progress, but he already has high scores for his performance. He ended up scoring 206.41 for the free routine and 310.47 overall, making him the top favorite for the season.