Kaori Sakamoto Secures Grand Prix Finals Spot with Gold Medal Victory in Espoo

Kaori Sakamoto, the world champion, earned her place at the Grand Prix Finals by winning the Grand Prix Espoo, her second series win this season, with a total of 205.21 points. Madison Chock and Evan Bates, world champions, also secured a spot at the finals in Beijing next month by winning the ice dance competition. The men’s event saw Kao Miura win his first figure skating Grand Prix title, securing a place in the finals with a total of 274.56 points. Germany’s Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin took gold in the pairs event with a total of 192.72.

Sakamoto outperformed fellow Japanese skater Rion Sumiyoshi, landing seven triple jumps in the free skate to extend her lead from Friday’s short program. Chock and Bates scored a total of 209.46 points in the ice dance competition, skating to music by Pink Floyd, maintaining an unbeaten record in 2023. Kao Miura edged past his teammate Shun Sato, each landing three quadruple jumps, to win the men’s event. Miura’s three-point advantage from Friday’s short program helped him claim the win with a total of 274.56 points to Sato’s 273.34. Miura’s win was the first career Grand Prix series win for the world junior title and Four Continents Championship gold winner last season. Germany’s Hase and Volodin clinched gold in the pairs event in their first competition together, with Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii taking second for Italy and Maria Pavlova and Alexei Sviatchenko claiming bronze for Hungary. Grand Prix Espoo is the fifth of the six events that determine qualification for the Grand Prix Finals in Beijing.


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