Alissa Czisny claims silver medal

Alissa CzisnyIt was far from a personal best performance for Alissa Czisny on Saturday in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. But a personal best short program a day earlier helped keep the 2009 U.S. Champion on the Skate Canada podium.

Despite falls on the her triple Lutz and triple loop in her fourth ranked free skate, and another downgraded jump, Czisny claimed the silver medal with 163.53 points. Canada’s Joannie Rochette (182.90), who won the silver medal at the 2009 World Championships but only completed three triples Saturday, won the competition while Finland’s Laura Lepisto (158.52).

“No, it wasn’t the best, obviously, but I’m happy with the results,” said Czisny, who was fourth at the Rostelecom Cup this season. It is the third medal at Skate Canada for Czisny, the 2005 Skate Canada Champion and 2008 bronze medalist.

Mirai Nagasu, the 2008 U.S. Champion, was third in both portions of the competition but placed fourth with 156.83. On the opening element of her free program, the triple Lutz-double toe-double loop combination, the first jump received an edge deduction for the wrong take off edge and the third jump was downgraded for under rotation. Nagasu’s other triple Lutz also received an edge deduction and the second jump in her triple loop-double toe was downgraded.

The third American competing, Caroline Zhang (132.46), was eighth overall following a seventh place showing in the short program and an eighth place finish in the free skate. On Saturday, she had a variety of problems including falls on both triple flips, which were also downgraded, and an edge call on the first jump of the triple Lutz-double toe. Her triple loop-double toe-double loop received no points because she had already performed the maximum amount of combinations before that.

Skate Canada is the sixth event of the 2009 International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit. The series, now in its 15th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative, point-scoring format. The top six scoring athletes in each discipline move onto the Grand Prix Final, Dec. 3-6, in Tokyo, Japan, which will be combined with the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final for the second consecutive season.

The six Grand Prix events are Trophee Eric Bompard, Oct. 15-18, in Paris, France; Rostelecom Cup, Oct. 22-25, in Moscow Russia; Cup of China, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, in Beijing, China; NHK Trophy, Nov. 5-8, in Nagano, Japan; Skate America, Nov. 12-15, in Lake Placid, N.Y.; and Skate Canada, Nov. 19-22, in Kitchener, Canada.

The points toward the Grand Prix Final that are awarded for each place are 15 points for first; 13 points for second; 11 points for third; nine points for fourth; seven points for fifth; five points for sixth place; four points for seventh place; and three points for eighth. In pair skating, only the top six receive points.

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