Published on: 10/02/2021 – 10:04 PM
Ideal return for Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron: after twenty months without competition, the quadruple ice dance world champions have been able to live up to their Olympic gold ambition in four months in Beijing, at the Epinal Masters (Vosges ), traditional national meeting. at the beginning of the season.
In their first outing since January 2020, Papadakis and Cizeron, both 26, won with a total of 231.10 points.
On Saturday, they were rewarded with 137.31 points at the end of their free dance skating on Gabriel Fauré’s Elegy, played on cello and piano. The day before, her rhythmic dance had been credited with 93.79 points. Excellence scores, however, are not transferable internationally.
“The aim was to show everyone that they were attacking this Olympic season by being ready, that we may not be there for twenty months, but we still know how to stand up, even more than that! That’s done,” thanks his coach Romain Haguenauer .
It means “we are here, we are in good shape, we are strong, we are ready to fight,” he sums up.
“It gave us confidence in our programs, it gave us back the spirit of competition,” Cizeron describes. They are feelings that we had forgotten a bit. “
– International start in a week –
Starting next weekend, and before diving back into the deepest part of the Grand Prix, for them in November in Turin and Grenoble, the 2018 Olympic vice-champions, quadruple in the world (2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019) and fivefold European champions (2015-2019) will compete this time against international competition in a secondary circuit competition in Finland. In this case the American tandems Madison Chock and Evan Bates and the Russian Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, fourth and fifth in the 2021 World Cup. What to measure at a high level.
“It is good to come to a competition that is not yet a Grand Prix but that has more scope than the Masters, it will give us experience,” said Papadakis.
“I hope they perform in the worst case as well as the Masters,” anticipates Haguenauer.
Before this weekend, Papadakis and Cizeron were more than 600 days without competition. Their last outing was at the 2020 European Championships in Graz, Austria: they bowed there for the first time since the 2018 Olympics, ahead of Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, who have since become champions of the world in his absence. Last March – and that, in theory, they should meet twice before the 2022 Olympics, the Grand Prix final in December in Osaka (Japan) and the European Championships in January in Tallinn.
The Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, European figure skating champions, pose, surrounded by the French Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (2nd) and their compatriots Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, on January 25, 2020 in Graz (Austria) Daniel MIHAILESCU AFP / Archives
In the men’s competition, a delicate comeback by Kevin Aymoz, stopped for two months this summer due to a sore throat and who only jumped again three weeks ago: he fell three times during his free skating and finished only third (222.86).
“It scrubs!”, Admits Aymoz, ninth in the 2021 World Cup. This is my first complete free, my thighs and my heart hurt, I burned “.
Frenchman Kevin Aymoz, during his short program at the World Figure Skating Championships, on March 25, 2021 in Stockholm Jonathan NACKSTRAND AFP / Archives
This is the young Adam Siao Him Fa, twenty years old, who won (256.25) after a successful performance to the sound of Daft Punk, a week after opening the door to the Beijing Games by unlocking a second quota of French skaters .
© 2021 AFP