Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond topped the Grand Prix France short program, moving closer to another Grand Prix Final berth on Friday.
The world silver medalist was flawed — performing a triple-double combination rather than a triple-triple and putting a hand down on another jump landing.
She goes into Saturday’s free skate with a 1.26-point lead over Russian Maria Sotskova. Japan’s Yuna Shiraiwa is third, while the lone American Polina Edmunds is ninth.
Co-favorite Alina Zagitova of Russia fell and dropped to fifth place in Grenoble.
In the short dance, France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron improved on their personal best with 81.40 points, the third-highest all-time in an eight-year-old system.
The event continues later Friday with the pairs short and men’s short, all live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.
GP FRANCE: Full Results | TV Schedule
Osmond, 21, was a revelation last season, winning her first Grand Prix medals in four years, making her first Grand Prix Final and finishing second to dominant Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva at worlds.
She’s continued that this fall, winning her first two events in Canada to solidify Olympic medal favorite status. One Canadian woman has won an individual Olympic medal in the last 25 years — Joannie Rochette‘s emotional bronze in 2010.
Zagitova, the 15-year-old world junior champion, fell on her opening triple Lutz. Zagitova won her Grand Prix debut in China two weeks ago and ranks second to training partner Medvedeva in top scores this season.
Medvedeva, Zagitova and Sotskova are the favorites to claim Russia’s three Olympic women’s spots. Sotskova, 17, made the podium in all three of her Grand Prix starts but was a disappointing eighth at last season’s worlds.
Edmunds tallied 56.31 points Friday, stepping out of the landing of her opening triple-triple jump combination.
Still, she improved on her short program from her earlier event this season, where she scored 49.62 with errors on all of her jumps.
Edmunds, the youngest U.S. Olympic competitor across all sports in Sochi, went 20 months between competitions, missing the entire 2016-17 season due to a bone bruise in her right foot.
She is an underdog to make the three-woman U.S. team for PyeongChang that will be named after nationals in January.
Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva continued her string of underwhelming programs since her 2015 World title. She fell on a triple Axel attempt and singled a Lutz, plummeting to last place of 11 skaters.
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Internationaux de France
Women’s Short Program
1. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 69.05
2. Maria Sotskova (RUS) — 67.79
3. Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN) — 66.05
9. Polina Edmunds (USA) — 56.31
1. Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) — 81.40
2. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 73.55
3. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) — 70.02
6. Elliana Pogrebinsky/Alex Benoit (USA) — 60.64