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Figure skating Grand Prix Final qualification standards adjusted

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The short program standings will act as final results for the Trophée Bompard Grand Prix figure skating competition in Bordeaux, France, the International Skating Union announced. Instead of the six-skater Grand Prix Final in Barcelona Dec. 10-13, the ISU has allowed for a seventh skater (or pair / ice dance couple) to participate in the final under specific circumstances. The free programs were canceled due to the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

If skaters who participated in Trophée Bompard are in seventh place after next weekend’s final Grand Prix event, NHK Trophy, they will be invited to the Grand Prix Final. Otherwise, the competition will be limited to six skaters if the seventh place athlete was not a Trophée Bompard participant.

More from Grand Prix France short programs: Gold breaks personal best in short program | Chan, Aaron struggle

Gracie Gold, who lead the ladies field after the short program, clinched a berth into the Grand Prix Final with this adjustment. She also qualified into last year’s field, but withdrew due to a stress fracture in her left foot.

Ashley Wagner and Japan’s Mao Asada are slated to skate at the NHK Trophy in Japan. Both of them have the opportunity to bump reigning Russian world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva from the final.

Other Russians, like Julia Lipnitskaya, are still in the hunt for the final. Lipnitskaya is an interesting case, however; if she is bumped to seventh place in the overall standings, she will be invited to the Grand Prix Final because of her participation in Trophée Bompard.

On the men’s side, Max Aaron mimics Lipnitskaya’s position. He is currently sixth, without the results of this weekend’s NHK Trophy included in the standings. Again, if he is bumped to seventh, the men’s field will include Aaron and six other skaters because of his participation in Trophée Bompard.

Other men included in the Grand Prix Final field are reigning world champion Javier Fernandez, who clinched his spot by winning last weekend’s Rostelecom Cup, while appearances by Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu and Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan seem likely. Hanyu will compete this weekend at NHK Trophy in Japan.

Top ladies Grand Prix season scores
1. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 211.32 (Rostelecom Cup)
2. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 206.76 (Rostelecom Cup)
3. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 206.01 (Skate America)
4. Gracie Gold (USA) — 202.80 (Skate America)
5. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 202.52 (Skate Canada)
6. Mao Asada (JPN) — 197.48 (Cup of China)
7. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 195.76 (Cup of China)
8. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 188.99 (Skate Canada)
9. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 188.07 (Skate America)

Top men’s Grand Prix season scores
1. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 271.43 (Rostelecom Cup)
2. Patrick Chan (CAN) — 271.14 (Skate Canada)
3. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 270.55 (Cup of China)
4. Jin Boyang (CHN) — 261.23 (Cup of China)
5. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 259.54 (Skate Canada)
6. Max Aaron (USA) — 258.95 (Skate America)
7. Shoma Uno (JPN) — 257.43 (Skate America)
8. Daisuke Murakami (JPN) — 252.25 (Skate Canada)

Federica Brignone passes Mikaela Shiffrin for World Cup overall lead

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Italian Federica Brignone passed an absent Mikaela Shiffrin for the World Cup overall standings lead by winning a combined in Switzerland on Sunday.

Brignone prevailed by .92 of a second adding times from super-G and slalom runs in Crans-Montana. Full results are here.

Brignone moved 73 points ahead of Shiffrin in the overall through 29 of 40 scheduled races. A race winner receives 100 points on a descending scale through the 30th-place finisher. The season runs through March 22.

Shiffrin, the three-time reigning World Cup overall champion, has not competed since the unexpected death of her father on Feb. 2. She has not announced if or when she will return this season.

Brignone, 29, is having a career season with five wins and 10 podiums across four disciplines.

Brignone’s best previous World Cup overall standings finish was fifth. She earned giant slalom medals at the 2018 Olympics (bronze) and 2011 World Championships (silver).

She could become Italy’s first female World Cup overall champion. The last Italian male winner was Alberto Tomba in 1995.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves to La Thuile, Italy, for a super-G and a combined next Saturday and Sunday.

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Jade Carey on brink of becoming first gymnast to qualify for U.S. Olympic team

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The U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials aren’t until late June, but Jade Carey is in position to qualify for the Tokyo Games in March.

Carey, seeking an individual Olympic gymnastics spot outside of the team competition, earned the maximum points in a World Cup series that is one path to Olympic qualification.

Carey has three wins each on floor exercise and vault with two World Cups left in March. Carey will mathematically clinch an Olympic spot if no other gymnasts win three times on one of the apparatuses to force a tiebreaker.

So far, no other gymnast has two wins on floor. One gymnast has two wins on vault. A gymnast’s top three finishes across the eight-stop series count in Olympic qualifying. If Carey finishes atop the floor or vault standings, she goes to the Olympics.

Carey picked up those third wins on floor and vault at the sixth World Cup in Melbourne, Australia, this weekend.

The one downside to qualifying this route: Carey would not be able to compete in the team competition at the Olympics. Those four spots will be determined at and after June’s trials in St. Louis, with Simone Biles likely grabbing one of them.

“I knew I would be giving up being on the team,” Carey said in October of going the World Cup route, “but I think, for me, it made sense to just go for it.”

Carey is a world medalist on vault and floor, but she doesn’t have the all-around credentials of Biles and some other U.S. gymnasts.

Olympic team event roster sizes were cut from five to four for Tokyo, putting a greater onus on all-around prowess given a team must put three gymnasts on each apparatus in the Olympic final.

The U.S. is the deepest country in women’s gymnastics, so the only truly safe pick to make the four-woman Olympic team event roster is Biles.

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