Kaetlyn Osmond wins Skate Canada; Ashley Wagner rallies (video)

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Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond won Skate Canada, despite a fall to close her free skate on Saturday.

Ashley Wagner rallied for bronze, up from seventh place after Friday’s short program.

Osmond and Wagner, the last two world silver medalists behind Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva, were joined on the podium by Russian Maria Sotskova.

The other two Americans — Courtney Hicks and U.S. champion Karen Chen — were fourth and seventh, respectively.

Japan’s Shoma Uno, the world silver medalist, won the men’s title with a score only one man has bettered this season. That man is also Uno. American Jason Brown benefited from three-time world champ Patrick Chan‘s meltdown to take silver.

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance with a world-record score, continuing their undefeated run since returning from a two-year break last season. They are favorites to win a second Olympic title in February.

Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford rallied to overtake short-program leaders Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany for their fourth straight Skate Canada pairs title.

Full Skate Canada scores are here.

Osmond won her first Grand Prix title since prevailing in her Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada five years ago at the age of 16. She remains one of, if not the top threat to Medvedeva, who hasn’t lost in two years.

Wagner landed six triple jumps in her “Moulin Rouge” free skate. The bronze gives her a chance to make December’s six-woman Grand Prix Final, which will determine the PyeongChang Olympic medal favorites.

Wagner will likely make the Grand Prix Final if she wins Skate America on Thanksgiving weekend.

No other U.S. woman has a realistic shot at the Grand Prix Final.

Chen had trouble fully rotating jumps in her free skate, continuing her struggles in Grand Prix events. She also did not have a triple-triple combination in either program at Skate Canada.

Chen, 18, surprised to win the U.S. title last season — and then surprised even more by finishing fourth at worlds — but has never finished better than fifth in five Grand Prix starts.

The three-woman U.S. Olympic team will be named after nationals in January. Selections will be made based off not only nationals standings, but also results from the previous two seasons.

That makes this fall’s Grand Prix season key. The top four finishers from last season’s nationals have all finished their first of two starts this Grand Prix season. Hicks, 12th at last season’s nationals, had her one and only scheduled start this week.

Their scores:

Mariah Bell — 188.56 (Rostelecom Cup, sixth place)
Ashley Wagner — 183.94 (Skate Canada, third place)
Courtney Hicks — 182.57 (Skate Canada, fourth place)
Mirai Nagasu — 178.25 (Rostelecom Cup, ninth place)
Karen Chen — 170.40 (Skate Canada, seventh place)

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with two-time world champion Javier Fernandez headlining Cup of China. A full broadcast schedule is here.

Skate Canada
Women
Gold: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 212.91
Silver: Maria Sotskova (RUS) — 192.52
Bronze: Ashley Wagner (USA) — 183.94
4. Courtney Hicks (USA) — 182.57
7. Karen Chen (USA) — 170.40

Men
Gold: Shoma Uno (JPN) — 301.10
Silver: Jason Brown (USA) — 261.14
Bronze: Alexander Samarin (RUS) — 250.06

Ice Dance
Gold: Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) — 199.86 WR
Silver: Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) — 190.01
Bronze: Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 189.43
4. Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) — 165.20

Pairs
Gold: Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — 222.22
Silver: Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) — 215.66
Bronze: Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) — 214.37
7. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) — 172.95

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MORE: Will Virtue, Moir bid farewell at Olympics?

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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