Home Olympics Ilia Malinin headlines the Espoo Grand Prix as skaters have one last...

Ilia Malinin headlines the Espoo Grand Prix as skaters have one last likelihood to qualify for the GP Final

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Ilia Malinin headlines the Espoo Grand Prix as skaters have one last chance to qualify for the GP Final

Men: Malinin’s favorite to double, Sato looks to the final

Junior world champion Ilia Malinin is wagging his tongues with his quadruple Axel this season.

Fans in Espoo will be thrilled this weekend and Malinin hopes to take his second Grand Prix win of the season, also triumphing on his own ice at Skate America.

He recently told Olympics.com in an exclusive interview about the first jump earlier this season: “I didn’t expect to land it at all. being able to stay on my feet was just wild, crazy.”

Malinin is the undisputed favorite in a field where there are two-time Grand Prix medalists Keegan Messing Canada, Kevin Aymoz France and Japan Sato Shunand winner of the Rostelecom 2021 Cup Morisi Kvitelashvili Georgia.

As things stand, fourth place would be enough for Malinin to score the points required to mathematically qualify for the Grand Prix Final in Turin.

Sato, who finished third at the MK John Wilson Trophy in Sheffield, UK, is the next man to be eyed at the Turin venue.

The 18-year-old Japanese skater will qualify with at least second place, but with the likes of Messing, Aymoz and Kvitelashvili, it will not be an easy task.

Messing himself is not mathematically out of the Grand Prix Final, but will need to win a Grand Prix to finish in the top six.

Exclusive Ilia Malinin: On the Axel quad bike as inspired by Hanyu – and raised by Olympians

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