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Ilia Malinin faces new test at Grand Prix France; TV, live stream schedule

Ilia Malinin

ALLEN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 21: Ilia Malinin of United States skates in the Men’s Free Skate during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Skate America at Credit Union of Texas Events Center on October 21, 2023 in Allen, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Stockman - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

International Skating Union via Getty Images

Ilia Malinin is undefeated in three competitions so far this season, but this week may be his toughest test yet this autumn.

Peacock airs live coverage of Grand Prix France on Friday and Saturday.

Two weeks ago, Ilia Malinin won Skate America with the world’s top score over these last two seasons.

This week, the 18-year-old American crosses the Atlantic to face a field that includes the comebacking Olympic silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan. Plus Frenchman Adam Siao Him Fa, who ranks second in the world this season behind Malinin by best total score.

Kagiyama, 20, won Olympic and world championships silver medals in 2022. He missed last fall’s Grand Prix Series with left leg and ankle bone injuries, then returned to place eighth at last December’s Japanese Nationals.

This season, Kagiyama comfortably won his lower-level debut event in early September. Siao Him Fa won all three of his events so far.

But Malinin posted the world’s best score this season by more than 30 points to win Skate America two weeks ago, a score that would have won last season’s world title by 9.33.

He did so without attempting a quadruple Axel, which he tried at all eight of his competitions last season, becoming the first skater to land it cleanly in competition.

Malinin has repeated that his goal between Skate America and Grand Prix France wasn’t necessarily to win each event, but to qualify for December’s Grand Prix Final, which takes the top six skaters per discipline from the six-event Grand Prix Series.

Since Malinin won Skate America, a top-three finish in France should book his spot in the Final.

To win over Kagiyama and Siao Him Fa this week would put Malinin no less than a co-favorite for the Final with two-time reigning world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, whose Grand Prix season debut is next week.

Also at Grand Prix France, U.S. champion Isabeau Levito can for all intents and purposes earn a second consecutive Grand Prix Final berth with a top-two finish. Levito, runner-up at Skate America, faces a field including world silver medalist Lee Hae-In of South Korea.

Levito ranks third among senior-level women’s skaters this season by best total score (208.15). She trails two-time world champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan (226.13) and Belgian Loena Hendrickx (221.28), who are not in the France field.

Italians headline the fields for pairs (world bronze medalists Sara Conti and Niccolò Macii) and ice dance (world silver medalists Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri).

Last week, Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier supplanted Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates as the world No. 1 this season in ice dance by totaling 219.01 points. Chock and Bates won Skate America with 212.96.

2023 Grand Prix France Broadcast Schedule

DayProgramTime (ET)Platform
FridayWomen’s Short8-9:30 a.m.Peacock
Rhythm Dance10-11:20 a.m.Peacock
Men’s Short11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.Peacock
Pairs’ Short1:45-2:50 p.m.Peacock
SaturdayWomen’s Free8-9:50 a.m.Peacock
Free Dance10:10-11:45 a.m.Peacock
Men’s Free12-1:50 p.m.Peacock
Pairs’ Free2:10-3:30 p.m.Peacock
SundayExhibition Gala8:30-11 a.m.Peacock
Highlights12:30-2 p.m.NBC*

*Delayed broadcast.