Champion Chen claims Grand Prix Finals spot with Grenoble gold

Paris (AFP) –


Double world champion Nathan Chen booked his place at December's ice skating Grand Prix Finals by winning gold at the French leg of the season on Saturday.

The American Chen scored 297.16 points to beat Russia's Alexander Samarin in second place and France's Kevin Aymoz who finished third to secure a spot in Turin with three events to spare.

"I am happy to have qualified for the final. Placement-wise of course I'm happy with the results," Chan told

"I made a lot of silly errors, errors that I need to fix," he added.

Chen's second gold medal of the series after winning at Skate America in Las Vegas hands the 20-year-old a chance to claim his third straight overall Grand Prix title.

Later on Saturday 16-year-old Russian Alena Kostornaia leads the women's draw after scoring 76.55 points in the short programme.

Kostoranaia is trailed by compatriot and Olympic champion Alina Zagitova in second and the US' Mariah Bell in third.

Grenoble is the third stop on the six-round Grand Prix series with the season finale to take place in Italy in December.