One competition went exactly as planned. The other was a complete surprise.
Yuzuru Hanyu Sets World Record (Again)
Two weeks after breaking the world record for the short program and the free skate, Yuzuru Hanyu set the bar even higher in both skates, scoring an overall 330.43 and becoming the first man to win three straight Grand Prix Finals gold medals. The 2014 Olympic champion set the short program record by landing three quadruple jumps and and two triple Axels.
"I am feeling really good today, because everyone was supporting me," Hanyu said after the competition. "I owe my performance to the audience."
Playing in front of his home country, reigning World Champion Javier Fernandez took home the silver medal for the second year in a row. Fernandez skated two nearly flawless programs and scored a personal best 292.95, but still found himself over 30 points behind Hanyu at the end of the competition. Fernandez bowed down to Hanyu as everyone waited for Hanyu's free skate scores to come in, knowing that Hanyu did more than enough to walk away as the champion.
Shoma Uno took him the bronze medal, giving Japan two spots on the podium. The former junior World Champion was skating in his first Grand Prix finals.
Evgenia Medvedeva Skates To Gold
The women's competition was wild from the beginning, as many of the favorites struggled at certain points.
Mao Asada entered the competition looking for her fifth Grand Prix finals gold medal, but falls in both her short program and free skate left her well back. Out of the six skaters in the field, she finished in last place.
Two Americans, Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold, were looking at becoming the first Americans to win the gold medal at the Grand Prix finals since Alissa Czisny's triumph in 2010; however, neither skated two clean programs and they both missed the podium. It is the first time Wagner will leave the Finals without a medal in four years.
One player who did not struggle was 16 year old Evgenia Medvedeva. The Skate America champion had a personal best total of 222.54. The Russian was skating in her first senior level Grand Prix season, and could not be more delighted with her results.
“I didn’t really expect this result here, but I worked really hard for it,” Medvedeva said through a translator, according to The Associated Press. “I am very pleased with my first senior season.”
Medvedeva won my 13.69 points, the second-largest margin of victory in the tournament's history.
Finishing with the silver medal was Japan's Satoko Miyahara, who was also the silver medalist at the World Championships and was Japan's best female skater during Asada's hiatus, though she was skating the Grand Prix Finals for the first time.
Russia's Elena Radionova picks up her second Finals medal, this time a bronze to go with last year's silver.
Russia's problem may be that they have too many great female skaters. Reigining World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who won the Grand Prix Finals last season, did not qualify this season, mostly due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Grand Prix event in France, which took place the same weekend as the Paris terrorist attacks. The Russians also have teenager Yulia Lipnitskaya, who helped Russia win the team gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. Lipnitskaya had a disappointing season, but still remains one of the most talented skaters in the world.