The short program round of the 2015-16 Grand Prix Final, which took place Dec. 11 in Barcelona, Spain, proved a rough day for the US women, who wound up placing just fifth and sixth in the elite six-skater field.

Reigning US national champion Ashley Wagner, who competed at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi and has qualified for the Grand Prix Final an impressive five times throughout her career, began the ISU series in golden fashion by taking the title at Skate Canada.

She faltered at last month's NHK Trophy and came in fourth, but still managed to eke out enough points to become the sixth --and last-- qualifier to the ISU's prestigious final event.

The 24-year old skater kicked off the short program round in Barcelona by scoring just 60.04, a mark that was more than 10 points lower than the personal best scoreshe posted to help herself to win Skate Canada. Gold, who qualified for last year's final but had to withdraw due to injury, closed out the round andfared better than Wagner with a 66.52, but still found herself in just fifth place. The last American woman to take the title was Alissa Czisny in 2010.

Medvedeva, Radionova lead the pack

A pair of Russian athletes, reigning world junior title holder and junior Grand Prix Final champion Evgenia Medvedeva and 2015 world bronze medalist Elena Radionova, topped the leader board with marks of 74.58 and 69.43, respectively. The 16-year old Medvedeva smashed her previous ISU personal best score (70.92), which she set at late-October's Skate America, and appears primed to claim her third medal of the series.

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Just behind Radionova in bronze medal position is Japan's Mao Asada (69.13), while rising Japanese star Satoko Miyahara is fourth with a 68.76. The 25-year old Asada is a particularly big medal threat; she's earned not only three world championship titles, but has also claimed six GPF medals, four of which are gold.

The ladies portion of the 2015-16 Grand Prix Final concludes Dec. 12 from Barcelona as the six competitors take to the ice again to perform their long programs.

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