Olympic silver medalists Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China skated to a confident victory at NHK Trophy in Sapporo (JPN) with a little over 18 points to spare on Saturday. Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro earned the silver medal and the bronze went to Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov of Russia. All three teams qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
Moore-Towers & Marinaro (left) and Mishina & Galliamov (right) will join Sui & Han at the Grand Prix finals in Torino © AFP
Performing to ‘Rain, In Your Black Eyes’, Sui/Han produced a triple twist, excellent throw triple Salchow and throw triple flip, a side-by-side triple Salchow as well as two level-four lifts. The only error came when Sui fell on the side-by-side triple toeloop. The two-time World Champions scored 145.69 points in the Free Skating for a total of 226.96 points and their second victory on the Grand Prix circuit this season.
“I regret the fall on the jump very much, but after that I think we gave our best. We want to show our very best at the Grand Prix Final,” Sui commented.
“Today we're quite pleased with how we concluded this Grand Prix event in Japan. We were able to bring across the emotion of our programs. We had some issues here like the error on the jump and we hope to fix them and to perform better in the final,” Han noted.
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han extended their lead to 18 points despite a fall on the side-by-side triple toeloop © International Skating Union
Moore-Towers/Marinaro completed a triple twist, triple Salchow-double toe-double toe combination, throw triple loop and Salchow in their routine toe ‘Carry You’ by Ruelle. The Canadian Champions earned 137.28 points which added up to 208.49 points.
“Overall we're happy with our week. Our goal was to qualify for the Grand Prix Final and we've done that. So we're super pleased with our first Grand Prix Final as a team,” Moore-Towers said.
“I think it's every athlete's hope that they will compete the way they train and we're happy to have done that this week. We left a few levels on the table that we'll pick up in a few weeks in Italy, but for the most part we're pleased.”
Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro (CAN) skate to ‘Carry You’ by Ruelle ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Mishina/Galliamov’s performance to 'The Master and Margarita' featured a triple Salchow-Euler-triple Salchow combination, strong throw jumps as well as two level-four lifts. The World Junior Champions picked up 134.35 points for their effort and totaled 203.35 points for their second Grand Prix medal in their senior-debut season.
“Thanks to the support of the audience everything worked out for us and we hope to come back to Japan. We won't set any goals for placements at the final. We'll work on the elements to get a higher degree of difficulty and we'll try to skate as clean as possible,” Mishina said.
Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS) skate to 'The Master and Margarita'©International Skating Union (ISU)
Alisa Efimova/Alexander Korovin (RUS) remained in fourth place with a solid performance (189.34 points). The new team of Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN) moved up from sixth to fifth place with 179.94 points.
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Pairs.
Overall, 58 skaters/couples representing 11 ISU members compete at NHK Trophy November 22-24. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Turin (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Wins also for Surrey Storm, Saracens Mavericks and team bath
photo Dan Vernon
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