The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continued Friday in Quebec, Canada with the Junior Pairs and Junior Ladies Free Skating, the Ladies, Men's and Pairs Short Programs and the Short Dance.
Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) skate to Junior Pairs gold
Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China skated to the gold in the Junior Pairs event. Canada's Katherine Bobak/Ian Beharry claimed the silver and the bronze went to Britney Simpson/Matthew Blackmer (USA).
Sui/Han's Flamenco program featured a throw quadruple Salchow that was only slightly two-footed, a throw triple flip and level four spins and lifts, but their quadruple twist was downgraded. The two-time World Junior champions scored 103.00 points which added up to 160.43 overall. We are not too pleased with this performance as we made some errors. We made errors on both solo jumps. The quad twist wasn't too good either. I don't know why we made these errors, Han said. We felt quite good when we went out but we weren't able to show our best. We didn't skate as well as we had last year, Sui added.
Skating to Spartacus, Bobak/Beharry turned in a clean performance that included a triple twist, a double Axel-double Axel sequence and a throw triple loop. The Canadians got a new seasons best of 99.88 points and totaled 152.65. It felt amazing with the Short Program and it felt better with going in being second overall, Beharry said. With everything going on it (their first Junior Grand Prix Final) gets to be a bit nerve racking but it was a great experience to learn how to deal with that, added Bobak.
Simpson/Blackmer completed a double twist, double Axel and two triple throws in their routine to Titanic to score 95.44 points. The Americans were ranked fifth in the Free Skating but remained in third place at 146.35 points. We are very excited. We did what we came here to do which is two season best scores and skate how we have been training at home with two clean programs. It was so amazing that the crowd kept us going and we got more into the program. We focused on components, which is what we do best, Simpson told the press.
Carolina Kostner (ITA) leads Ladies after Short Program
Italy's Carolina Kostner skated to the lead in the Ladies Short Program followed by Akiko Suzuki of Japan and Alena Leonova of Russia.
Kostner landed a triple toe-triple toe combination, a triple loop and double Axel in her program to Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich. She picked up a level four for two spins and a seasons best score of 66.43 points. As I was getting off the ice, I still did not realize that I have finally performed the program as I wanted to. I have been practicing the program over and over, but today was the best performance. Going into the Final, my goals were to not have any regrets. I am happy (about the short program), but then there is still tomorrow, the three-time European Champion noted.
Performing to Hungarian Rhapsody Suzuki hit a triple Lutz, double Axel and three level four spins, but stepped out of the back end of her flip-double toe combination. Before the competition, I was not thinking about trying a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, but after I came here, I felt much better about it and it was the first time I tried to do it in competition. Now, I could not perform it cleanly and I am mortified by that, but I want to try my best for tomorrow and move the audience's emotions with my skating, Suzuki commented.
Leonova turned in a solid performance to Pirates of the Caribbean that was highlighted by a triple toe-triple toe and a double Axel. She earned 60.46 points. My practice this morning did not go well, but I regrouped for the short program and I am very pleased with the performance. I rested a bit after Rostelecom Cup, and then continued preparing for the Grand Prix Final in my usual relaxed rhythm. I love performing to the audience and I love the reception here in Quebec, Leonova said.
Alissa Czisny placed fourth at 60.30 points and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS) is currently ranked fifth at 54.99 points. Mao Asada (JPN) has withdrawn from the competition Thursday due to a family emergency.
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) capture Short Dance
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) danced to a strong lead ahead of Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada and France's Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat.
Davis/White gave a strong performance to Samba, Rhumba and Samba and earned a level four for all elements. The World Champions collected a new seasons best score of 76.17 points. It was indeed our seasons best. We've been working on our short dance a lot since Skate America and Cup of Russia. I think we're feeling much more solid and confident with the dance and feel like we really get our feet under. So we're really pleased with it, Davis commented.
Virtue/Moir's characteristic Samba, Rhumba and Samba was highlighted by fast twizzles and a curve lift, but Moir fell on a transition move early into the program. The twizzles, lift and one Rhumba sequence garnered a level four, while the side by side footwork and the first Rhumba sequence were a level three. The Olympic Champions scored 71.01 points. I caught Tessa's skate, it happened so quickly that by the time I noticed my back was on the floor. This kind of thing could happen and we are pretty good at recovering from that kind of incident, Moir explained.
Pechalat/Bourzat delivered a lively short dance to Samba rhythms. They received a level four for all elements but the side by side step sequence (level three) and achieved a new seasons best with 68.68 points. After the Trophee Eric Bompard we worked hard to improve our physical condition and to improve our consistency and gain more confidence, Bourzat said. This program is very challenging physically, with really difficult steps, there is no time to rest, Pechalat pointed out.
Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) came fourth at 66.24 points followed by Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) with 65.53 points and Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) with 64.05 points.
Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) leads Russian sweep in Junior Ladies
Julia Lipnitskaia led a sweep of the Russian Junior Ladies. She was joined on the podium by silver medalist Polina Shelepen and bronze medalist Polina Korobeinikova.
Lipnitskaia gave a strong performance of her Romeo and Juliet program, reeling off seven triple jumps and excellent spins. The 13-year-old earned 119.75 points, slightly improving her seasons best, and racked up a total of 179.73 points. I really enjoyed skating today. I was in a very good mood when I stepped on to the ice and I felt joy. I am so happy for the two Polinas (Shelepen and Korobeinikova) and for myself. It is just great that we Russian girls swept the podium, she said.
Skating to Felix Mendelsson's Violin Concerto, Shelepen nailed a triple Lutz-triple toe and four more triples but fell on the back end of her triple Salchow-triple toe combination. The 16-year-old picked up a seasons best with 107.35 points and totaled 162.34 points. It is not the first time that I fall on this combination, it's like a mental block. I will need to work on this more in practice. I got lower levels on my spins and I do not know why and will have to check, Shelepen commented.
Korbeinikova hit six clean triples and only stumbled on a triple loop in her routine to Otonal. She scored 105.94 points, another seasons best, to pull up from fifth to third at 151.18 points. I skated well. I was happy aboout the triple-triple. I did everything I was hoping for, except for the little error on the loop. I will keep working on my consistency, the 15-year-old told the press.
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov grab Pairs Short Program
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov of Russia grabbed the lead in the Pairs Short Program ahead of Germany's Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy. Dan Zhang/Hao Zhang of China finished third.
Volosozhar/Trankov's program to Bring Me Back to Life included a big triple twist, a triple toe and throw triple flip. The World silver medalists picked up a seasons best with 71.57 points. Today it was very hard to skate last. We were somewhat nervous. We made several small errors and we are not happy about that. We are very pleased with our program component score, but we don't know yet why we received some low levels for our elements, Trankov explained.
Performing to Angels and Demons, Savchenko/Szolkowy produced a triple twist, triple toe and got a level four for the lift, spin, death spiral and footwork, but she stumbled on the throw triple flip. The three-time World Champions posted a new seasons best with 69.82 points. Overall we are quite pleased. The throw went wrong and I am glad that Aliona stayed on her feet. The throw was too good, it was extremly high, Szolkowy commented. There are seven elements in the Short Program, and if the first element goes wrong you still have six elements left you need to do, he added.
Zhang/Zhang put out a solid perfomance to A Transylvannian Lullaby that featured a throw triple loop, triple twist and triple toe. The Chinese couple had a seasons best with 63.43 points. We had a little problem with our twist because the shoulder strap of my costume had slipped, but all the other elements went quite well. We didn't compete last year and we still make some errors in the performances, but we are happy to be back in the Final, Dan Zhang noted.
Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) placed fourth with 61.37 points. She doubled the toeloop.
Patrick Chan (CAN) tops Men's Short Program
Patrick Chan of Canada won the Men's Short Program with Jeremy Abbott (USA) and Spain's Javier Fernandez.
Chan opened his program to Take Five with a quad toe-triple toe but bumped into the boards on the triple toe and fell. The World Champion recovered to complete a triple Lutz and a level four step sequences, but he touched down with his hand on the triple Axel. Chan got a seasons best with 82.68 points. Even on practices I thought those boards are coming in pretty fast, the Canadian admitted. In practice I kind of did the quad by itself and didn't add the triple toe to it. But today it felt so good and I just went for it. I kind of paid for it, he continued.
Abbott stumbled on his triple flip in his Swing routine but nailed the triple Axel and switched his combination to the triple Lutz. He scored 82.66 points. The new system is all about points, so after I stepped out from the jump in the beginning, I kept thinking whether it would count as a jumping pass. Throughout the program, I kept thinking whether to do the triple lutz-triple toe combination, or whether it would not count. In the end, I am glad I did, because I relaxed afterwards and concentrated on the performance and it added about 5 points to the score, the two-time U.S. Champion shared.
Fernandez pulled off a quad toe and triple Axel but had to hang to a shaky triple Lutz-double toe combination. He collected 81.26 points. I do not know how I managed to save that triple Lutz-double toe combination! I think sometimes you just have to do it and you do it. I need to continue working on my triple flip and triple Lutz going into Nationals and Europeans as these are my worst jumps, Fernandez told the press.
Yuzuru Hanyu came fourth (79.33 points) and Daisuke Takahashi finished fifth at 76.49 points.
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continues Saturday with the Junior Free Dance and Junior Men Free Skating, the Men, Ladies and Pairs Free Skating.