The second edition of the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating continued Friday in Tokyo, Japan with the Pairs Short Program, Free Dance and Men's Free Skating.
Team Japan strengthens lead in Tokyo
Team Japan strengthened their lead over the teams from the USA and France on the second day of the World Team Trophy. Japan collected 59 points so far, the USA have 51 points and France remained in third at 44 points.
I am very happy with the first place after the second day. I had to prepare for my own performance, so I couldn't watch the ice dancers or pairs, but with this first place I can feel that everybody made their best efforts. Coming into this competition I was concentrated on the team. I focused on my own performance, so that I could contribute to the Japanese team. Maybe I wasn't aware of it, but unconciously I must have had this kind of feeling that I wanted to do better than at the World Championships, team capitain Daisuke Takahashi said.
Today was a good day for Team USA. Our pairs team put themselves in a good position to place well going into free skate. It's real tight in there. Meryl and I are thrilled. It was definitely a performance of a lifetime. Both Adam and Jeremy, I think, were hoping for better skates but I commend the fight they showed. I know it's not easy, U.S. Team capitain Charlie White commented. Team Japan is looking strong. Moving forward, we would like chip away at lead with ladies and pairs. We will do what we can and cross our fingers from our condo up there, he continued.
As the French capitain I had a great day today, because of the performances of the French team. It was a very good competition, and I am very pleased to end this season with this kind of feeling. Fabian and myself are very happy, Nathalie Pechalat told the press. We are strong, we are a good team. For tomorrow we want to keep it the same way, have fun. I don't want anybody to be stressed. This is the last competition. I told my teammates, just do it, do your best. And if you don't do your best, don't care, because we will cheer for you in the Kiss & Cry, she added.
Daisuke Takahashi secured the victory and 12 points in the Men's event for Japan. Skating to Blues for Klook, the reigning World silver medalist nailed a quadruple toeloop, two triple Axels and five more triples as well as two level-four spins. He posted a new personal best score of 182.72 points and racked up a total of 276.72 points. It was the last program of the season. I was able to skate really well. I was very happy. There were some details I didn't do well, but I was able to feel good out there and I was able to finish my program without major mistakes and I was able to contribute to the team. I was quite nervous form this morning. I felt really relieved at the end, he explained.
Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran took the lead in the Pairs Short Program. Their routine to Imagine featured a triple twist, throw triple Salchow and four level-four elements, but she stumbled out of the triple Salchow. The World bronze medalists scored 64.92 points. Last time we were just attending this event, but this time actually we are able to leading the charge for the team. That is a very good feeling. I was so excited to compete today, because I felt so ready yesterday. I was inspired by the others, Tran said.
Takahiko Kozuka came sixth and Ice Dancers Cathy Reed/Chris Reed finished in 7th place.
Meryl Davis/Charlie White won the Ice Dance event for Team USA. The 2011 World Champions put out a technically solid and energetic performance of their dance to Die Fledermaus, earning a level four their spin, lifts and twizzles. The couple picked up 111.18 points and totaled 183.36 points. We're really excited about our performance today. This is a program we really fell in love with and to put it out there for the last time, we really wanted to make it special between the two of us, Davis said.
Jeremy Abbott dropped from third to fifth in the Men's event as he fell on a downgraded quad toe, singled a flip and doubled two other jumps (234.37 points). Adam Rippon remained in seventh place at 222.73 points. Pair skaters Caydee Denney/John Coughlin are sitting in fifth place with 58.93 points. They landed a triple twist and triple toe but she touched down on the throw triple flip.
Ice Dancers Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat and Brian Joubert led Team France to their third-place finish by both finishing third in their evenst. Pechalat/Bourzat delivered a strong performance of their Egyptian dance The Pharao and His Mummy, executing intricate footwork and innovative lifts. The European Champions scored 101.26 points for this program which added up to 167.83 points overall. We are very pleased with the way we skated, plus we never had done this program in Japan. The atmosphere was great, the audience was great, we felt their support and clapping, that gave us extra energy. I am happy to finish the season this way, Pechalat noted.
Joubert and Florent Amodio moved up one spot in the Men's competition. Joubert's Matrix program featured six clean triples including two Axels, but he did a three-turn out of the quad toe before tacking a double toe to it. The three-time European Champion scored 154.95 points and had 239.64 points overall. It was very, very hard. I did the last complete run-through of my long program in Nice. I am still very satisfied with what I did. I fought well. Overall I felt good in this competition and this confirms my feeling of having a good comeback, the Frenchman commented. Amodio landed a quad Salchow to pull up from fifth to fourth (238.33 points). Daria Popova/Bruno Massot finished sixth in the Pairs Short Program.
Team Italy moved up to fourth place (42 points) as pair skaters Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek came third in the Pairs Short Programm (59.28 points). Ice Dancers Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte remained in fourth place in the Ice Dance event.
Canada slipped to fifth place (40 points). World Champion Patrick Chan came second in the Men'sevent after missing a quad toe and doubling an Axel and World Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir had to settle for second place as well.
Team Russia is still ranked sixth (34 points), although Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov placed second in the Pairs Short Program.
The competition at the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating concluded Saturday with the Pairs and Ladies Free Skating.