NHK Trophy concluded Sunday in Miyagi, Japan with the Pairs Free Skating and the Exhibition Gala. NHK Trophy was the sixth and last event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating cumulates with the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Sochi, Russia, December 6 to 9.
Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS) skate to gold
Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov of Russia skated to the gold medal in the Pairs event. Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch claimed the silver and Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA) took the bronze medal.
Bazarova/Larionov's program to Spartacus was highlighted by a level-four triple twist, a throw triple flip and throw triple loop as well as difficult lifts. However, Bazarova underrotated a double Axel and their side by side triple toe was out of sync. The Russian Champions scored a seasons best with 126.41 points and accumlated 192.02 points overall. This is the first time for us to win a senior Grand Prix event in our career and it is very exciting for us. There are a lot of emotions right now, Bazarova commented. Obviously there were some minor errors on the jumps today, so this is something we'll work on, she continued.
Skating to several songs by Queen, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch produced a triple twist, a side by side triple Salchow, throw triple loop and interesting lifts, but she missed the throw triple Salchow and he stumbled on the triple toe. The Canadians were awarded 115.49 points and totaled 180.63 points. We're obviously very happy to win a medal. It is our first NHK Trophy. The skate wasn't ideal for us. We could have skated a stronger performance, but we are happy with the outcome. We are excited to go to the Grand Prix Final in Russia, Moscovitch said.
Castelli/Shnapir completed a triple toe, triple twist and level four spins and lifts in their Tango program, but she fell on a double Axel and touched down with her hand on both throws. The Americans earned 112.66 points and remained in third place at 174.51 points. Marissa and I are very happy with our placement. It is our first Grand Prix medal. The way we skated was not the best. We made a few errors, but all in all we are happy with ourselves. We felt good at the end of the program and definitely felt the energy from the audience, Shnapir told the press.
Bazarova/Larionov and Moore-Towers/Moscovitch advance to the Grand Prix Final.
Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA) finished fourth in what was their Grand Prix debut with 163.10 points. Anastasia Martiusheva/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) slipped from fourth to fifth with 162.25 points.
For full results please see Results
The top six skaters/couples in each category of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series will proceed to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating final in Sotchi, Russia, December 6 “ 9.