Hilton HHonors Skate America concluded in Detroit (USA) Sunday with the Pairs and Ladies Free Skating and the Exhibition Gala. Skate America was the first of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series 2013/2014. The athletes are competing for a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) strike gold
Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov of Russia struck gold and set another new highest score. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch of Canada took silver and Russia's Ksenia Stolbova/ Fedor Klimov earned the bronze medal.
Performing to Jesus Christ Superstar, Volosozhar/Trankov put out a flawless program that was highlighted by a big triple twist, a side by side triple toe-double toe combination, throw triple loop and Salchow as well as level-four lifts. The World Champions posted a new personal best and record score of 154.66 points for the Free Skating and totaled 237.71 points, which is another new highest score. We did a good job here in Detroit. We skated two clean programs and got our season best here. I think it's a good beginning of the season. Now we need to keep working and see forward to our next competition, Trankov said.
Moore-Towers/Moscovitch opened their routine to a medley of Fellini soundtracks with a triple twist and a triple toe-triple toe sequence. The Four Continents silver medalists went on to produce six level-four elements and two triple throws to score 136.94 points. Overall they collected 208.45 points. We're both really pleased with our skates here. We wanted to start the season at our first Grand Prix well, by doing two clean performances. We had some very minor mistakes, but I think we got ourselves through well and had a good start to the season, Moore-Towers commented.
Stolbova/Klimov's program to Addams Family included a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, a throw triple Salchow and level-four spins, but she stepped out of the throw triple flip. The 2012 European bronze medalists earned 122.55 points and remained in third place at 187.35 points overall. In general we skated okay, but we had some mistakes. We were a little tired in the end, so we didn't do the emotions and performance that we needed to do. I think we can skate better, but for today, it was okay, Klimov shared.
Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA) moved up from sixth to fourth place at 182.43 points. Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) slipped from fourth to fifth (180.27 points). Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA) went for a quadruple throw Salchow, but she two-footed. They placed sixth with 177.11 points.
Mao Asada (JPN) claims Skate America crown
Two-time World Champion Mao Asada of Japan claimed the Skate America crown. Ashley Wagner (USA) collected the silver medal and Russia's Elena Radionova captured the bronze medal in her debut at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.
Asada fell on her opening triple Axel but recovered to produce four triple jumps and level-four spins and footwork. The reigning Four Continents Champion picked up 131.37 points for this performance and had 204.55 points overall. I'm not completely satisfied with my performance today, but this was a learning experience that I'd like to use for my next competition, which is NHK, the 23-year-old commented.
Wagner ˜s program to Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev featured a triple flip-triple toe combination and three more triple jumps, but a triple loop and a triple Lutz were underrotated. The U.S. Champion scored 124.55 points which added up to 193.81 points overall. Today was really a huge accomplishment for me. I did the triple-triple in the long program and back-to-back clean programs, which is exactly the way I wanted to start this season. I think that I still have room to grow with this program, especially because it's something that's not my natural type of skating, Wagner told the press.
Radionova had to overcome a shaky start when she missed the first jump, a triple Lutz, but rallied back to nail six triples, including a triple Lutz-triple toe combination. The World Junior Champion earned 116.94 points and had 183.95 points overall. I'm not completely satisfied with my performance today. My goal was to skate clean, and I didn't do that, but I'm very pleased with the result. I got third place and I think this is a good result for me, the 14-year-old said.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) pulled up from ninth to fourth at 176.75 points and was ranked third in the Free Skating. Samantha Cesario (USA) moved up from eighth to fifth at 167.98 points and Maé-Bérénice Meité (FRA) finished sixth (167.35 points).
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series continues next week with Skate Canada International in Saint John, New Brunswick.