The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 opened Friday with Hilton HHonors Skate America in Detroit (USA) with the Men's Short Program and the Short Dance. Skate America is the first of six events in the series. The athletes are competing for a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.
Tatsuki Machida (JPN) takes Men's Short Program
Tatsuki Machida of Japan won the Men's Short Program followed by USA's Jason Brown and Adam Rippon.
Skating to East of Eden, Machida pulled off a quad-triple toe, a triple Axel, triple Lutz and two level-four spins and level-four footwork. The Japanese posted a new personal best of 91.18 points.
I am quite happy I was able to skate my short program without major mistakes. I am very relieved now, but the free skating will come tomorrow. I should abandon the happy feeling and should focus on my program tomorrow, Machida said.
Brown's routine to The Question of U included a triple Axel, triple flip-triple toe and a triple Lutz. The World Junior silver medalist earned a level four for his spins and the step sequence to score 83.78 points, a new personal best. I am really excited to be here. It is such an honor to compete here in Detroit and the support of the audience is so incredible. I was really excited to compete like I've been training and hope I can do the same for the long program, Brown commented.
Rippon opened his program to Carmen with a quadruple Lutz, but underrotated it. He went on to complete a triple Axel and a triple flip-triple toeloop combination. Rippon scored 80.26 points.
Coming in today's short program, my main goal was to go for the quad Lutz and I put out a very good attempt. I was a little hesitant throughout, but I tried not to show that. I know, I've trained the long incredibly well. I love my long (program) and I know I can do an even better, cleaner attempt of the quad Lutz tomorrow, the two-time World Junior Champion noted.
2011 World silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) sits in fourth with 77.75 points followed by 2010 World Champion Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) with 77.09 points and U.S. Champion Max Aaron (75.91 points).
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) dance to the lead in Short Dance
World Champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) danced to the lead in the Short Dance. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte of Italy came second while Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) placed third.
Davis/White's Foxtrot, Quickstep and Foxtrot to My Fair Lady was highlighted by fast twizzles and intricate footwork. The two-time World Champions picked up a level four for the twizzles, the two Finnstep sequences and the rotational lift to earn 75.70 points. We put out a good performance. It wasn't perfect. We feel like we have a lot of room to grow. We worked really hard to show that ballroom feel off and I think that we accomplished that. Technically we improved from our last competition on the Finnstep, which is important. It is a great place to get a lot of points. Overall the feel of the program is heading into the right direction, White told the press.
Cappellini/Lanotte danced to a Quickstep from 42nd Street and to the Foxtrot Lullaby of Broadway. The Italian Champions earned a level four for all elements and scored 69.88 points, a new personal best. In the future we want to focus more on the improvement of our performance, because tonight it definitely was not a 100 percent, it was just the beginning. But we are very, very pleased with scores and performance tonight, Lanotte said.
Shibutani/Shibutani's program to Foxtrot and Quickstep by Michael Buble included level-four twizzles and a level-four rotational lift, but the Finnstep was graded a level two. The brother-and-sister team received 61.26 points. I think we brought a lot of energy to the ice today, which was really our biggest goal. Our music is so much fun for us to skate to and so we hope the audience enjoyed it was much as we did, Alex Shibutani commented.
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) are currently ranked fourth (60.71 points) ahead of Julia Zlobina/Alexei Sitnikov (AZE) at 54.53 points and Cathy Reed/Chris Reed (JPN) at 54.28 points.
Hilton HHonors Skate America continues Saturday with the Pairs and Ladies Short Program, the Men's Free Skating and Free Dance.