NHK Trophy concluded in Tokyo, Japan, Sunday with the Free Dance and the Exhibition Gala. NHK Trophy was the fourth of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 series. The Yoyogi National Stadium was filled to capacity on all three days and a total of about 27 750 spectators followed the events live.
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) dance to gold
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) danced to the gold medal. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte of Italy claimed the silver and the bronze went to Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA).
Davis/White turned in a strong performance of their Scheherazade free dance that featured innovative lifts and intricate footwork. The two-time and reigning World Champions earned a level four for the lifts, twizzles, spins and circular step sequence and a level three for the diagonal footwork to post a new personal best of 112.95 points. Overall they accumulated 186.65 points. Charlie and I were very pleased with our skate today. I think we're feeling the growth since Skate America. We've been working very hard all season, including in between the two competitions. I think we are really excited about the direction our free dance is taking. We certainly feed off the energy of the Japanese audiences and can't thank them enough for their support, enthusiasm and appreciation for what we put out on the ice, Davis told the press.
Dancing to Barber of Seville, Cappellini/Lanotte produced five level-four elements, but the spin and the diagonal steps were rated a level two. The Italian Champions scored 95.48 points which added up to 160.06 points. We had some tough skates this week, it was a little hard, maybe we had jet lag problems or the tiredness was catching up with us. Of course we are happy with the result and we can't wait to go home, take some days off to regroup a little bit and start working hard for the Grand Prix Final to end this Grand Prix season as best as possible, Cappellini noted.
Shibutani/Shibutani entertained the crowd with their program to a Michael Jackson medley. The siblings picked up a level four for all elements but the footwork and achieved a new seasons best with 94.49 points, which added up to 157.58 points. We very happy with our performance today. It felt great to build on what we did at Skate America. The crowd was absolutely incredible. We have two programs that we really love this year. So that makes a world of difference and this has been such a successful Grand Prix season for us, Maia Shibutani said.
Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) remained in fourth place with a dance to Swan Lake (155.37 points) and Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) finished fifth at 144.07 points.
Davis/White qualified for the Grand Prix Final with two victories on the circuit (30 points). Cappellini/Lanotte have two silver medals and 26 points which will get them to the Final as well.
For full results please click here. The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating continues next week with Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris, France.