The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2015 continued Friday at Mokdong Arena in Seoul, Korea.
Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) capture Ice Dance gold
Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje captured the gold medal. The U.S. teams Madison Chock/Evan Bates and Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani danced to the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Weaver/Poje’s dance to “The Four Seasons” in an arrangement of Max Richter was highlighted by intricate footwork and beautiful lifts. The World silver medalists earned a level four for the twizzles, lifts and the spin while the step sequences garnered a level three. The Canadian Champions picked up 109.15 points, just short of their seasons best and totaled 177.46 points to move up from third and win their second Four Continents title since 2010. „It wasn’t easy yesterday coming from behind, but that’s a position that we’ve been in for seemingly our whole career so it was nothing new to feel like we had to fight for this free dance. There is a little bit of extra gusto in there, because the desire to move up and that helped us to perform today”, Weaver said.
Chock/Bates produced a strong Free Dance to “An American in Paris” as well, completing level-four twizzles, lifts and spin as well as level-three footwork. The ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalists posted a new personal best with 105.80 points, but with a total of 176.18 points were edged out of the gold by 1.28 points. “Today wasn’t our best skate but it was definitely a solid performance. We’re happy with the week we’ve had. We had good skates and good practices. It’s great to go to the world championships with some fire in our bellies”, Chock commented.
Dancing to Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Shibutani/Shibutani picked up level fours for the lifts and the spin, but he wobbled on the twizzles that were graded a level three. The brother-and-sister team scored 101.14 points, which is a new personal best but nevertheless slipped from second to third at 170.79 points overall. “I’m actually really surprised that happened. Twizzles are usually one of our strongest elements and we can do them with our eyes closed so it was uncharacteristic. We were focused throughout the program and were very much in the moment. It felt really good even through that point and we finished the program with lots of good energy”, Alex Shibutani told the press.
Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) remained in fourth place with their dance to “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (162.25 points). 2014 World Junior Champions Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) moved up from sixth to fifth at 149.98 points while Alexandra Paul/Mitchell Islam (CAN) dropped one spot to sixth at 149.92 points.
Satoko Miyahara (JPN) wins Ladies Short Program
Satoko Miyahara of Japan won the Ladies Short Program. Gracie Gold (USA) came second and Japan’s Rika Hongo is sitting in third place.
Miyahara nailed a triple Lutz-triple toe, a triple flip, double Axel and three level-four spins in her routine to “The Magic Flute” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The 2014 Four Continents silver medalist posted a new personal best score with 64.84 points. “I am very happy to be in first place. The free skating is still to come and I’d like to prepare for that. Although I executed my triple-triple combination well I thought I could have had a better performance. It was not a 100 percent satisfactory”, the 16-year old Japanese Champion noted.
Gold opened her program to the Adagio from Piano Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg with a triple Lutz-triple toe but bumped into the boards at the exit. The U.S. silver medalist recovered to complete a triple loop and level-four spins and footwork, however, she singled the Axel. Gold scored 62.67 points.”I can do a lot better. I was still able to skate an OK program and will still be in the running for a medal, if not first place. The triple Lutz-triple toe was completed although I was too close to the barrier. The mistake on the Axel was silly. I know I can do a double Axel”, the NHK Trophy Champion commented.
Hongo’s performance to “Le Corsaire” featured a triple toe-triple toe, a triple flip, double Axel and a level-four combination spin. The Japanese silver medalist picked up 61.28 points, slightly surpassing her previous personal best. “I was really nervous to compete for the first time at Four Continents. But I was trying to have fun and I did. My jumps weren’t perfect, but the expression was quite satisfactory”, the 18-year-old said.
Polina Edmunds (USA) finished not far behind in fourth with 61.03 points. Zijun Li (CHN) follows in fifth at 60.29 points and Alaine Chartrand (CAN) rounds up the top six (58.50 points).
The ISU Four Continents Championships continue Saturday with the Men’s and Pairs Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.4conti2015.com/eng/html/index.php.