Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro of Canada skate in the Pairs Short Program © International Skating Union (ISU)
Canadian Champions Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro edged Olympic silver medalists Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China for a narrow lead in the Pairs Short Program at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Anaheim (USA) on Friday. Cheng Peng/Yang Jin, also from China, came third.
Skating to “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, Moore-Towers/Marinaro turned in a strong performance, highlighted by a triple twist, side by side triple toeloop and throw triple loop. The Canadian Champions collected a level four for the death spiral, side by side spin and their lift and set a new personal best with 74.66 points. “We were pleased with our skate today,” Moore-Towers said. “We’ve had mistakes in our short so far this season so we were hoping today to come out and to deliver a clean performance with the levels that we’ve practiced at home and to keep it calm between us and I think we succeeded in that today.”
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China in action in Anaheim © International Skating Union (ISU)
Sui/Han produced a throw triple flip, triple twist and received a level four for four elements in their performance to “No One Like You”. However, Sui fell on the side by side triple toeloop. The Olympic silver medalists, who have not yet competed internationally this season as she recovered from injury, earned 74.19 points. “The fall hurt a lot. This is our first competition, so I think we were a little too excited,” Sui said. “I think we didn’t adjust our condition too well because in our practice we were normally able to skate clean in the short program. The mistake today was pretty unexpected, and I hope that we could adjust better toward tomorrow’s competition. We just want to skate the best we could and see where it takes us.”
Chinese Pair Cheng Peng and Yang Jin at the 2019 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships © International Skating Union (ISU)
Peng/Jin’s performance to “Ophelia” by The Lumineers featured a triple twist, side by side triple toe and a level-four step sequence and lift, but Peng went down on the throw triple loop. The ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalists scored 69.48 points. “Today we missed the throw and death spiral level and spin level, we lost so many points,” Jin told the post-event press conference. “We noticed the rink is a little smaller, so maybe tomorrow we’ll try to skate a little slower. We hope that we will do our best tomorrow.” .
U.S. Champions Ashley Cain/Timothy Leduc are currently ranked fourth on 67.49 points with a solid performance, followed by defending Four Continents Champions Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea (USA) in fifth on 66.34 points. Evelyn Walsh/Trennt Michaud (CAN) placed sixth with 61.91 points.