Two-time world medalists Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) won the Short Dance and set a new personal best score as Bridgestone Skate America continued on Saturday in Lake Placid. The 2014 world champions Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte of Italy came second and Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov were third.
Dancing to mambo, cha and samba, Shibutani/Shibutani produced excellent twizzles and intricate footwork, earning a level four for the Rhumba Pattern, the Pattern step sequence, the curve lift and the twizzles. The 2016 world silver medalists posted a new personal best of 79.18 points.
“We were really happy with our performance today,” Maia Shibutani said. “The crowd was absolutely incredible for the whole event. We really felt we did a great job, embracing their energy and putting it into our performance.
“Since Cup of Russia, we’ve been working really hard on all the details for this program and it was another strong outing for us when it comes to the levels, so it’s really great to see that progress that we’ve made when it comes to the performance.”
Cappellini/Lanotte’s dance to cha cha and samba was highlighted by well-synchronized twizzles and a rotational lift. The 2017 European silver medalists picked up a level four for the twizzles and the lift, but the Rhumba pattern was graded a level one and the Pattern step sequence a level two. The 2014 world champions scored 72.70 points.
“Luca and I are very pleased with our performance tonight,” Cappellini told the post-event press conference. “We felt it was a definite improvement from NHK [Trophy in Osaka]. We are not quite as pleased with our score. We lost a lot of technical points and we are not sure why yet.”
Sinitsina/Katsalapov completed level-four twizzles and a level-four lift as well, but the Muscovites, too, had only a level one for the Rhumba pattern. They earned 68.72 points.
“We are pleased with our performance,” Sinitsina said. “We’ve worked a lot since our Grand Prix in Japan and there is progress. We felt we performed much better here. We’ve worked on the technical side, on the choreography, basically on everything.”
Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) placed fourth on 64.20 points followed by Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) on 64.07 points. The 2014 world junior champions Kaitlyn Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker(USA) were ranked sixth (62.15 points).
Bridgestone Skate America is the sixth and last event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and provides the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December.
The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final. The global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$ 272,000.
Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here. Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating.