Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) struck gold as the Ice Dance event concluded at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Saturday in Vancouver (CAN). Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia overtook Italians Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri to secure the silver medal. The Italians earned the bronze.
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Hubbell/Donohue gave a passionate performance to “Romeo and Juliet”, earning a level four for their lifts and twizzles and a level three for the step sequences. The World silver medalists achieved a new season’s best score with 124.82 points and accumulated 205.35 points overall to win their first medal at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. “Going into this event, Zach and I had a goal to put 100 percent into our performance and not be afraid of losing some technical levels and that’s what we did in both programs,” Hubbell said. “We lost some technical levels but the performance carried us to achieve our first title. We are incredibly grateful to each other for that commitment.”
Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Sinitsina/Katsalapov’s lyrical dance to Bach’s “Air” featured smooth step sequences and innovative lifts. The twizzles and lifts merited a level four while the serpentine step sequence and her part of the one foot step sequence garnered a level three. The Skate Canada silver medalists were awarded a season’s best score of 124.04 points and moved up from third to second place on 201.37 points overall. “You have no idea how amazing it feels when you have been preparing all day and walking into it, and performing in front of the audience for those four minutes and in the last ten seconds, feeling that emotional high from the performance. It is great when you have had a clean skate, and you simply try to give everything you’ve got to get to the end and wait for the scores,” Katsalapov said. “That was our season’s best, as our coach as told us, and we believe that we had a strong start of the season, so we’re looking forward to continuing that trend,” he added.
Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Guignard/Fabbri produced four level-four elements in their entertaining performance to “La La Land”. The Skate America silver medalists scored 120.31 points, a season’s best, and slipped to third on 198.65 points overall. “We’re feeling great, we just wanted, as we said yesterday, to perform our best, and I think that we succeeded, so we’re very, very happy. It wasn’t easy to skate last today, even it’s a small group, just because of the pressure on ourselves, not because of the results of others,” Fabbri explained.
Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) turned in an excellent performance as well, but remained in fourth at 196.72 points. Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) placed fifth (184.37 points) followed by Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) on184.04 points.