World silver medalists Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia danced into a confident lead as the Shiseido Cup of China opened with the Rhythm Dance in Chongqing on Friday. 2019 Four Continents champions Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) came second followed by Canada’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen.
Russian champions Sinitsina/Katsalapov posted a season's best to lead by five points © International Skating Union
Sinitsina/Katsalapov’s Quickstep and Foxtrot to 'Singin’ in the Rain' was highlighted by level-four twizzles and a level-four rotational lift. The 2019 World silver medalists collected a level three for the Finnstep Pattern dance, the Pattern Dance step sequence as well as for the midline step sequence.
The Russian champions posted a new season’s best of 85.39 points to take the lead with five points to spare.
“We’re happy with our skating today, but as always there is lot of space to improve the dance. Indeed, we were missing competitions a lot, we had a quite big break, almost a month and we’ve worked very hard and trained every day and we couldn’t wait to come here and show what we’ve worked on,” Katsalapov said.
Dancing to 'Too Darn Hot', Chock/Bates produced a level-four straight line lift and level-three step sequence. However, the Finnstep Pattern rated only a level one. The 2016 World silver medalists scored 80.34 points.
“We performed our program very well, the best so far I’d say, in our competitions. There are some technical things that we need to go back and check on when we get home,” Chock commented.
Chock/Bates danced into second place with their 'Too Darn Hot' routine © International Skating Union
Fournier Beaudry/Sorensen earned a level four and three for their elements their 'Bonnie and Clyde' program. The Skate America bronze medalists scored 78.41 points. “It is our first time at Cup of China and it was very nice to break the ice with the short dance we love to do,” Fournier Beaudry noted.
“It was our first Grand Prix medal at Skate America and we were extremely excited. I think it really opened some doors, some new possibilities for us and brought us more together. We want to skate as well as we can in this competition and I think we did our job today,” Fournier Beaudry told the press.
Shiyue Wang/Xinyu Liu (CHN) entertained the home crowd with their Charlie Chaplin routine to place fourth on 74.77 points. 2018 Four Continents champions Kaitlin Hawayek/ Jean-Luc Baker (USA) are currently ranked fifth on 74.70 points.
Overall, 60 skaters/couples representing 11 ISU members compete at Shiseido Cup of China on November 8-10. The top six qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Torino (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019 - ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Ice Dance standings.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019/20
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known as the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six international senior invitational events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the previous ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Competitors collect points in their ISU Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Only the top six Skaters / Couples in each discipline can qualify for the Final.