Two-time and reigning World Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China once more proved their class and skated to a clear lead in the Pairs Short Program at Shiseido Cup of China in Chongqing Friday. Canadians Liubov Ilyushechkina/Charlie Bilodeau edged Cheng Peng/Yang Jin of China to take second place.
Wenjing Sui & Cong Han (CHN) lie 11 points clear of their rivals after a sensual routine © International Skating Union
Sui/Han delivered sensual performance to 'Blues DeLuxe' and were 'de luxe' themselves, with a side-by-side triple toe, a triple twist and throw triple flip. The Olympic silver medalists collected a level four for the twist, the step sequence and the reverse lasso lift and scored 80.90 points.
“It was a good performance, we skated like we do in training. This is our first competition of the season and we were a bit tight. That affected the quality of some of the elements,” Han admitted.
Ilyushechkina/Bilodeau’s program to 'My Funny Valentine' featured a triple twist, throw triple flip and difficult Axel lasso lift. However, Ilyushechkina stumbled and landed forward on the side-by-side triple toeloop. The Canadians got 68.98 points, a personal best for this new team.
Liubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau (CAN)'s program to 'My Funny Valentine at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Shiseido Cup of China 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
“We really like the feeling we’ve developed for this short program and it was quite stable. There were some mistakes, but we got our lucky 68 (score), and it was a season’s best,” Ilyushechkina commented.
Peng/Jin had to overcome her fall on the triple toe (under-rotated) early into their program to 'Alegria' from Cirque du Soleil, but came back to complete a triple twist and throw triple loop. The Skate America Champions earned 68.50 points.
“Except for the mistake on the jump we are quite pleased and I feel we have improved the performance aspect since our last Grand Prix. My partner got injured at Skate America and we have not practiced the jumps much,” Jin explained.
Cheng Peng and Yang Jin overcame an early fall to sit in third place after completing a triple throw loop © International Skating Union
2018 ISU Grand Prix Finalists Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA) came fourth after both went down on the solo jump (64.24 points). 2018 Four Continents Champions Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea (USA) finished fifth (64.08 points).
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Pairs.
Shiseido Cup of China continues Saturday with the Free Dance, Ladies, Men’s and Pairs Free Skating. Overall, 60 skaters/couples representing 11 ISU members compete at Shiseido Cup of China November 8-10. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Torino (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Where to watch and follow the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019?
Viewers will be able to watch the Series either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel as of season 2019/20. You will find the full list in the Where to watch news here.
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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.