Osaka / Japan

The 2010 Olympic champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada won their second Grand Prix gold of the season as the competition at the NHK Trophy concluded with the Free Dance. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) took the silver medal and the bronze went to 2014 World Champions Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte.

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Virtue/Moir delivered a confident, passionate performance to ‘Tango de Roxanne’ and ‘Come What May’ from the ‘Moulin Rouge’ soundtrack, completing spectacular lifts, well-synchronized twizzles and smooth step sequences. The 2014 Olympic silver medalists collected a level four for their lifts, the spin and the circular footwork. They also earned six perfect 10.00s in the components – three of them for music interpretation and timing.

The Canadian Champions scored 117.72 points, slightly improving on their previous season’s best for a total of 198.64 points. “We’ve made some improvements this week that we’re quite proud of from Skate Canada,” Moir said. “We only had one week. We’re looking to make the same sort of transition into the Final. It’s a great stepping stone here for us.”

Hubbell/Donohue’s bluesy dance to ‘Across the Sky’ and ‘Caught Out in the Rain’ featured level-four lifts, twizzles and a level-four serpentine step sequence. The Skate Canada bronze medalists scored 112.04 points for the Free Dance, which added up to 188.35 overall. “We felt like we did a really artistic performance of our program. We left some points on the table, but we’ll be going home, working,” Hubbell said. “We’re growing a lot as a team, learning how to compete consistently. We’re hoping that this result is enough to make it to the Final. We’re going home practicing with this intention.”

Dancing to music from the movie ‘La vita e bella’, Cappellini/Lanotte also produced a strong performance. The 2017 European silver medalists earned a level four for six elements and achieved a new season’s best of 110.69 points. Overall, the Italians had 186.56 points.

“We’re very happy with the way we skated here,” Cappellini said. “We’re just not as ready as we wanted to be. We’re still learning to express our material to its full potential. We’re looking forward to just skate and not think too much about what we’re doing. We’ll go home and train night and day and hopefully we’ll be able to deliver a more powerful performance in a couple of weeks at Skate America.”

Virtue/Moir have qualified for the Grand Prix Final with two gold medals from their two events. With a bronze and a silver, Hubbell/Donohue will have to wait to see if they get to go to Nagoya.

Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) finished fourth with their dance to ‘Piano Concerto No. 2’ and ‘Vocalise’ by Sergei Rachmaninov (177.15 points). Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen (DEN) moved up from sixth to fifth on 164.40 points and Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin (UKR) came sixth on 160.88 points.

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series consists of six events and culminates in 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.