FROM US FIGURE SKATING:
DAVIS AND WHITE WIN NO. 5, WAGNER EARNS BRONZE
(12/8/13) - Meryl Davis and Charlie White now have a handful of Grand Prix Final titles and three newly set world records to show for their week in Fukuoka, Japan. The Michigan-based duo had their work cut out for them in both segments of competition as their longtime rivals and training mates Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada set new world bests immediately before each of their skates. Davis and White's total score added up to 191.35 when their short dance score was combined with their free dance mark of 113.69. Last year, Davis and White set a record for consecutive Grand Prix Final wins.
Ashley Wagner became the first American lady since Sasha Cohen in 2002 and '03 to win medals at back-to-back Grand Prix Finals. Though she made some mistakes, Wagner came through with the bronze medal with a total score of 187.61. The Romeo and Juliet free skate started strong with the triple-triple jump combination which has been her focus this year. But Wagner said a fall on her triple Lutz in the second half of the program gave way to other small mistakes along the way. Despite her disappointment today, Wagner has medaled at her last six Grand Prix Series events and will next compete for her third-straight U.S. title at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships next month in Boston.
Team USA closed a strong week at the Grand Prix Final and Junior Grand Prix Final by adding a pair of medals Sunday in the junior dance event. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker earned silver and Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter took home the bronze.
Hawayek and Baker's goal was to skate with as much heart and soul as possible, and that accomplishment was reflected Sunday in their PCS mark. The "second mark" totaled 44.86 of their 81.37 points. Their total score was 139.42. The couple acknowledged their levels were lower than they want them to be so that will be a point of emphasis going into their next events.
McNamara and Carpenter delivered an intense and powerful program to the music of Sherlock Holmes and earned 80.75 points. Their total score was 135.89 points. Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons finished sixth, while the gold medal went to Russia's Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov with 152.48 points.
In all, the Americans captured five medals this week.
In the junior men's competition, Chen maintained his third-place standing after performing a clean free skate, triple Axel and all. Chen earned 214.61 points overall and just four points separated the Southern California-based skater from the gold medalist Boyang Jin of China. Russia's Adian Pitkeev won silver.
Polina Edmunds skated her best free skate of the season, earning 113.51 points, a score that was second-highest among the ladies. She finished fourth overall with 161.71 points and was just two points out of medal contention. The gold medal belonged to Maria Sotskova, who shared the podium with two teammates from Russia. Sotskova earned a total score of 176.75. Angela Wang, competing in her second straight Junior Grand Prix Final, finished sixth. Both American ladies will now train their senior programs in preparation for the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships next month.
We now look forward to the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, at the conclusion of which we will nominate the 2014 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. The U.S. Championships are set for Jan. 5-12, in Boston, with the big annoucement to be made Jan. 12. For more information, please visitwww.boston2014.com.