Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

VANCOUVER, Canada-Two-time world champion pair Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China scored a runaway 31-point victory at the ISU Grand Prix Skate Canada International on Saturday.
Russia’s Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin claimed the silver medal while Ashley Cain and Timothy Leduc of the United States rose from sixth to take the bronze.
Skating to Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sui and Han earned 145.11 points for their free skate routine after landing a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe, big throw triple flip and Salchow, while their only glitch came when Sui fell on the triple Salchow.
The 2018 Olympic silver medalists totaled 224.05 points for the title, well ahead of second-placed Pavliuchenko and Khodykin (193.08), with Cain and LeDuc third (189.90).
“Our performance was not bad. We had some misses, and we missed a level on a lift and spin. We can improve on this and we will try to fix all of it,” Sui said. “This is our first win at Skate Canada, so it is really exciting.”
In their previous three appearances at the Canadian event, Sui and Han were runners-up on each occasion.
Nathan Chen ran away with the men’s event in an emphatic response to his sub-par performance a week ago at the American stop of the series.
Third last week in Las Vegas after winning 14 straight events since March 2018, the 22-year-old American star finished with 307.18 points in front of a limited crowd at the University of British Columbia’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Chen’s coach, Rafael Arutunian, was forced to watch from the crowd after his accreditation was removed because of an inadvertent violation on Friday of the event’s COVID-19 protocols. Chen said the incident did not affect his performance.
“I was still able to focus on my skate,” Chen said. “He’s taught us to be very self-sufficient. Really nothing changed in that regard. What went down was appropriate. It’s reasonable to adhere to the bubble protocol. Keeping us all safe is the whole objective of this bubble.”
The three-time world champion also who won the Grand Prix Final in Vancouver in 2019.
Fellow American Jason Brown was second (259.55), followed by Russia’s Evgeni Semenenko (256.01).
Later, 15-year-old Kamila Valieva led a Russian sweep of the top three spots in the women’s free skate. Valieva scored 265.08 points, followed by 2015 world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (232.88), and Alena Kostornaia (214.54).
In ice dancing, Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier won at 210.97.They also won the 2019 event in Kelowna.
Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri were second (200.05), followed by Spain’s Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz (192.93).
The next Grand Prix of figure skating will take place in Turin, Italy from Nov 5-7.
Xinhua
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