Russian skaters dominate at Cup of China
BEIJING (AP) — Russian skaters dominated at the Cup of China on Saturday to take the men’s and women’s titles.
Mikhail Kolyada held on to his lead from the short program and claimed his first Grand Prix victory, while world junior champion Alina Zagitova won the women’s event.
Kolyada, who had a 10-point lead after a near-flawless short program, was far from perfect in his free skate but received 176.25 points for a total of 279.38.
Boyang Jin of China was second with 264.48, followed by Max Aaron of the United States who was first in the free skate to finish third with 259.69.
Two-time world champion Javier Fernandez, third after the short program, had an error-strewn free skate and dropped down to sixth with 253.06.
Vincent Zhou of the United States was fourth, ahead of China’s Han Yan in fifth.
Kolyada managed only one clean quad — a quad toe loop — while Jin attempted four but didn’t land one cleanly. Aaron nailed two quads cleanly and had a slight deduction on a third.
Fernandez had only one quad — a quad salchow which he touched down on.
Zagitova won with a score of 213.88, edging Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi with 212.52. Elena Radionova of Russia was third with 206.82.
Fourth after the short program, Zagitova nailed a triple lutz-triple loop combination, four more triples of excellent quality, and level-four spins and footwork. Her only flaw was an under-rotated triple lutz.
France’s two-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won the ice dance event with 200.43 points, becoming the first ice dance team to break the 200 points.
Two-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States took the silver and the bronze went to Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia.
The Grand Prix series consists of six events and culminates in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December — the last competition featuring the world’s top skaters before the Olympics.