Russia’s Pogorilaya wins Cup of China
BEIJING (AP) — Russian 15-year-old Anna Pogorilaya finished first in the free skate to win the Cup of China on Saturday in her first senior Grand Prix.
Pogorilaya, who was third after the short program, hit seven triple jumps on the way to victory. The Moscow native was nearly flawless until the final minute of her routine, when she stumbled on the landing of a double axel and then singled another planned double axel. But her overall total score of 178.62 points was good enough to put her atop the podium.
Pogorilaya’s compatriot, Adelina Sotnikova, who led after the short program, fell on two planned triple flips and settled for second place with 174.70. Carolina Kostner of Italy (173.40) finished third despite an uneven performance.
Kanako Murakami of Japan had a strong performance until she singled both a planned triple flip and a triple axel. The 2010 world junior champion ended up fourth with a tally of 165.95.
Agnes Zawadzki (147.64) of the United States fell on a triple lutz and touched the ice on a double toe loop and was eighth. Zawadzki, who took third at the U.S. nationals last season, appeared to run out of steam as her program progressed.
Li Zijun of China, who placed seventh at the worlds last season, was a disappointment on home ice, finishing last with just 138.98.
In the men’s event, 17-year-old Han Yan of China won his first senior Grand Prix by a decisive margin. Yan bested Russia’s Maxim Kovtun by nearly seven points.
Yan, the 2012 world junior champion, skated to “Minor Waltz” and landed a quad toe loop-triple toe loop combination early in his program and rang up a total of 245.62.
Kovtun (238.65) won the free skate but was still unable to overtake Yan, who entered the evening with a big lead over his opponents.
Takahiko Kozuka of Japan was third at 226.92.
Richard Dornbush (218.57) of the United States was seventh.
Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France came from behind to post a victory in ice dance. The French duo was second after the short program, but won the free dance for an overall total of 165.68.
Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia, the leaders after the short program, dropped to second with 163.42.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. took third place on 150.53.
The Cup of China is the third stop on the six-event Grand Prix circuit this season. The competition will culminate with the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan, in early December.