World silver medalists Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov of Russia clinched gold and the first Grand Prix victory of their career at Shiseido Cup of China on Saturday. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) won the Free Dance to take the silver medal. Canada’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen secured the bronze, their second Grand Prix medal.
VIctoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) won their maiden Grand Prix gold but admit they have work to do © International Skating Union
Sinitsina/Katsalapov put out a fluid dance to 'Songs My Mother Taught Me', producing level-four twizzles, lifts and level-four spin. The Russian champions set a new season’s best of 124.51 points, but while they ranked second in the Free Dance, their five-point lead after Friday's Rhythm Dance ensured they remained in first place with 209.90 points overall.
“We are not pleased with our performance today, not everything worked out. It was hard, but we fought to the end and were together,” Katsalapov admitted.
“We hope that next week (at Rostelecom Cup) we’ll put out the kind of performance that we’ve been training,” he added.
Chock/Bates entertained the crowd with their lively 'Egyptian Snake Dance' that included four level-four elements. The 2019 Four Continents Champions won the Free Dance segment with a new personal best score of 128.21 points. They totaled 208.55 points to win their second consecutive silver medal on the Grand Prix circuit and are likely to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Turin.
Evan Bates and Madison Chock (USA) won the Free Dance, posting a personal best for their lively Egyptian-themed routine © International Skating Union
“We skated really well today, we’re super happy with how things went. We felt like we’re growing and building on each performance,” Bates commented.
Chock agreed: “I actually found that back-to-back Grand Prix were beneficial. It’s easy to stay in competition mode. You really stay focused and in the right headspace,” she explained.
Fournier Beaudry/Sorensen turned in an emotional performance to 'Cry Me a River'. The Skate America bronze medalists picked up a level four for the lifts and twizzles while the combination spin and the one foot step sequence merited a level two. The Canadian team scored 112.33 points and accumulated 190.74 points total.
“I think our performance today is a testimony to our training. I injured my (right) knee last week and had to spend the week off the ice,” Sorensen revealed. “We’re really happy we ended up in third place with good skates,” he added.
Shiyue Wang/Xinyu Liu (CHN) came fourth with a dramatic performance to 'Swan Lake' on 186.45 points. 2018 Four Continents Champions Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) placed fifth with a dance to a Flamenco version of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (179.96 points).
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Ice Dance.
Overall, 60 skaters/couples representing 11 ISU members compete at Shiseido Cup of China November 8-10. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Torino (ITA), December 5 to 8, 2019. Cup of China is the fourth of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. The next events Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Michael Bradley Photography