Team Japan defends lead on Day Two of the ISU World Team Trophy 2017

- Tokyo, Japan

The fifth edition of the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating continued Friday at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan with the Pairs Short Program, Free Dance and Men’s Free Skating.

Team Japan defends lead on Day Two

Team Japan defended their lead on the second day of the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating with 81 points. Team USA moved up on spot and sits in second now with 78 points while Russia slipped to third at 74 points.

WTT-Day2-Men2-671120582Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno kept their team in the top position by finishing first and second in the Men’s Free Skating. Hanyu put out a much stronger performance than in the Short Program. Skating to “Hope and Legacy”, the two-time and reigning World Champion pulled off a quad loop, quad Salchow-triple toe, quad toe and quad toe-half loop-triple Salchow combination to score 200.49 points. Uno landed a quad loop and quad toe, but the first quad flip was wobbly and he fell on the second attempt that was downgraded. He earned 198.49 points. Sumire Suto/Francis Boudreau-Audet ranked sixth in the Pairs Short Program (54.84 points) and Kana Muramoto/Chris Reed were sixth in the Free Dance as well (92.68 points).

“I am amazed with how Yuzuru and Shoma did. Our ladies Mai and Wakaba had a personal best score in the short program and hopefully continue on with their good momentum. Mai and Wakaba are super young and really excited. Our pairs team couldn’t skate their free skating at Worlds and will bring their game tomorrow. I think we have a good chance of winning, so I’m excited”, Muramoto said.

WTT-Day2-Dance2-671060688Team USA’s highest scoring members were Madison Chock/Evan Bates who took second place in the Free Dance. Their performance to “Under Pressure” by Freddie Mercury and David Bowie was strong, the only glitch came when he stumbled briefly in a step sequence (109.96 points). Nathan Chen and Jason Brown ranked fourth and sixth in the Men’s Free Skating. Chen landed three clean quads and scored 185.24 points while Brown had 179.35 points. Pair skaters Ashley Cain/Timothy LeDuc finished fifth in the Short Program with 59.57 points.

“Today was a fantastic day for team USA, definitely a group effort. Our new pair team finished fantastically, I’m very happy with how they performed. Our dance team I’m sure they are a little bit disappointed with that minor falter in the free dance, but finishing strong with that. Our men were fantastic tonight. So I’m very pleased with how everyone performed today. I think tomorrow is going to be a nail-biter. Team USA is in fighting position to take the title for the fourth time”, Wagner told the press.

WTT-Day2-Pairs2-671020384Russia had hoped for more especially in the pairs, but Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov finished only fourth in the Short Program as she missed the triple toe and the throw triple loop (66.37 points). The World bronze medalists added nine points to the team score. Mikhail Kolyada ranked fifth in the Men’s Free Skating with a solid performance (184.04 points), while Maxim Kovtun placed tenth (148.29 points).

“For Russia it is not going so well. In pairs we did not get the placement we had counted on, I really hope the guys will pull themselves together for the free and skate well, I am even convinced they will. The dancers were not able to improve as we wanted. Tomorrow we really have hope in our girls and that the pair skates well. We are glad that we were able to hold on to the top three although the results were not so good. It is useless to calculate anything now, because tomorrow everything can completely change”, Bobrova noted.

Team Canada pulled up from fifth to fourth place and has now 67 points. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje won the Free Dance with 113.83 points and Patrick Chan came third in the Men’s Free Skating (190.74 points).

Team China is fifth at 59 points. Pair skaters Cheng Peng/Yang Jin added 11 points to the team score by finishing second in the Short Program (71.36 points).

Team France remained in sixth place, although Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres won the Pairs Short program with a clean performance, earning a personal best of 75.72 points.

The ISU World Team Trophy continues Saturday with the Pairs and Ladies Free Skating.