Beijing / China

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Reigning World Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han led a Chinese one-two as competition concluded at Audi Cup of China. Xiaoyu Yu/Hao Zhang took the silver medal, with Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro claiming bronze.

GettyImages 870098928 SuiHan CoC FS

Sui/Han delivered an excellent performance to ‘Turandot’, reeling off a quad twist, spectacular throw triple flip and Salchow, as well as a side–by-side triple toe-double toe-double toe combination and innovative lifts. Sui stepped out only of the side–by-side triple Salchow and the pair combination spin was rated a level two. The three-time World Championship medalists posted a personal best with 150.93 points for the Free Skating, and racked up 231.07 points overall to take the title. “We have been competing at the Cup of China for many years, but this is the first time for us to win in front of a home crowd,” Han said. “However, we have higher goals this season than winning the Cup of China. We have a few problems that we want to fix and we want to skate better at our next Grand Prix, NHK Trophy in Japan.”

Skating to ‘Star Wars’, Yu/Zhang completed a triple twist, big throw triple loop and Salchow as well as impressive lifts. However, Yu stumbled out of the landing of the solo triple toe and two-footed the triple Salchow. The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Finalists earned 134.17 points for the Free Skating and, overall, received 205.54 points. “We made small mistakes in the Short and Free Program, but I feel happy that we were able to enjoy our performance at the Cup of China. The solo jumps are going well in practice, but we tried the triple Salchow for the first time in competition and I was nervous,” Yu said.

Moore-Towers/Marinaro’s routine to ‘Un Ange Passe’, by Alain Lefevre, featured a triple twist, double Axel-single loop-triple Salchow combination, throw triple loop and Salchow. The Canadians set a personal best with 132.00 points, which helped them to a total of 194.52 points overall. “We feel pretty good about our performance today, definitely a solid step up from yesterday and also from our Senior B (event) that we had earlier this season. We missed some levels and we know we have some space to grow, but we are super excited,” Moore-Towers said. “We are happy to start off the season with a medal at the Grand Prix but we have a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks, leading into Skate America,” Marinaro agreed.

Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA) slipped from third to fourth place, on 190.25 points, while compatriots Valentina Marchei/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) came fifth (188.01 points).

Audi Cup of China is the third of six events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series that culminates in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya (JPN) in December. The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final. The global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$272,000.

Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here.  Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating