Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cup of China is in the Bag...

In a complete reversal from last week when not a single American made the podium at Skate Canada, an American was on every podium at Cup of China with either the Gold or Silver Medal.

In pairs, Pang and Tong got it together and won the gold, securing a place at the Grand Prix Final in Torino, Italy (Dube and Davison have also locked a spot). Reigning Junior World Champs McLaughlin and Brubaker skated to the silver and became the first U.S. pairs team to make a Grand Prix podium this season. Miller and Moram of Canada took the bronze.

Amongst the ladies, Yu-Na Kim of South Korea shattered the competition by winning by more than 24 points despite her 3rd place finish in the short program. American Caroline Zhang took the silver (she took two falls in free as well) and goes on the bubble for the Grand Prix Final. Leader after the short program, Italy's Carolina Kostner settled for the bronze.

In Ice Dance we almost thought the days of Russian dominance were back. Domnina and Shabalin were leaders over Americans Belbin and Agosto after the Compulsory Dance and then extended that lead after the OD. But a costly mistake on a dance spin causing no credit to be awarded on a later lift put them behind the Americans when all was said and done. Tanith and Ben are a lock for the Grand Prix Final with the max points (30) with their two wins. Italians Faiella and Scali (who in fact also beat the Russians in the Free Dance) took the bronze and go to the bubble for the Grand Prix Final...they'll have to wait and see if their two bronze performances hold up.

The closest competition was the men's event where Americans Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek went 1-2! Evan held the lead after the short program over Johnny by less than 2 points. A costly fall and Johnny's slightly higher component scores secured the gold for Johnny and Evan had to settle for silver...but again it was close, less than 3 points difference! Evan Lyscaek joins the list of competitors that have secured a spot at the Grand Prix Final. Two time World Champ Stephane Lambiel settled for bronze after a mistake filled free skate.

The Grand Prix moves on to the City of Lights, Paris, for Trophée Eric Bompard next weekend.

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