A very fast wrap-up of Cup of China. I'm on limited blogging time!
Ice Dance was a runaway for Pechalat and Bourzat of France. They had a nice lead out of the Short Dance and just extended it in the free. Bobrova and Soloviev of Russia surprised many by taking the silver. Faiella and Scali had to settle for the bronze after a nasty slip in the free dance. Three bland programs at this point for the top three teams but I think Faiella and Scali's Flamenco has potential.
Pang and Tong put experience to good use in Beijing besting their Chinese teammates Sui and Han for the win. It was as unusual meeting of experience vs youthfulness as the senior most competing Chinese team took on the youngest. Sui and Han provided some fireworks with a very solid throw quad salchow attempt and a flair for performance rarely seen in Chinese competitors. Americans Yankowskas and Coughlin improved their 4th place finish at NHK to a bronze in Beijing and have a slim shot at making the Grand Prix Final, also in Beijing. Pang and Tong are the first skaters to earn a trip to the Grand Prix Final.
It was Japan full steam ahead in the ladies competition. Miki Ando showed a jumping clinic to take the ladies title. Akiko Suzuki was in tow in second with a solid effort and a beautifully choreographed program. Russia's Alena Leonova backed into the bronze medal after Mirai Nagasu, leader after the short, tanked in the free to finish 4th overall.
Japan again was on top in the men's division as Takahiko cruised to an easy victory with two programs chock full of strong components. American Brand Mroz surged in the free skate with a tremendous skate that included a clean quad to take the silver.
Tomas Verner managed to hang on for the bronze with an entertaining (but somewhat lacking) skate to Michael Jackson. The big story in the men's field was Brian Joubert, with a decent performance, dropping down to 4th due in major part to only receiving level 1's for his spins.
My Fantasy picks weren't horrible...I tied for 222nd for Cup of China which doesn't sound great...but I moved up to being ranked 139th overall. I'm just going to stick with it...
You can see the full Cup of China Results here.
Skate America starts tomorrow.