Oct 20, 2013, 5:52 PM EST
Shaky Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada held on to win the first Grand Prix figure skating event of the season, beating a field that included U.S. champion Ashley Wagner.
Asada, a two-time world champion, scored 204.55 points at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Wagner looked like an Olympic medal threat Sunday, totaling 193.81 for second place (full results below).
In the pairs competition, Russian world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov reset their world record for a free skate one day after they broke their mark in the short program to win easily.
The Grand Prix season continues with Skate Canada beginning Friday (NBC coverage Sunday, 4 p.m. ET). Three-time reigning world champion Patrick Chan and U.S. silver medalist Gracie Gold lead the field in St. John, New Brunswick.
On Sunday, Asada, 23, fell on a triple axel, the toughest jump in women’s skating today. She also doubled the second jump of a planned triple-triple combination.
It was still good enough to beat Wagner, who was four points behind Asada after the short program Saturday.
Wagner landed a triple-triple jump combination for the second straight day after adding it to her repertoire for the Olympic season. The daughter of a U.S. Army officer hit six more triple jumps skating to “Romeo and Juliet.”
“Two solid programs back to back, that’s a huge accomplishment any time of the year,” Wagner told NBC. “I have a lot of work to do until Sochi, but I’m on the way up.”
Wagner is a favorite to grab one of three women’s spots on the U.S. Olympic team that will be named after the U.S. Championships in Boston in January.
She just missed the two-woman Olympic team in 2010, placing third at the National Championships.
In the pairs, Volosozhar and Trankov confirmed their massive Olympic favorite status with 237.71 points, nearly 30 more than the rest of the field.
They skated to “Jesus Christ Superstar” with Trankov in yellow velvet pans, hitting side-by-side triple salchows, a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination and a pair of throw triples.
They broke the world record for short and long programs for the second time this season.
“You never stop, and we try to do better and better every competition.” said Trankov in an interview for the Joe Louis Arena crowd before he switched to Japanese to thank their fans from that country.
Volosozhar and Trankov may be the host country’s only figure skating gold medalists at the Sochi Olympics. They’re trying to regain Russian dominance in pairs skating.
A Russian/Unified Team/Soviet pair won gold at every Olympics from 1964 through 2006, but none won a medal in 2010.
Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, fourth at the World Championships, were nearly 30 points behind in second place.
U.S. pairs took fourth, sixth and seventh, led by 2012 U.S. champions Caydee Denney and John Coughlin.
Pairs has been the U.S.’ weakest figure skating event for the last decade with no Olympic medalists since 1988.
Denney and Coughlin, 2013 U.S. champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir (sixth at Skate America) and Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, ninth at worlds, are the top contenders for two spots on the Olympic team.
1. Mao Asada (JPN) 204.55
2. Ashley Wagner (USA) 193.81
3. Yelena Radyonova (RUS) 183.95
4. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) 176.75
5. Samantha Cesario (USA) 167.98
6. Mae Berenice Meite (FRA) 167.35
7. Valentina Marchei (ITA) 156.79
8. Viktoria Helgesson (SWE) 152.34
9. Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO) 148.94
10. Caroline Zhang (USA) 110.12
1. Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) 237.71
2. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) 208.45
3. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) 187.35
4. Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA) 182.43
5. Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) 180.27
6. Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA) 177.11
7. Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay (USA) 168.42
8. Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro (CAN) 146.28
Jan 29, 2015, 3:41 PM EST
Five women to watch, plus the schedule of events.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:37 PM EST
How to watch Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin and more go for gold in Colorado.
Jan 29, 2015, 9:32 AM EST
The relay will start in May 2016.
Jan 28, 2015, 3:23 PM EST
“I only did it to send a message,” shoveler said.
Jan 28, 2015, 2:02 PM EST
An Olympic legend helped convince him to come back, possibly for the 2018 Olympics.
Jan 27, 2015, 4:14 PM EST
Bowie may try to make the World Championships team in three individual events.
Jan 27, 2015, 2:37 PM EST
Once Usain Bolt’s top rival, the Jamaican is returning from a second major injury in as many years.
Jan 26, 2015, 2:41 PM EST
Armstrong touched on many topics in a BBC interview.
Jan 26, 2015, 10:58 AM EST
Could Hingis return to Olympic tennis, 20 years after her only Olympic appearance?
Jan 26, 2015, 8:41 AM EST
Park’s management agency cited “an illegal injection administered by a local doctor.”
Jan 25, 2015, 9:48 PM EST
Brown is the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 2004.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:35 PM EST
Instead, past Winter X Games champions prevailed in Aspen.
Jan 25, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Jason Brown tries to become the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 2004.
Jan 25, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
An inside look at the skier’s comeback from two major knee surgeries.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:36 AM EST
Vonn captured victory No. 64 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Jan 24, 2015, 11:50 PM EST
Wagner becomes the oldest women’s champion since Michelle Kwan.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:15 PM EST
Kim outdueled the greatest snowboarder of all time.
Jan 24, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Gracie Gold wants to deny history for Ashley Wagner.
Jan 24, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Pairs free skate and free dance national titles to be awarded.
Jan 24, 2015, 6:23 AM EST
Vonn missed an opportunity to all but clinch the World Cup season downhill title.
- Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin lead World Alpine Skiing Championships women’s preview 0
- Rio 2016 Olympic torch relay details announced 0
- K.C. Boutiette returns to World Cup speed skating for first time since 2006 0
- Tori Bowie ‘going after medals’ after breakthrough season 0
- Yohan Blake details ‘dreams’ for 2015 0
- South Korean Olympic swim champ Park Tae-hwan fails drug test 1
- Jason Brown wins first U.S. figure skating title 2
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)