Oct 20, 2013, 5:52 PM EDT
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
Apr 16, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT
Olympic swimming champion finished 2013 race before explosions.
Apr 16, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT
Deal takes Nike, USATF through next seven Olympics.
Apr 16, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT
Decathlon champion talks Montreal 1976, Steve Prefontaine and the greatest athlete of all time.
Apr 16, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT
Police commissioner asks spectators not to flock to Boylston Street on Monday.
Apr 16, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT
Judge will spend break reading 2,000-page court record.
Apr 16, 2014, 4:17 AM EDT
Korea Skating Union is protesting the makeup of judges, not the results.
Apr 15, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
Survivors, first responders, those affected by attack take part in tribute.
Apr 15, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
Teams’ tweets sent at same time Tuesday morning.
Apr 15, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT
World’s fastest man might not race again until June.
Apr 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT
What is the competition like in Phelps’ potential events?
Apr 15, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Prosecution asks for break until May 5.
Apr 15, 2014, 8:16 AM EDT
Ceremony, moment of silence to honor, remember last year’s tragedy.
Apr 14, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
‘World’s Strongest Man’ talks about nude photo shoot, pro wrestling career, meeting Andre the Giant.
Apr 14, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Phelps announced as headliner for meet next week, ending two-year break.
Apr 14, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
22-time Olympic medalist expected to come out of retirement next week.
Apr 14, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
Woman who finished 20th found day after disappearing.
Apr 14, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT
It’s too early to draw conclusions on Sochi, FIS official says.
Apr 14, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Pistorius hugged by woman as he enters court, signs autograph after Monday’s session.
Apr 13, 2014, 8:13 AM EDT
Ski and snowboard slopestyle’s injury rates highest among Sochi sports.
Apr 13, 2014, 7:56 AM EDT
More checkpoints, police officers along Boylston Street to the finish.
- Summer Sanders returns to run Boston Marathon again 0
- Catching up with Bruce Jenner 0
- Boston Marathon finish line security visibility increased after backpack incident 0
- ISU receives South Korea complaint over figure skating judging 7
- Boston Marathon tribute, moment of silence held near finish line 1
- Can Michael Phelps excel in comeback? 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ cross-examination ends at murder trial 2
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (55)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (46)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (37)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)