Nov 2, 2013, 10:00 AM EST
China’s Yan Han held on to his short program lead, while Russian Anna Pogorilaya jumped from third to first to win at the Cup of China on Saturday.
Yan, 17, the 2012 World junior champion, totaled 245.62 points after his free skate in Beijing to hold off Russian Maksim Kovtun (scroll down for full results).
Pogorilaya became the second straight women’s Grand Prix winner from Russia with 178.62 points, nearly four better than countrywoman Adelina Sotnikova. Yulia Lipnitskaya won Skate Canada a week ago.
France’s Natahlie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, the 2012 World bronze medalists, won the ice dance. The pairs competition went to Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, the 2013 World silver medalists.
NBC and NBC Live Extra will have coverage of the Cup of China on Sunday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET.
Here’s an event-by-event rundown of Saturday’s free skates:
Yan landed a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination but also stepped out of a triple Axel and fell on a triple flip.
Here’s how Yan stacks up with the top men from Skate America and Skate Canada:
Tatsuki Machida (JPN) — 265.38
Patrick Chan (CAN) — 262.03
Yan Han (CHN) — 245.62
Adam Rippon (USA) — 241.24
Maksim Kovtun (RUS) — 238.65
Max Aaron (USA) — 238.36
Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) — 236.21
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 234.80
The top men’s skater yet to perform this Grand Prix season is Spain’s Javier Fernandez, the 2013 World bronze medalist, who debuts at NHK Trophy in Tokyo next weekend.
Second-place Kovtun landed two quadruple jumps (one in combination) in the top-scoring free skate to hold onto second place. The 18-year-old finished 17th at the World Championships in March, giving Russia a single men’s entry at the Olympics.
It’s believed that entry will go to three-time Olympic medalist Yevgeny Plushenko, if he shows he’s healthy at the Russian National Championships in December and the European Championships in January.
Plushenko hasn’t competed much since winning silver at the 2010 Olympics, but he did score 265.94 points at the 2013 Russian Championships, nearly 30 more points than Kovtun tallied in Beijing the last two days.
Denis Ten, the 2013 World silver medalist, finished fourth (224.80) in his Grand Prix season debut after pulling out of Skate America with a back injury. Ten was questionable to compete in Beijing given he developed a jaw infection training in California. The infection also reportedly left black spots in his ankles.
Richard Dornbush, the 2011 U.S. silver medalist, totaled 218.57 points after falling on his quadruple toe loop attempt in his free skate.
Two men will make the Olympic team following the U.S. Championships in Boston in January. Here’s how Dornbush’s score stacks up with the other top U.S. men in the Grand Prix season so far:
Adam Rippon — 241.24
Max Aaron — 238.36
Jason Brown – 231.03
Richard Dornbush — 218.57
Josh Farris – 216.72
Jeremy Abbott – 215.95
Ross Miner – 196.89
Aaron, Abbott and Rippon are entered in the NHK Trophy in Tokyo next weekend. The wild card for the Olympics is 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek, who is working his way back from a hip injury and hasn’t competed since the Vancouver Games.
Pogorilaya, the 2013 World junior bronze medalist, followed fellow 15-year-old Russian Lipnitskaya in winning a Grand Prix event.
Skating to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” she opened with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and added five more triple jumps.
Here’s how Pogorilaya stacks up with the top women from Skate America and Skate Canada:
Mao Asada (JPN) — 204.55
Yulia Lipnitskaya (RUS) — 198.23
Ashley Wagner (USA) — 193.81
Akiko Suzuki (JPN) — 193.75
Gracie Gold (USA) — 186.75
Yelena Radyonova (RUS) — 183.95 (not Olympic eligible)
Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) 178.62
Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 176.75
Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) 174.70
Christina Gao (USA) — 173.69
Carolina Kostner (ITA) 173.40
Kostner, the 2012 World champion, dropped from second after the short program to third, falling on a triple toe loop. She finished 1.3 points behind Sotnikova, the Russian leader after the short program. Sotnikova fell twice in her free skate.
American Agnes Zawadzki did not complete a triple-triple combination and fell on a triple Lutz.
Three U.S. women will make the Olympic team after the U.S. Championships.
Here’s how Zawadzki, the U.S. bronze medalist, stacks up with the top U.S. women from Skate America and Skate Canada:
Ashley Wagner — 193.81
Gracie Gold — 186.75
Christina Gao — 173.69
Agnes Zawadzki – 147.64
The Germans Savchenko and Szolkowy jumped past Chinese short program leaders Pang Qing and Tong Jian despite Savchenko falling on a throw at the end of their free skate.
Savchenko and Szolkowy trailed by a little over one point after the short program and ended up winning with 201.21 total points, nearly seven better than the Chinese veterans.
The Germans are considered the top threat to Russian World champions Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov, who did not compete in Beijing but will lead the NHK Trophy field.
Here are how the world’s top pairs and the U.S.’ top pairs stack up after three Grand Prix events:
Volosozhar/Trankov (RUS) — 237.71
Moore-Towers/Moscovitch (CAN) — 208.45
Savchenko/Szolkowy (GER) 201.21
Pang/Tong (CHN) 194.38
Berton/Hotarek (ITA) — 193.92
Sui/Han (CHN) — 193.77
Duhamel/Radford (CAN) 190.62
Denney/Coughlin (USA) — 182.43
Castelli/Shnapir (USA) — 177.11
Zhang/Bartholomay (USA) — 168.42
Scimeca/Knierim (USA) 161.72
Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, the 2013 U.S. silver medalists, finished in fifth place in Beijing with that 161.72, 6.2 points better than Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay. However, Zhang and Bartholomay scored that 168.42 at Skate America two weeks ago. Two U.S. pairs will make the Olympic team.
Pechalat and Bourzat leapfrogged Russian short program leaders Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviyev.
Those two teams are among the Sochi medal contenders with the reigning World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. and reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.
Here’s how the top couples stack up after their Grand Prix season debuts:
Davis/White (USA) — 188.23
Virtue/Moir (CAN) — 181.03
Weaver/Poje (CAN) — 175.23
Cappellini/Lanotte (ITA) 168.49
Pechalat/Bourzat (FRA) 165.68
Bobrova/Soloviyev (RUS) 163.42
Shibutani/Shibutani (USA) — 154.47
Hubbell/Donohue (USA) — 153.20
Chock/Bates (USA) 150.53
Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the U.S. silver medalists, held onto their third-place standing after the short program at the Cup of China. U.S. junior champions Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton fell from fourth to fifth. Three U.S. ice dance couples will make the Olympic team.
Davis and White are entered in NHK Trophy next week.
Cup of China Results
1. Yan Han (CHN) 245.62
2. Maksim Kovtun (RUS) 238.65
3. Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) 226.92
4. Denis Ten (KAZ) 224.80
5. Richard Dornbush (USA) 218.57
6. Florent Amodio (FRA) 213.39
7. Peter Liebers (GER) 200.80
8. Song Nan (CHN) 196.80
9. Wang Yi (CHN) 185.22
1. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) 178.62
2. Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) 174.70
3. Carolina Kostner (ITA) 173.40
4. Kanako Murakami (JPN) 165.95
5. Nikol Gosviani (RUS) 152.04
6. Haruka Imai (JPN) 150.30
7. Agnes Zawadzki (USA) 147.64
8. Zhang Kexin (CHN) 144.88
9. Guo Xiaowen (CHN) 139.50
10. Zijun Li (CHN) 138.98
1. Savchenko/Szolkowy (GER) 201.21
2. Pang/Tong (CHN) 194.38
3. Peng/Zhang (CHN) 187.19
4. Wang/Wang (CHN) 172.35
5. Scimeca/Knierim (USA) 161.72
6. Zhang/Bartholomay (USA) 155.52
7. Martiusheva/Rogonov (RUS) 147.19
8. Popova/Massot (FRA) 141.33
1. Pechalat/Bourzat (FRA) 165.68
2. Bobrova/Soloviyev (RUS) 163.42
3. Chock/Bates (USA) 150.53
4. Carron/Jones (FRA) 134.12
5. Aldridge/Eaton (USA) 132.06
6. Yu/Wang (CHN) 106.18
7. Zhang/Wu (CHN) 104.98
Dec 13, 2013, 3:29 PM EST
Shaun White may not be the Olympic favorite in slopestyle, but nobody was better in Dew Tour qualifying Friday. The two-time reigning Olympic halfpipe champion posted the highest score of 30 riders in the first of his two runs, a 93.20 out of 100. It held up through the second run, sending White to the final…
Dec 13, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
Noelle Pikus-Pace was untouchable again, cruising to victory in a World Cup skeleton race in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Friday. The American won in a two-run time of 1 minute, 51.37 seconds, beating Germany’s Anja Huber by .46 of a second. Great Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold was third. American Katie Uhlaender was 14th. “In training, I was not doing so hot, so I…
Dec 13, 2013, 1:43 PM EST
Vuvuzelas will not be allowed at the Olympics for the second straight Games. Sochi Olympic organizers have published a spectator guide for February. Notably, it includes prohibited items at venues. The most eye-catching are vuvuzelas and “printed literature, banners, banners with religious, political or offensive content or content which is contrary to civil order and/or morals.” Here’s…
Dec 13, 2013, 12:11 PM EST
American Maddie Bowman took her first step toward the Sochi Olympics, winning the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships ski halfpipe in Breckenridge, Colo., on Friday. Bowman, 19, pulled off a pair of 900s on the first of two runs. Her first-run score, 89.60, held up through the second run. Bowman, the reigning Winter X Games champion, is considered…
Dec 13, 2013, 10:59 AM EST
Make it five for five for Steve Holcomb. The Olympic champion U.S. driver has started the World Cup season by winning the first five races, taking a two-man event in Lake Placid, N.Y. Holcomb and push athlete Steve Langton dominated in a two-run time of 1 minute, 50.62 seconds, and by a comfortable margin of .63 of…
Dec 13, 2013, 10:09 AM EST
The U.S. women’s hockey team beat Canada for the first time in the run up to the Olympics, hours after Canada’s coach resigned Thursday. Five different Americans scored in a 5-1 victory in Calgary, Alberta. The world champion U.S. improved to 1-3 against the three-time reigning Olympic champion with three more games to go against…
Dec 13, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
The top three Americans at the World Championships in October will lead the U.S. field at the American Cup in Greensboro, N.C., on March 1. World all-around champion Simone Biles, silver medalist Kyla Ross and Sam Mikulak, who finished sixth, accepted invitations into the event, according to USA Gymnastics. A second U.S. man as well as international competitors are…
Dec 13, 2013, 9:24 AM EST
An Italian cyclist said Lance Armstrong gave him $100,000 as part of an agreement to let Armstrong win a race 20 years ago. “It was a young American colleague,” said Roberto Gaggioli, according to Agence France-Presse translating comments in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. ”He offered me a panettone [a traditional Italian Christmas cake] as a present and wished me…
Dec 13, 2013, 8:02 AM EST
The extra snow saved from last winter may not be needed during the Sochi Olympics due to high amounts of snow already and a favorable forecast for more. “There’s normally no snow there in December, but it has snowed ahead of schedule,” said Roman Vilfand, director of the Russian Meteorological Office, according to Reuters. “There is…
Dec 13, 2013, 7:48 AM EST
The 1996 Olympic Stadium may be getting the boot, but Centennial Olympic Park could be receiving an upgrade. The Atlanta Business Chronicle published a slideshow of proposed changes to the area most famous for being the site of a bombing during the 1996 Olympics. In the above video, NBC 11 in Atlanta followed up on the report…
Dec 12, 2013, 4:54 PM EST
Shaun White took a conservative halfpipe run to open the Olympic season. It was still unbeatable in qualifying at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships on Thursday. The two-time reigning Olympic champion scored 91.40 points in his first of two runs in Breckenridge, Colo., putting his hand down at the bottom of the pipe in an otherwise…
Dec 12, 2013, 3:44 PM EST
Canada’s women’s hockey team is on a three-game winning streak against the U.S., will play the Americans on Thursday night and are preparing for the Olympics in two months. Now, the three-time reigning Olympic champions must replace their head coach. Dan Church abruptly resigned for personal reasons Thursday, according to Hockey Canada. Assistants Danielle Goyette and Lisa Haley…
Dec 12, 2013, 3:08 PM EST
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to being “way too aggressive” in his years of denying doping allegations but said that he was “singled out” for being combative. Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles last year, said he would still dope if he had to do it over again because most…
Dec 12, 2013, 12:49 PM EST
The end of Evan Lysacek‘s Olympic comeback leaves a gaping hole for U.S. men’s figure skaters to attempt to fill. Lysacek is an Olympic and world champion with five Four Continents Championships medals and two Grand Prix Final medals. No other active U.S. men’s skater has finished better than fifth at an Olympics or World Championships.…
Dec 12, 2013, 10:25 AM EST
Seth Wescott knows a thing or two about coming back to win Olympic gold. In 2006, the man from Maine passed Slovakian Radoslav Zidek in the second half of the first Olympic snowboardcross final and edged him out for victory by less than the length of a snowboard. In 2010, Wescott moved from last place…
Dec 12, 2013, 9:22 AM EST
The U.S. women’s bobsled team, fresh off unprecedented success at last week’s World Cup stop, made more changes to its lineup going into this weekend’s races in Lake Placid, N.Y. The U.S. went 1-2-2 in Park City, Utah, on Saturday. It marked the first time the U.S. swept a women’s bobsled podium since 2001, the…
Dec 11, 2013, 4:09 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn plans to compete in Val d’Isere, France, on Dec. 21 as her comeback from major knee surgery continues. The Olympic downhill champion will skip this weekend’s World Cup stop in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The World Cup stops for a slalom in between St. Moritz and Val d’Isere, but Vonn said in October she didn’t…
Dec 11, 2013, 2:14 PM EST
2006 Olympic champion Hannah Teter‘s bid to make a third U.S. Olympic Team is off to an inauspicious start. Teter, 26, was the biggest name not to qualify for the women’s snowboard halfpipe final at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo., on Wednesday. She took 16th in qualifying, where the top eight advance to…
Dec 11, 2013, 11:02 AM EST
Moscow-based TV journalist Vladimir Pozner will be a correspondent for NBC Olympics’ late-night show with Bob Costas during the Sochi Games. “With his deep Russian roots and American upbringing, Vladimir Pozner is uniquely qualified to provide a Russian outlook to our audience during the Sochi Olympics,” said Jim Bell, Executive Producer, NBC Olympics. “At yet another significant moment in…
Dec 11, 2013, 10:10 AM EST
Four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson scrutinized doping in track and field and the popularity of the sport outside Usain Bolt at a forum in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday. “You are never going to have a situation where no one cheats — athletics is a microcosm of real life, and in real life you will always have people who…
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (54)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (45)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (29)
- Vladimir Putin tells critics of Russia at World University Games to ‘try some Viagra’ (18)
- IOC convinced there will be no discrimination at Sochi Olympics (16)