ISU World Team Trophy 2012 – Day 2

20 Apr

Friday, April 20th – Yoyogi National Stadium – Tokyo, Japan

Useful Links

Twitter  #WTT12  |   icenetwork.com Event Page

Team USA Press Release   |   icenetwork.com Event Photos

Schedule (PDF)   |   Live Results/Starting Orders

In-event Team Standings | ISU World Team Trophy 2012 competition notes (PDF)

Day 2 of competition from the ISU World Team Trophy 2012 proved to be as exciting and fun-filled as yesterday. Team USA is currently in second place with 51 points behind Team Japan with 59. Team France remains in third place with 44 points.

Friday’s action kicked off with the pairs short program. Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, the 2012 U.S. champions, earned 58.93 points for their final “East of Eden” program of the season. They noted technical improvement from the World Championships – including earning a level 3 on their death spiral here, something that was scored as a level 1 at Worlds.

Denney and Coughlin spent the rest of the evening cheering from the Team USA box. Coughlin is Team USA’s No. 1 fan, and he admits to thriving in the team environment.

“People have told me that this is an event that was made for me,” he said. “I have a little inner-baseball player, team sport guy in me so this format is a treat for me.”

The pair is in fifth place going into tomorrow’s free skate. However, less than .40 points separates them from third place. The segment went to newly crowned World bronze medalists Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran of Japan with 64.92 points, while Russia’s Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov earned 62.02 points for second.

Four-time reigning U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the ice dancing segment of this competition with a total score of 183.36. By virtue of their first-place finish in their discipline, Davis and White earn 12 points toward Team USA’s final score. Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir finished second with 177.76 points, while Natahlie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat were third with 167.83 points.

The duo was clearly thrilled after their “Die Fledermaus” free dance, sharing a long embrace at center ice before entering the Kiss and Cry.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been so emotional after a program we’ve skated before,” White said. “It’s not Worlds or the Olympics, but I still feel like we wanted to go the program justice in our last program of the season. I’m really proud of how we skated.”

Admittedly dissatisfied with their second-place finish at Worlds last month, Davis and White felt like they proved themselves in Tokyo.

“Charlie was saying yesterday he felt like there was a lot of pressure and I was saying I didn’t,” Davis said. “Coming in today, I think I felt a little bit differently because we were really disappointed with second at Worlds. Even though we were really happy with how we skated, the silver isn’t what we were looking for. We felt pressure to prove ourselves here and we did that. We are really happy.”

Hometown hero Daisuke Takahashi racked in a season-high 182.72 points for the free skate to win the men’s competition with 276.72 overall. Two-time reigning World champion Patrick Chan of Canada placed second with 260.46 points.

As for Team USA, Jeremy Abbott earned 147.39 points for his “Exogenesis” free skate, totaling 234.47 points for the week and finishing fifth. Despite some hiccups, Abbott enjoyed the program and is already looking forward to next season.

He explained, “I went out there today and knew I wanted to enjoy the audience. I started out with a bad mistake then followed up with my next jump. I got my feet back under me and I thought, ‘Whatever happens for the rest of the program, land, fall, win or fail, enjoy this moment. I have to say I did. I didn’t enjoy the jumping part of it so much. I’ve had better days, but I’m happy that my season is over and ready to move on and be five times stronger next year.”

Adam Rippon earned an international season-best with 147.80 points for free skate. His total score of 222.73 points also represented a season-high. Rippon, who finished seventh, is having a great time skating as part of Team USA.

“I’m having a blast here. I love this format,” he explained. “I think it’s going to get a lot of people into skating because not only will they be able to see us compete as individuals like they’re used to, but also come together as a team. It’s fun to work as a team rather than just a single person.”

Abbott and Rippon earned 14 points toward Team USA’s total.

The pairs free skate is set for 2:15 a.m. (ET) Saturday, while the ladies free skate will be the event’s competitive finale, with the ladies taking the ice at 3:50 a.m. Gracie Gold made her senior debut on Thursday and sits in fourth place, while  Ashley Wagner, the 2012 U.S. and Four Continents champion, is in fifth place. The ladies field is led by Italy’s Carolina Kostner with 69.48 points and Japan’s Akiko Suzuki with 67.51.

Team USA’s Saturday Start Times (all are ET)

Denney and Coughlin – 2:30 a.m.

Wagner – 4:59 a.m.

Gold – 5:07 a.m.

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