The 2011 Cup of China has ended, and although the competition occurs during the early morning hours in the United States, Team USA put together a strong showing which included three medals.
After a fifth-place performance at Skate Canada last week, Mirai Nagasu backed up her second place performance in the short program with a second place performance in the free skate to take the sliver medal behind Carolina Kostner of Italy. Skating to arrangements from Aram Khachaturian, Nagasu landed five triple jumps to put the pressure on Kostner who responded with six of her own. The silver medal is Nagasu’s second medal and second silver in an ISU Grand Prix event. After an eighth place performance in her short program, Christina Gao finished fourth in the free skate to place fifth overall. Making her senior international debut, Gao landed a triple flip-triple toe combination to begin her skate which netted her 10.10 points.
Consistency and resiliency were key to the success of Jeremy Abbott who earned gold at the Cup of China. Abbott was third after the short program, and despite a fall on his opening jump, he finished third as well in the free skate. The two consistent performances were enough for Abbott to earn his place at the top of the podium. The gold matches his finish from the 2008 Cup of China and it is his fifth medal in an Grand Prix Series event, not including his gold at the Grand Prix Final in 2008. Richard Dornbush rebounded after his short program with a fifth-place finish in the free skate to finish sixth overall.
Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig were fifth after the short program and placed third in the free skate to finish fourth overall, less than two points behind a spot on the podium. Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia earned gold by more than nine points as they were tops in both the short program and free skate.
After winning bronze in each of their two Grand Prix events last season, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani finished second in both their short and free dance to earn the silver medal. The duo finished 15 points behind Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia, but nearly 18 points ahead of third. Charlotte Lichtman and Dean Copely and Emily Samuelson and Todd Gilles finished seventh and eighth respectively.
2011 Ice Challenge
Team USA swept the top laurels at 2011 Ice Challenge, the third year of the event. Held in Graz Austria, Caroline Zhang won gold in the ladies event, Stephen Carriere won gold in the men’s event, Andrea Poapst and Christopher Knierim won gold in pairs and Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt won gold and Isabella Cannuscio and Ian Lorello earned silver in ice dancing.