by George Rossano
|1||Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV||RUS||192.02||1||1|
|2||Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Dylan MOSCOVITCH||CAN||180.63||2||2|
|3||Marissa CASTELLI / Simon SHNAPIR||USA||174.51||3||3|
|4||Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM||USA||163.10||5||4|
|5||Anastasia MARTIUSHEVA / Alexei ROGONOV||RUS||162.25||4||5|
|6||Lindsay DAVIS / Mark LADWIG||USA||143.70||6||6|
|7||Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE||ITA||121.53||7||7|
|1||Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE||USA||178.48||1||1|
|2||Elena ILINYKH / Nikita KATSALAPOV||RUS||156.62||3||2|
|3||Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI||USA||154.56||2||3|
|4||Nicole ORFORD / Thomas WILLIAMS||CAN||130.10||4||4|
|5||Cathy REED / Chris REED||JPN||124.46||5||5|
|6||Penny COOMES / Nicholas BUCKLAND||GBR||122.80||6||6|
|7||Xintong HUANG / Xun ZHENG||CHN||119.56||7||7|
|8||Xiaoyang YU / Chen WANG||CHN||108.28||8||8|
(25 November 2012)
NHK Trophy concluded Sunday in Miyagi, Japan with the Pairs Free Skating and the Exhibition Gala. The last two berths for the final were decided with Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov and Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch advancing to the Grand Prix Final.
Pairs Free Skate
Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov, RUS, skated to the gold medal with a margin of victory of more than 11 points. Their program to "Spartacus“ was a mixed bag of strengths with a few minor errors. Their opening triple toe loops were out of synch and Bazarova under-rotated the second double Axel in their jump sequence. After those first two elements, however, they skated cleanly and were scored first in both TES and PCS, with program components averaging 7.92. Their program included a level-four triple twist, a throw triple flip and throw triple loop as well as difficult lifts. Their leveled elements were nearly all level four, except for the death spiral at level three and their closing pair combinations spin at level1. The team scored a seasons best in the Free Skate. "This is the first time for us to win a senior Grand Prix event in our career and it is very exciting for us. There are a lot of emotions right now,“ Bazarova said. "Obviously there were some minor errors on the jumps today, so this is something we'll work on,“ she added.
Skating to a medley of songs by Queen, Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch, CAN, missed their triple toe loop combinations, but followed up landing side-by-side triple Salchows. Their throw triple Salchow was also not successful. On the plus side they completed a nice triple twist and throw triple loop, and also interesting lifts. Their leveled elements were all level four except for the pair combination spin at level three. It was a capable performance, though not in the league of the Russians. "We're obviously very happy to win a medal. It is our first NHK Trophy. The skate wasn't ideal for us. We could have skated a stronger performance, but we are happy with the outcome. We are excited to go to the Grand Prix Final in Russia,“ Moscovitch said. The team qualified for the final on the placement tie breaker at 22 points, ahead of Denney & Coughlin of the U.S. and Berton & Hotarak of Italy - though Denney & Coughlin scored more program points in the series.
Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir, USA, completed triple toes, triple twist, level four spins and lifts, and a level three death spiral in their Pyadoro Tango program, but Castelli fell on a double Axel and touched down with her hand on both throws. Their components averaged 7.29, which is an accomplishment in itself for a U.S. team. "Marissa and I are very happy with our placement. It is our first Grand Prix medal. The way we skated was not the best. We made a few errors, but all in all we are happy with ourselves. We felt good at the end of the program and definitely felt the energy from the audience,“ Shnapir told the press. Castelli & Shnapir ended up tenth in the series standings with 18 points.
Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim, USA, finished fourth in their Grand Prix debut barely edging out Anastasia Martiusheva & Alexei Rogonov, RUS, by 0.85 points. The Russians had six of twelve elements scored negative, yet the judges still had them ahead of the Americans in PCS. But at least in TES the Americans got their due, and moved up to fourth. Lindsey Davis & mark Ladwig, USA, placed seventh in a poor skate with seven elements scored negative and a fall on throw triple Salchow.