Canada's Moore-Towers, Marinaro skate to 3rd at World Team Trophy
Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamysheva takes women's free skate; U.S. captures overall title
European champions Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France won the pairs free skate at figure skating's World Team Trophy on Saturday, finishing more than 20 points clear of Canadian bronze medallists Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro in Fukuoka, Japan.
''I felt we performed this program better than at worlds,'' Moore-Towers, from St. Catharines, Ont., told reporters. ''We used our breathing spots a little bit better and we learned a lot of lessons that we will take with us next year.''
''It's a little better to end the season on a positive skate,'' added Marinaro, who hails from from Sarnia, Ont.
WATCH | James and Cipres claim pairs gold:
Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamysheva won the women's free skate but the United States held on to its huge overnight lead to capture the overall title for a fourth time.
The U.S. topped the team standings with 117 points, owning to one-two finishes in the men's short and free programs in recent days by two-time and reigning world champion Nathan Chen and world bronze medallist Vincent Zhou. Defending champion Japan finished second overall with 104 points and Russia was third with 102. Canada was fifth overall with 73 points.
WATCH | Moore-Towers and Marinaro skate to 3rd place finish:
Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was 10th and Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., 12th in the women's free skate.
Tuktamysheva opened her free skate with a flawless triple axel, followed it up with a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination and added three more triples, two more combinations and a variety of maximum level-four spins and steps to earn 153.89 points.
WATCH | Tuktamysheva wins gold:
'Extremely successful event for Team USA'
American Bradie Tennell finished second with 150.83 points and Kaori Sakamoto, Japan's national champion, was third with 146.70.
"This was an extremely successful event for Team USA," said U.S. captain Madison Hubbell, who combined with Zachary Donohue to finish third in both the short and long ice dance programs. "Everyone had beautiful performances including today, the highlight of course being Bradie Tennell's season's best. An absolutely great way to finish the event for us."
The competition among the season's six best nations has been held six times as a season-closing major figure skating event almost biennially since 2009. The United States also won the title in 2009, 2013 and 2015, and Japan took top honours in 2012 and 2017.