Road To The Olympic Games

Figure Skating

Canada's Moore-Towers, Marinaro off to Grand Prix Final after winning silver in Japan

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro captured their second silver medal of the Grand Prix figure skating season, taking a second-place finish at the NHK Trophy in Japan.

Canadian Roman Sadovsky takes bronze in men's event

From left to right, Canada's Michael Marinaro and Kirsten Moore-Towers, China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong and Russia' Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov pose for photographs after performing in the pairs free skating at the Grand Prix of Japan in Sapporo on Saturday. JUNKO KIMURA-MATSUMOTO / AFP) (Photo by JUNKO KIMURA-MATSUMOTO/AFP via Getty Images) (Junko Kimura-Matsumoto/AFP via Getty Images)

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro captured their second silver medal of the Grand Prix figure skating season, taking a second-place finish on Saturday at the NHK Trophy in Japan.

The pairs skaters, who captured silver at Skate Canada International last month, booked a spot at next month's Grand Prix Final with the podium finish in Sapporo.

"Our big goal was to qualify for the Grand Prix Final," said Moore-Towers of the Dec. 5-8 event in Turin, Italy. "We left a few levels on the table that we are determined to pick up in a couple of weeks but for the most part we are pleased."

Olympic silver medallists Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the pairs event with a total of 226.96 points and their second victory of the Grand Prix circuit this season.

The Canadian champions had 208.49 points while Russians Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov took bronze with 203.35.

WATCH | Moore-Towers, Marinaro skate to silver:

Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro won their second silver medal of the Grand Prix figure skating season, finishing in second place in the pairs competition at the NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan. 7:30

Canada's Sadovsky takes bronze

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu breezed to victory in the men's event, landing four quadruple jumps for a total of 305.05 points.

Hanyu had a solid 18-point lead after the short program and didn't falter in the free skate. His only mistake was underrotating a triple toeloop as part of a combination jump.

WATCH | Yuzuru Hanyu's near-flawless free skate:

Yuzuru Hanyu dominated the men's competition at the NHK Trophy with a total score of 305.05 points in Sapporo, Japan. 9:22

Kevin Aymoz of France was second with 250.02 points followed by Canada's Roman Sadovsky, who picked up a bronze medal with 247.50.

Sadovsky, from Vaughan, Ont., earned a personal-best total of 247.50 for his first Grand Prix medal after his free skate moved him from fourth spot to third.

"I'm really glad I could pull that out," said the 20-year-old, who was 10th at Skate Canada International. "I'm looking forward to keeping that long program consistent for the rest of the season."

WATCH | Roman Sadovsky's 1st Grand Prix podium finish:

Vaughan, Ontario's Roman Sadovsky scored a total of 247.50 at the NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan. 7:38

Kostornaia completes Russian sweep

Teenager Alena Kostornaia won the women's free skate to claim her second title of the season and complete a sweep of the International Skating Union's Grand Prix series by Russian women.

Kostornaia opened with a triple axel-double toeloop combination but stumbled on the landing of her next jump, another triple axel. The 16-year-old skater added six more triple jumps to finish with 154.96 points for a total of 240.00.

WATCH | Teen Alena Kostornaia jumps 8 times to victory:

Russian Alena Kostornaia finished with an even 240.00 points to earn the top spot in Sapporo, Japan. 7:45

"I was satisfied with all my performances here," said Kostornaia, who set a record score of 85.04 in the short program on Friday. "It was an honour to set a record score in the short program and I was pleased with my result today. I'm looking forward to performing well at the Grand Prix Final."

Local favourite Rika Kihira landed two triple axels and finished second with 231.84 points, while Olympic champion Alina Zagitova was third with 217.99 points.

Zagitova opened with a triple lutz-triple loop combination and scored high points for a triple flip and another triple lutz later in her routine.

Adding to her win in France, Kostornaia also qualified for the Grand Prix Final. Russian women have now won all six of the ISU's GP series titles.

Canadians 8th in ice dance

There were no Canadian entries in women's competition.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the ice dance title with 226.61 points. Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin earned silver with 208.81, and Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy took the bronze medal with a total of 198.06 points.

WATCH | Papadakis and Cizeron dance to gold:

The French duo of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron showcased their world class talent on their way to winning the ice dance crown at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating's NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan. 8:04

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver, B.C., were eighth.

"It was a good experience overall for us and we are satisfied with our performances," said Firus. "Our next big event are the nationals [in January] and we really want to work on our technical issues until then."

That Figure Skating Show

If you're looking for more figure skating coverage, CBC Sports has put a fresh new twizzle on the Grand Prix Season with That Figure Skating Show, hosted by former Canadian national team members Asher Hill and Olympian Dylan Moscovitch.

The two analyze each event with a fun, tongue-and-cheek approach that will make you LOL. New episodes are posted each Grand Prix Sunday on the CBC Sports YouTube channel. If you haven't already, watch the latest episode on the Grand Prix of Russia: 

With files from The Associated Press

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