Canada wins bronze in ice dance, pairs at Cup of China
'It's a testimony to our training we were able to get 3rd place,' says Nikolaj Sorensen
Ice dancers Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen of Montreal, and new Canadian pairs team Lubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau won bronze medals Saturday to conclude the Cup of China, the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
In ice dancing, the top-three remained unchanged with Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia winning the gold medal with 209.90 points.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. won silver with 208.55 and Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen earned their second bronze this season on the circuit with 190.74.
"Today we had a bit of a rough skate," said Sorensen. "It's really a testimony to our training that we were able to get into third place and we are really happy about that."
WATCH | Ice dancers Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen skate to bronze:
In pairs, Chinese teams grabbed the top-two spots with world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong first at 228.37 and Cheng Peng and Yang Jin second at 199.97. Ilyushechkina and Bilodeau improved on their fifth-place finish from Skate Canada International two weeks ago for third with 190.73.
WATCH | Russia's Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov capture gold in ice dance:
"It was definitely one of our tougher skates," said Ilyushechkina. "We're happy we fought for every single element but there were still a lot of points left on the table."
WATCH | Canada's Lubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau battle for bronze:
"We put together some nice performances here all things considered," said Bilodeau. "It was our first competition in Asia and our third event in a month and a half. So it's been a pretty intense period."
WATCH | China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong soar on home ice:
In men's competition, Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., posted the third best free skate to climb to fourth spot overall with 237.36.
It was a 1-2 Chinese finish with Jin Boyang first at 261.53 followed by Yan Han at 249.45. Matteo Rizzo of Italy took the bronze at 241.88.
WATCH | Jin Boyang lands pair of quads to win:
"My free skate is a hard program for me to get through," said Messing, who was fifth after the short on Friday. "To get out there and skate it as well as I did, is a little weight off my chest and I feel like I can be really happy leaving here now."
Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., completed his Grand Prix debut in 11th place.
Russia's Shcherbakova headed to Grand Prix Final
In the women's free skate, 15-year-old Anna Shcherbakova of Russia won her second Grand Prix title of the season.
Shcherbakova, who led after Friday's short program, under-rotated her opening quadruple lutz-triple toeloop combination but landed a quad lutz on her next jump and finished with 152.53 points for a total of 226.04.
Japan's Satoko Miyahara finished second with 211.18 overall points while Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamysheva was third with 209.10 after finishing second in the free program.
Shcherbakova, who also won last month's Skate America, included a triple lutz-triple loop combination and three more triples.
"The free program was good, but not perfect, there were some mistakes," Shcherbakova said.
WATCH | Anna Shcherbakova punches ticket to the finals:
With her win in China, Shcherbakova booked a spot in the Dec. 5-8 Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy.
"I am very happy that I can go to the Grand Prix Final, that was my goal," Shcherbakova said. "I don't know yet what my [program] content will be, but my goal will be as always to skate clean."
Along with Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaia, Shcherbakova is one of three young Russian skaters who have moved up to the senior level this season. Between them, they have won all women's Grand Prix events so far with an array of big jumps.
The fifth stop on the circuit is this Friday and Saturday in Moscow.
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:
With files from The Associated Press