Machida, Bobrova/Soloviyev win in Moscow; Grand Prix Final picture

Tatsuki Machida
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Russian Maksim Kovtun imploded in the Rostelecom Cup free skate, handing victory to Japan’s Tatsuki Machida in Moscow on Saturday.

Kovtun, 18, squandered an eight-point short-program lead by falling on his opening quadruple jump, doubling another planned quad, singling a triple Lutz and stepping out of the first jump in a planned combination.

He missed a chance to create more tension for the single Russian men’s spot at the Sochi Olympics, which is expected to go to three-time Olympic medalist Yevgeny Plushenko.

Machida didn’t perform as well as he did at Skate America, but he certainly didn’t have to and he was grimacing due to right thigh pain after his skate. He totaled 257.00 points, nearly 17 better than Kovtun. Spain’s Javier Fernandez was third (full results at bottom).

Russians Yekaterina Bobrova and Dimitry Soloviyev won the ice dance to wrap up the last of six Grand Prix events before the Grand Prix Final in two weeks.

NBC and NBC Live Extra will air coverage Sunday from 2-4 p.m. ET.

Machida and Kovtun are among the six men’s automatic qualifiers into the Grand Prix Final. Fernandez, the reigning world bronze medalist, did not earn a spot in the Fukuoka, Japan, event from Dec. 5-6. Here are the qualifiers:

1. Patrick Chan (CAN)
2. Tatsuki Machida (JPN)
3. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
4. Maksim Kovtun (RUS)
5. Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)
6. Yan Han (CHN)

The lone American at the Grand Prix of Russia, Richard Dornbush, finished fifth.

No U.S. man automatically qualified into the Grand Prix Final for the second straight year, the longest drought in the history of the event (since 1995-96).

The two-man U.S. Olympic Team will be named after the U.S. Championships in Boston from Jan. 10-12. Here are the top U.S. men’s scores from the Grand Prix season:

1. Jason Brown — 243.09 (Trophee Bompard)
2. Adam Rippon — 241.24 (Skate America)
3. Max Aaron — 238.36 (Skate America)
4. Jeremy Abbott — 237.41 (NHK Trophy)
5. Adam Rippon — 233.71 (NHK Trophy)
6. Jason Brown — 231.23 (Skate America)

Reigning Olympic champion Evan Lysacek has yet to enter an event this season, which he must do to be eligible to make the U.S. Olympic Team. The deadline for every event he could enter has passed, but some events have said they would let him enter after their deadlines.

In ice dance, the reigning world bronze medalists Bobrova and Soloviyev scored 168.32 to beat Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje by 5.18, following up their silver at the Cup of China. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final.

The lone U.S. couple in Moscow, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, finished third at 153.37. They would have qualified for the Grand Prix Final had they won.

Here are the ice dance qualifiers for the Grand Prix Final:

1. Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA)
2. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN)
3. Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviev (RUS)
4. Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA)
5. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN)
6. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA)

Davis and White, the reigning world champions and Olympic silver medalists, haven’t lost since February 2012. They are now slated to go head to head at the Grand Prix Final with Olympic champions Virtue and Moir, also their training partners, for the first time since the World Championships in March.

Three ice dance couples will make the U.S. Olympic Team. Here are the top American ice dance scores from the Grand Prix season:

1. Davis/White — 188.23 (Skate America)
2. Davis/White — 186.65 (NHK Trophy)
3. Shibutani/Shibutani — 157.58 (NHK Trophy)
4. Shibutani/Shibutani — 154.47 (Skate America)
5. Chock/Bates — 153.37 (Rostelecom Cup)
6. Hubbell/Donohue — 153.20 (Skate Canada)
7. Hubbell/Donohue — 152.98 (Skate America)
8. Chock/Bates — 150.53 (Cup of China)

Grand Prix of Russia Results

Men
1. Tatsuki Machida (JPN) 257.00
2. Maksim Kovtun (RUS) 240.34
3. Javier Fernandez (ESP) 226.99
4. Konstantin Menshov (RUS) 223.03
5. Richard Dornbush (USA) 215.45
6. Artur Gachinski (RUS) 211.49
7. Peter Liebers (GER) 197.65
8. Misha Ge (UZB) 190.28

Ice Dance
1. Bobrova/Soloviyev (RUS) 168.32
2. Weaver/Poje (CAN) 163.14
3. Chock/Bates (USA) 153.37
4. Riazanova/Tkachenko (RUS) 152.36
5. Monko/Khaliavin (RUS) 145.92
6. Gilles/Poirier (CAN) 133.66
7. Papadakis/Cizeron (FRA) 124.27
8. Heekin-Canedy/Dun (UKR) 123.57

Lipnitskaya, Savchenko/Szolkowy also win in Moscow

South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun
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Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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