elena radionova

Hanyu, Miyahara into Grand Prix Final with wins at NHK Trophy

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Yuzuru Hanyu won the NHK Trophy in front of a home crowd in Japan in spectacular fashion – setting three world records – and qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the process.

He followed up his short program world record with a record setting free skate of 216.07 and a combined overall score record of 322.40.

China’s Boyang Jin finished second overall followed by Japan’s Takahito Mura. The U.S. Grant Hochstein finished fourth after an eighth-place finish in the short program.

Though the results are still unofficial, the men’s field in Barcelona will likely include no U.S. men, a streak that has continued since 2012. Max Aaron is eighth in the standings, but would be invited if he finished seventh overall. More on that the qualifying process here.

MORE: Fernandez into final with Rostelecom win

Japan’s Satoko Miyahara took the ladies’ competition over the U.S.’ Courtney Hicks, who finished second in her first career Grand Prix circuit medal, and countrywoman Mao Asada, who finished third.

 

Ashley Wagner was fourth, the lowest place she could have to give her a berth to Barcelona. Wagner has earned a medal at every Grand Prix Final since 2012 (silver in 2012, and bronzes in 2013 and 2014).

Again, the overall standings are unofficial, but Miyahara, Asada, and Wagner should join Gracie Gold, Evgenia Medvedeva, and Elena Radionova in the Grand Prix Final.

 

Russia finished off the podium entirely in the ladies’ field – Alena Leonova and Anna Pogorilaya finished eighth and ninth while Maria Artemieva finished 11th.

The last time no Russian women were on a Grand Prix podium – the final or otherwise – was in the 2012-13 season, where it happened a handful of times. Russian women have been featured on every Grand Prix circuit podium since the 2012-13 season, where they only missed out on Skate Canada, the Rostelecom Cup, the NHK Trophy, and the Grand Prix Final from that season. Names like Olympic gold medalists Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaya, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Elena Radionova, Pogorilaya, Leonova, and 2015 world junior champion Evgenia Medvedeva all contributed to that streak.

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U.S. pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim earned a trip to Barcelona with a bronze medal in Japan. Leading the field in their ninth straight international win was Canadian pair Meaghan Duhamel and Eric Radford followed China’s Yu Xiaoyu and Jin Yang.

Mao Asada, Javier Fernandez top Cup of China short programs

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World champions Mao Asada and Javier Fernandez made successful Grand Prix season debuts, leading the short programs at Cup of China in Beijing on Friday.

Asada, in her first Grand Prix since winning her third World title in 2014, landed her trademark triple Axel clean and tallied 71.73 points. She bettered countrywoman Rika Hongo by 5.94 points going into Saturday’s free skate.

“It went just as I pictured it,” Asada said, according to The Associated Press. “I was nervous before I started. I wasn’t able to skate that well in practice and just tried to use the nervous energy to my advantage. I hope I can carry this momentum over into the free program.”

American Courtney Hicks was third and Russian Yelena Radionova, the World bronze medalist, was sixth. Radionova singled a planned double Axel.

Fernandez, in his first Grand Prix since winning his first World title in March, landed a quadruple Salchow, a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and a triple Axel, all clean, for 93.19 points. Watch his program here.

He is 3.15 ahead of China’s Jin Boyang, who landed two quadruple jumps in his short program to beat his previous personal best by 14.75 points. Jin, 18, is the reigning World Junior silver medalist.

Icenetwork.com will stream for subscribers live coverage of the men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance free skates Saturday. NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage Sunday from 12-1:30 p.m. ET.

Women’s free skate — Saturday, 3:35 a.m. ET (Asada at 5:16 a.m.)
Men’s free skate — Saturday, 5:45 a.m. ET (Fernandez at 7:31 a.m.)

MORE: Why Mao Asada returned to figure skating