Sergey Voronov

Adam Rippon gets second as Russians sweep NHK Trophy (video)

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What a 28th birthday for Adam Rippon.

The 2016 U.S. champion took second in his first top-level competition in 11 months, emphatically returning from a broken foot that kept him out last winter.

Rippon landed an under-rotated quadruple Lutz plus eight triples in his free skate at NHK Trophy on Saturday. He tallied 261.99 points, finishing 9.13 behind Russian winner Sergei Voronov.

“Being 28 rocks!” Rippon said after his skate in Osaka, Japan.

It was a Russian sweep of the singles titles at the fourth of six Grand Prix events this fall.

Olympic super favorite Yevgenia Medvedeva fell in a free skate at a second straight Grand Prix and still extended her two-year winning streak.

NHK TROPHY: Scores | Figure Skating TV Schedule

Conversely, Voronov used a personal best by 18.57 points, along with two quads in his free skate, to win his first Grand Prix in his 12th season. The 30-year-old became the oldest man to win a Grand Prix event by nearly three years (Daisuke Takahashi, 2013 NHK Trophy).

Voronov and Rippon will both compete at Skate America in two weeks, eyeing berths in December’s Grand Prix Final, which takes the top six men from the fall Grand Prix season.

Jason Brown, a 2014 U.S. Olympian and 2015 U.S. champion, saw a great opportunity to all but book his first Grand Prix Final berth slip through his fingers this weekend. Brown, third after the short program, fell on both of his triple Axels in the free skate and ended up fourth.

Brown went into NHK as the leading man after the withdrawals of Olympic gold and silver medalists Yuzuru Hanyu and Patrick Chan.

A runner-up would have put Brown in all-but-safe position to make the Grand Prix Final. Now, he must wait and watch the results of the next two Grand Prix events to see where he stands.

Medvedeva tallied 224.39 points, beating Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy by 12.15 points. Both Medvedeva and Kostner qualified for December’s six-skater Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual event.

Kostner, 30, broke American Todd Eldredge‘s record as the oldest singles skater to qualify for a Grand Prix Final.

Russian Polina Tsurskaya was third, followed by American Mirai Nagasu. Nagasu boosted her resume for Olympic consideration with the highest Grand Prix score by a U.S. woman this season.

U.S. bronze medalist Mariah Bell was ninth after she placed sixth at her previous Grand Prix. Neither Nagasu nor Bell qualified for the Grand Prix Final.

Also Saturday, Chinese Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won their second Grand Prix in as many weeks. The world champions prevailed by a comfortable 11.79 over Russians Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov.

Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim, the favorites to grab the one U.S. Olympic pairs spot, finished fifth with a score 11.11 points better than any other Americans this season.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic figure skating picture at Grand Prix midpoint

NHK Trophy Results
Men

1. Sergey Voronov (RUS) — 271.12
2. Adam Rippon (USA) — 261.99
3. Alexei Bychenko (ISR) — 252.07
4. Jason Brown (USA) — 245.95

Women
1. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 224.39
2. Carolina Kostner (ITA) — 212.24
3. Polina Tsurskaya (RUS) — 210.19
4. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 194.46
9. Mariah Bell (USA) — 166.04

Pairs
1. Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (CHN) — 234.53
2. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) — 222.74
3. Kristina Astakhova/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) — 203.64
5. Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Christopher Knierim (USA) — 192.51

Javier Fernandez wins Rostelecom Cup; Jason Brown’s best free skate (video)

Javier Fernandez
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Spain’s Javier Fernandez won the Rostelecom Cup to earn a berth in the Grand Prix Final, while Jason Brown posted the best free skate of his international career for fifth place Saturday.

Fernandez, the two-time reigning World bronze medalist who finished fourth at the Sochi Olympics, totaled 265.01 points to win by 13.01 over Russian Sergey Voronov. Fernandez, who finished second at Skate Canada two weeks ago, clinched a spot in the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona in December.

The Spaniard had several errors on landings in his free skate — though he didn’t fall — which prompted concern from his coach, two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser.

“It’s gonna be close,” Orser told Fernandez, the final skater to go, as he came off the ice in Moscow.

“It’s OK,” Fernandez responded. “I don’t care.”

Brown, a 19-year-old who finished ninth at the Olympics, scored 159.24 in his free skate (235.56 total) despite stumbling out of a triple Lutz landing. He improved from seventh after the short program Friday.

Japan’s Rika Hongo won the women’s competition with 178 points, the lowest total to win a women’s Grand Prix series event in two years. Russian Anna Pogorilaya was second with 173.43, followed by Canadian short program leader Alaine Chartrand (172) and American Mirai Nagasu (165.88).

Three different Russian women had won the first three Grand Prix events this season before Rostelecom Cup, an unprecedented feat.

In ice dance, U.S. Olympians Madison Chock and Evan Bates won for the second time in four Grand Prix events.

In pairs, Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov led a Russian medals sweep with the highest total score of the Grand Prix season.

The Grand Prix series continues with Trophee Bompard in France next week.

Rostelecom Cup men’s results
1. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 265.01
2. Sergey Voronov (RUS) — 252
3. Michal Brezina (CZE) — 241.23
5. Jason Brown (USA) — 235.56
7. Max Aaron (USA) — 212.6
9. Stephen Carriere (USA) — 201.24

Leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Tatsuki Machida (JPN) — 269.09 (Skate America)
2. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 265.01 (Rostelecom Cup)
3. Takahito Mura (JPN) — 255.81 (Skate Canada)
4. Sergey Voronov (RUS) — 252 (Rostelecom Cup)
5. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 244.87 (Skate Canada)
6. Maksim Kovtun (RUS) — 243.34 (Cup of China)
7. Michal Brezina (CZE) — 241.23 (Rostelecom Cup)
8. Misha Ge (UZB) — 238.05 (Rostelecom Cup)
9. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 237.55 (Cup of China)
Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan not competing in Grand Prixs.

U.S. men’s leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Jason Brown — 235.56 (Rostelecom Cup)
2. Jason Brown — 234.17 (Skate America)
3. Max Aaron — 231.77 (Skate Canada)
4. Stephen Carriere — 231.67 (Skate Canada)
5. Richard Dornbush — 226.73 (Cup of China)
6. Jeremy Abbott — 219.33 (Skate America)
7. Max Aaron — 212.6 (Rostelecom Cup)

Rostelecom Cup women’s results
1. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 178
2. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 173.43
3. Alaine Chartrand (CAN) — 172
4. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 165.88
8. Ashley Cain (USA) — 150.9
9. Angela Wang (USA) — 150.75

Leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 196.6 (Cup of China)
2. Elena Radionova (RUS) — 195.47 (Skate America)
3. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 191.81 (Skate Canada)
4. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 189.62 (Skate America)
5. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 186 (Skate Canada)
6. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 181.75 (Skate Canada)
7. Gracie Gold (USA) — 179.38 (Skate America)
8. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 178 (Rostelecom Cup)
Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova is out with a torn ankle ligament.

U.S. leaders in Grand Prix season
1. Ashley Wagner — 186 (Skate Canada)
2. Gracie Gold — 179.38 (Skate America)
3. Samantha Cesario — 174.58 (Skate America)
4. Courtney Hicks — 174.51 (Skate Canada)
5. Mirai Nagasu — 165.88 (Rostelecom Cup)
6. Polina Edmunds — 161.27 (Cup of China)

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Jason Brown stumbles, Javier Fernandez leads at Rostelecom Cup (video)

Jason Brown
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Jason Brown fell out of a jump and placed seventh in the short program at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday, well back of Spanish leader Javier Fernandez.

The U.S. Olympian Brown stumbled coming out of a triple-triple jump combination, putting both hands on the ice, and scored 76.32 points. Brown, who posted 79.75 at Skate America en route to second place three weeks ago, scored 17.6 fewer points than Fernandez on Friday.

The 2013 U.S. champion Max Aaron beat Brown by .77 for sixth place. If the standings hold after the free skate Saturday, it will be the first time this season that a U.S. man does not make the podium in four Grand Prix series events.

Fernandez, the two-time reigning World bronze medalist, posted the highest free skate score this Grand Prix season. He took second at Skate Canada two weeks ago and looks to earn a spot in December’s Grand Prix Final in Barcelona.

Canadian Alaine Chartrand surprisingly led the women’s short program with 61.18 points. She was followed by Japan’s Rika Hongo (59.85) and the pre-competition favorite, Russian Anna Pogorilaya (59.32). Americans Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Cain were fourth and fifth.

Chartrand, 18, was fifth at last year’s Canadian Championships and seventh at Skate Canada two weeks ago. She’s bidding to become the first non-Russian woman to win a Grand Prix event this season.

Rostelecom Cup wraps with the men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance free skates Saturday.

NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will air Rostelecom Cup coverage Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

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Rostelecom Cup Short Program

Men
1. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 93.92
2. Sergey Voronov (RUS) — 90.33
3. Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) — 81.38
6. Max Aaron (USA) — 77.09
7. Jason Brown (USA) — 76.32
10. Stephen Carriere (USA) — 72.2

Women
1. Alaine Chartrand (CAN) — 61.18
2. Rika Hongo (JPN) — 59.85
3. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 59.32
4. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 58.9
5. Ashley Cain (USA) — 57.18
9. Angela Wang (USA) — 51.25