Figure Skating

Asada wins Cup of China; Weaver and Poje third in ice dance

Associated Press
11/3/2012 10:15:52 AM
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SHANGHAI, China -- Two-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan won the Cup of China with a strong free skate on Saturday, while Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje earned bronze in ice dancing.

Asada, who was second after Friday's short program, earned 181.76 points to overtake Russian teen Julia Lipnitskaia, who lacked the speed and polish she displayed to win the short program.

The 14-year-old Lipnitskaia, skating in her first senior Grand Prix event, took second with a score of 177.92. Last season's world junior champion is considered one of Russia's top medal hopes for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Finland's Kiira Korpi finished third on 169.86 points. She overtook Mirai Nagasu of the United States, who was third after the short program but stumbled on the landing of a double axel-triple toe loop combination and came in fourth.

It was the second medal this season for Weaver and Poje, who are both from Waterloo, Ont., after finishing third at Skate America two weeks ago.

The duo delivered a passionate program to a piece called "Humanity in Motion."

"We didn't hold anything back and it was a much better showing than at Skate America," said Weaver. "There is still a lot of work to do and we'll have some valuable training time to improve the technical aspects of the program. We are pleased with the overall performance especially the storytelling aspect of the routine."

Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France won the gold medal with 169.73 points. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia overtook the Canadians for second spot finishing at 159.46 while Weaver and Poje earned 158.97.

In pairs, Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China took the gold at 188.82, Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia were second at 183.53 and Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, also of Russia were third at 172.55.

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto missed the podium by a mere 0.19 points placing fourth with a score of 172.36.

`'We skated well but a couple of bobbles cost us," said Moscovitch. `'We weren't too sure how it would go with Kirsten feeling ill. But we wound up doing well on most of our elements. It's a physically draining program with our jumps and throws in the second half of the routine."

On the men's side, it was a 1-2 Japanese finish with Tatsuke Machida earning the gold and Daisuke Takahashi second. Sergei Voronov of Russia was third.

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., finished fifth.

"The presentation of the program was very strong but I definitely need to work on my jumps," said Reynolds.

- with files from The Associated Press.

Mao Asada (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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