Yan Han wins first GP male title in China
Yan Han of China performs during the men's free skating event of the Cup of China ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Beijing on November 2, 2013. Yan won first place with a total score of 245.62.
In the women's field, 15-year-old Russian Anna Pogorilaya, competing in her first senior Grand Prix, landed seven triples to bound from third to the top of the podium.
Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France also came from behind in ice dance, leap-frogging principal rivals Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia to defend their 2012 Cup of China win.
Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, the 2013 world silver medallists, came out on top in the pairs.
To the delight of home crowd at Beijing’s Capital Gymnasium, 17-year-old Yan, the 2012 world junior champion, pulled off a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination in the free skate to total 245.62 points and thwart impressive Maksim Kovtun of Russia (238.65), who landed two quadruple jumps in the top-scoring free skate.
Takahiko Kozuka of Japan, who was third in the short program on Friday, took fifth in the free skate but still achieved a podium finish with 226.92 points. Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten, the 2013 world silver medallist, finished a creditable fourth (224.80) in his Grand Prix debut this season after pulling out of Skate America two weeks ago due to a back injury.
Skating to the tune of Mermaids, from Hollywood blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, Pogorilaya’s routine commenced with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination and got better from there.
Though the composed Moscow native lost her balance on a double axel in the closing minute, her total of 178.62 points won the day.
Short-program leader Adelina Sotnikova of Russia fell twice in the women’s free skate to finish second with 174.70. Italian favourite Carolina Kostner finished third with 173.40.
In the pairs, Savchenko and Szolkowy (201.21) sailed past short program leaders and Chinese veterans Pang Qing and Tong Jian (194.38) to the disappointment of the home crowd.
In ice dance, a confident performance by Pechalat and Bourzat (165.68) saw them shake off the Russians by just 2.26 points. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States took bronze with 150.53.
Fifty-one of the world’s best figure skaters from nine countries competed in this year’s Cup of China, the third leg of the six-stop Grand Prix series. Skaters were looking to gather points and medals to reach the circuit's finale in Fukuoka, Japan, in December, the last major audition before the Winter Olympics in February.