ISU Four Continents Championships 2013

Osaka, Japan


ISU report Day Three


Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) skate off with Pairs gold

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada skated off with the Pairs gold while teammates Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch claimed the silver medal. The bronze went to Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA).


Duhamel/Radford’s program to “Angel” featured a triple twist, difficult lifts, a throw triple loop and Lutz. However, both had to fight for the landing of the side by side triple Lutz. The Canadian Champions picked up a level four for five elements and scored a seasons best of 128.74 points, which added up to 199.18 points overall. Duhamel/Radford are the first Canadian team to take this title since Jamie Sale/David Pelletier had won in 2002. “We made a couple of changes in our program, we really worked on the artistic side and today we saw an improvement in the program component scores since the Grand Prix Final. Today we had to fight for everything. We showed all we have, but for the worlds we have more”, Duhamel commented.


Skating to a Queen Medley, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch produced a triple twist, triple toe-triple toe sequence, a triple Salchow and strong lifts. The only error came when she fell on the throw triple loop. Moore-Towers/Moscovitch were ranked first in the Free Skating with a seasons best of 130.45 points and overall remained in second place at 196.78 points. “We feel great about our performance. It is a bit unfortunate that we lost the championship on an element we do easily all the time, but we don’t intend on that happening next time”, Moore-Towers said. “(At the ISU World Championships next month) we want to skate two clean programs. We want to better ourselves from here and from Nationals and we’re really hoping that lands us on the podium. There are a lot of teams vying for the spot and we are trying to get it. If we keep working hard and skate the way we know we can it’s attainable”, she added.


Castelli/Shnapir completed a triple twist, throw double Axel and throw triple Salchow in their Tango program, but he singled the Axel-toeloop combination. The U.S. Champions picked up a seasons best of 117.04 points and accumulated 170.10 points. “We are very excited. The long was a toss-up, it could be anyone’s game. We are happy with how it came out. We worked hard and had a good long program. It was our season’s best. We both would have liked a little better short, but overall we are very happy with where we started and ended”, Castelli said.


Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay (USA) finished fourth at 167.30 points ahead of Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (CHN/164.82 points) and Paige Lawrence/Rudi Swiegers (CAN/162.30 points).


Mao Asada (JPN) leads Japanese podium sweep

Mao Asada led a Japanese podium sweep in the Ladies event followed by teammates Akiko Suzuki and Kanako Murakami. The Japanese Ladies had swept the podium once before at the ISU Four Continents Championships in 2003 with Fumie Suguri, Shizuka Arakawa and Yukari Nakano.


Performing to “Swan Lake”, Asada first landed a triple loop and then went for a triple Axel, but underrotated and two-footed it. The 2010 Olympic silver medalist produced three more clean triples but underrotated two others. Her spins were rated a level four. Asada scored 130.96 points, narrowly surpassing her previous seasons best and racked up 205.45 points. “For the first time since the Olympic Games I went over 200 points, so I feel that I am coming back to my performance level. Today’s performance was about in-line with my practice, so I need to practice more to exceed today’s level”, the two-time World Champion said. “Throughout this Four Continent Championship, I was able to have great performances on both short and free. My short program was beyond my practice level and free program was within the range of my practice level. Lessons I learned from this competition are that I can push my level higher as long as I practice hard”, she went on.


Suzuki produced six triples including a triple flip-double toe-double loop combination and three level-four spins as well in her routine to “O” from Cirque du Soleil. However, she singled an Axel. The World bronze medalist earned 124.43 points and totaled 190.08 points. „Overall it was ok, it was good, because in the competition just before that (a national event) I did very badly. My aim was to redeem myself in this competition. I talked to my coach a lot about how to become stronger mentally before the competition”, the 27-year-old commented.


Murakami’s Tango program included five triple jumps and two level-four spins, but she underrotated two triples and singled an Axel. She picked up a new seasons best with 116.99 points to win her first ISU senior Championships medal at 181.03 points. “The jumps were okay however my skating was not powerful enough. My coach told me that as well. I only focused on my jumps so that is the reason I could not care about the skating. I definitely got my confidence after my short program in this competition. But my task is to skate more powerfully in both short and free program. That is what I want to do at Worlds”, the National silver medalist noted.


Christina Gao (USA) finished fourth with 176.28 points. Zijun Li (CHN) moved up from tenth to fifth at 170.42 points while Gracie Gold slipped from fifth to sixth (166.66 points).


Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) dance to victory

Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) danced to victory. Canadians Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir settled for the silver and Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) claimed the bronze medal.


Davis/White put out a strong performance to “Notre Dame de Paris”, completing difficult footwork and lifts. The World silver medalists collected a level four for seven elements, only the circular footwork was a level three. The U.S. Champions scored a seasons best of 112.68 points which added up to187.36 points overall and recaptured the title they had lost last year to Virtue/Moir. “It was a really emotional skate. We gave it everything we had, literally, and that’s all we can ask of ourselves. It’s difficult coming off nationals so to be able to go out and perform the way we did is a monument to our preparation and I’m really proud”, White said. “We would like to show our best skating yet. Charlie and I have been talking a lot this week about growth and improvement. That’s always what we look back to … how we can improve, how we can continue to grow throughout the season. We’re in a great place but the sky’s the limit”, Davis added.


Virtue/Moir started well into their intense “Carmen” routine, but almost three minutes into the program after the circular step sequence they had to stop as Virtue felt a cramp in her legs. After a few minutes they were able to resume the performance. The reigning World Champions earned a level four for the lifts, the spin and the twizzles while the two step sequences merited a level three. Virtue/Moir earned 109.20 points, a seasons best, and slipped from first to second at 184.32 points overall. “Tessa and I feel like as a team we have a lot of positive things this week, especially in our short dance. In the free dance, we were able to execute a lot of the elements that we’ve been struggling with in practice and a little bit at the National Championships. Obviously there are a couple of things we want to work on going into the World Championships. We know what we have to do, luckily”, Moir told the press. “I just had some cramp in my legs to deal with. I’m glad we collected ourselves and kept pushing through the program”, Virtue explained when asked about the interruption.


Chock/Bates gave a smooth performance to “Doctor Zhivago” that was highlighted by interesting lifts, but they lost a few points on the twizzles and the diagonal footwork that were graded a level three and two. With a seasons best of 94.98 points, the National bronze medalists were ranked fifth in the Free Dance but held on to third place overall at 160.42 points. They won their first ISU Championships medal in their second season as a team. “As the season has progressed, we have gotten stronger and stronger. Worlds is the culmination of the full season and all of our hard work. Our goal is to have the best two performances we have had all season and carry that momentum into the Olympic year”, Bates noted.


Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) placed fourth at 159.97 points. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) were third in the Free Dance and came fifth at 157.83 points ahead of Nicole Orford/Thomas Williams (CAN/139.10 points).


The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2013 conclude Monday with the Exhibition Gala. For more information, and full results please see: and




ISU report Day Two 


Mao Asada (JPN) earns big lead in Ladies Short Program

Mao Asada of Japan earned a big lead in the Ladies Short Program ahead of teammates Akiko Suzuki and Kanako Murakami. All three skaters posted a new seasons best score.


Asada opened her routine to “I’ve Got Rhythm” with a high triple Axel and followed up with a triple flip-double loop combination and a triple loop. The two-time World Champion produced two level-four spins and level-four footwork to achieve a seasons best of 74.49 points. “This is the first time I landed my triple Axel in my short program this season. I was in good condition since I came here. The moment I jumped I was 99 percent sure I was going to land it (triple Axel). My condition has been going up since Nationals. It is exactly one year till the Sochi Olympic Games, and I would like to skate my best there. I would like to bring this confidence into my free skate tomorrow”, Asada said.


Suzuki delivered a strong performance to “Kill Bill” and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” as well, completing a triple toe-triple toe, a triple flip and double Axel. The World bronze medalist picked up 65.65 points. “I was able to feel like “I finally made it“. I have been struggling with jumps this season, and I had tough time making my best towards the competitions. I didn’t have 100% confidence in the triple-triple but my coach and I went through practices to make me strong mentally”, the Grand Prix Final bronze medalist commented. “(In the Free Skating) I would like to skate like a “flying bird“ and I hope my skate will make the audience smile”, she added.


Murakami completed the success of the Japanese Ladies with her program to “Prayer for Taylor” that included a double Axel, triple toe-triple toe and triple flip. The National silver medalist scored 64.04 points. “I did of course concentrate in practice on my jumps because in all short programs that I have performed in this season I did not have a successful triple- triple and flip”, the 2010 World Junior Champion noted. “At Nationals I learned that I just have to be confident and relax, then I everything is possible.”


Christina Gao (USA) sits in fourth at 62.34 points followed by Gracie Gold (USA) with 60.36 points and Kexin Zhang (CHN/57.56 points).


Kevin Reynolds (CAN) skates to gold

Kevin Reynolds of Canada surged from sixth to take the gold in the Men’s event. Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu claimed the silver medal and Han Yan of China captured the bronze.


Reynolds gave a flawless performance to “Concerto No. 4 in E minor” by Andre Mathieu, reeling off a quad Salchow, quad toe-triple toe, triple Axel-triple toe, another quad toe as well as three more triple jumps and two level-four spins. The Canadian scored a personal best of 172.21 points and racked up 250.55 points overall to take his first ISU Championships title. “This was completely beyond anything what I could have expected. I knew I was in the range of medals if I do everything in my free program. I had a couple of under-rotated quad jumps on my short program. I came back to the practice this morning and worked on them. Recently, I was able to do two strong performances at our National Championships, so that that gave me a lot of confidence, but being able to win this competition surpassed everything I could have expected”, Reynolds said.


Overnight leader Hanyu opened his program to “Notre Dame de Paris” with a quadruple toeloop but popped the Salchow into a double. He rallied back to nail five triples. All three spins merited a level four. The Japanese Champion was ranked third in the Free Skating with 158.73 points and slipped from first to second at 246.38 points. “I am full of disappointment, but after I was done, I felt refreshed and relieved. Regarding my performance, there is a lot of what I need to improve. But I have not lost my confidence and I know there are still a lot of things I can do better”, the 18-year-old commented.


Yan’s program to “Masquerade Suite” by Aram Khatchaturian featured a triple Axel-triple toe and five clean triples, but he fell hard on an underrotated quadruple toeloop. The reigning World Junior Champion earned 150.14 points, a new personal best, and dropped from second to third at 235.22 points. “I hurt my shoulder on the fall on my second jump (quad toe), and started to feel my old injuries. I grew more anxious through the program, but overall I feel satisfied with this event. I did not expect to win a medal here”, the 16-year-old told the press.


Max Aaron (USA) landed two quadruple Salchows to move up from 10th to fourth at 234.65 points. He was ranked second in the Free Skating. Richard Dornbush (USA) dropped from third to fifth (234.04 points) and Nan Song (CHN) finished sixth (228.46 points).


The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2013 continue Sunday with the Free Dance, Pairs and Ladies Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: and


ISU report Day One


The 2013 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships opened in Osaka, Japan, Friday with the Short Dance, Pairs and Men’s Short Programs. 85 skaters from 13 ISU members have been entered for the Championships.


Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) dance to narrow lead in Short Dance

Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada danced to a narrow lead over Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) in the Short Dance. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) are currently standing in third place.


Virtue/Moir’s Waltz and Polka to “The Waltz Goes On” by Anthony Hopkins was highlighted by intricate footwork and a rotational lift. The reigning World and Four Continents Champions picked up a level four for four elements to post a seasons best of 75.12 points. “The biggest thing for us today was – it felt like the seasons best skate. So no matter what the score was, that’s always the best feeling. Ever since we’ve been young that’s really the feeling we chase. If we feel we are together, it feels like a strong performance, if the coaches are happy with it - that’s the big thing”, Moir commented.


Dancing to March, Polka and Waltz from the ballet “Giselle”, Davis/White earned a level four for the two Yankee Polka patterns, the twizzles and the rotational lift. They scored 74.68 points, another seasons best. “I think it was a really good performance today. It was a step up in a lot of aspects. Technically it wasn’t what we were aiming for. We had a couple of little mistakes here and there which certainly you can’t get away at this point. We’re looking to execute everything perfectly at this point of the season, but I think we’ve made some improvement in a lot of other areas. Despite the little mistakes we are headed into the right direction and we’re feeling good”, Davis said.


Chock/Bates delivered a strong performance to Waltz and Polka from “Quidam” that included three level-four elements. The National bronze medalists achieved a seasons best of 65.44 points. „We have been training to be consistent and have fun, and today we did, we had a lot of fun. When we heard this music we immediately liked it and that is always a good sign because we have to listen to it all year”, Chock noted.


Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) came fourth at 63.26 points ahead of Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) with 60.20 points. Cathy Reed/Chris Reed (JPN) finished sixth (53.97 points).


Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) win Pairs Short Program

Canada’s Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford won the Pairs Short Program followed by their teammates Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch and Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA).


Performing to “La Boheme”, Duhamel/Radford hit a triple twist, side by side triple Lutz, throw triple Lutz and difficult lift. The Canadian Champions set a new personal best of 70.44 points for themselves. „To break that 70 points barrier, not too many teams have done that, it feels incredible”, Radford shared. “We kind of discovered especially after last Nationals the more pressure that’s on, the better we seem to skate. Coming in here we knew that we have a great chance to finally have a gold medal after all these silver medals. We came in with a fighting attitude as opposed to trying to ride the wave from Nationals”, he added.


Moore-Towers/Moscovitch’s program to “Motley Crew” featured a triple twist, side by side triple toe and throw triple loop. The couple picked up 66.33 points, a new seasons best. “I feel good about the performance today, though there were small things that we didn’t do as good as we would have liked to. So we are looking forward to cleaning that up for worlds. We are just going to go out and perform just like we have been training it. We had a great performance at Nationals so we are looking forward to building on that”, Moore-Towers commented.


Castelli/Shnapir opened their routine to “Stray Cat Strut” and “Pink Panther” with triple twist and side by side triple Salchow, but Castelli fell on the throw tripe Salchow. The U.S. Champions scored 53.06 points.

“We just came back from Nationals. It was not the best performance. We did kind of well trying to get back into the program after my fall. Every skate is an experience for us, even though we did some mistakes”, Castelli told the press.


Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay (USA) came fourth at 52.98 points ahead of Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (CHN) with 52.46 points. Wenting Wang/Yan Zhang (CHN) placed sixth (51.26 points). Alexa Scimeca/ Chris Knierim (USA) withdrew due to injury. Scimeca is suffering from pain in her right foot.


Yuzuru Hanyu takes lead in Men’s Short Program

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan took the lead in the Men’s Short Program. China’s Han Yan came second and Richard Dornbush (USA) finished third.


Skating to “Parisian Walkways”, Hanyu hit a quadruple toeloop and triple Axel as well as difficult spins but he did only a single Lutz-triple toeloop combination. The Japanese Champion scored 87.65 points. “I do not feel good about my performance. I think I missed the Lutz because my timing was a bit fast. I did not feel the pressure from being the national champion. I did not focus on winning or losing to Daisuke (Takahashi) or Takahito (Mura), and I was focusing on my own performance”, the reigning World bronze medalist said.


Yan’s Tango routine featured a triple Axel, quadruple toeloop and a triple Lutz-triple toeloop. The 2012 World Junior Champion earned a seasons best of 85.08 points. “I am very pleased with what I did. I did all my elements. I don’t have a special goal for this event, this being my first (international) senior competition. I don’t expect a medal or anything, I am here to learn. Today’s result won’t put pressure on me. I just want to show what I can do in practice in the free skating and want to do all my elements”, Yan told the press.


Dornbush produced a quadruple toeloop, triple Lutz-triple toe and three level-four spins in his program set to „With Or Without You“ by U2, but touched down with his hand on the triple Axel to collect 83.01 points, a seasons best. “I felt really good mostly because I was not expected to be here. Skating better than at Nationals was very fulfilling. I was called up on Sunday and I came up here. I just want to end the season with high note”, the Californian shared.


Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) is currently ranked fourth after falling on his triple Axel (82.62 points). Nan Song (CHN) placed fifth at 81.16 points and Kevin Reynolds (CAN) rounds up the top six (78.34 points).


The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2013 continue Saturday with the Ladies Short Program and the Men’s Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: and