ISU Grand Prix Final 2008/9 Spoilers

ISU Grand Prix Final 2008/9 Spoilers

Post by Vick44 » Mon, 15 Dec 2008 10:55:39


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Nice  to see the American team bouncing back...

Vick

SPOILERS

Final Day highlights (AP/CP/AFP) -
ISU Grand Prix Final 2008/9 Spoilers

Asada, Abbott win gold at Grand Prix finals
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jNiXJ61sELD5S7MshBk...

GOYANG, South Korea (AP) - World champion Mao Asada's skill with the
triple axel earned her a victory over longtime rival Kim Yu-na at the
Grand Prix of Figure Skating finals on Saturday.

Jeremy Abbott of the United States won after hitting every jump in the
free skate.

Asada's triple axels - two launched at the start of her free skate_
proved decisive as she won with a total of 188.55 points, just 2.2
ahead of South Korea's Kim at the Goyang Ice Arena north of Seoul.

"I am happy that I could land two triple axels in my program and that
I was able to win here in Korea," Asada said. "It is really special."

It was a particularly satisfying victory for Asada of Japan, who had
finished second to Kim at the last two Grand Prix finals.

Abbott breezed past Takahiko Kozuka of Japan for gold in his first
Grand Prix final. Abbott earned 237.72 points, while Kozuka had
224.63.

Ice dancing world champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder
capped off a victorious Grand Prix season with gold, and Pang Qing and
Tong Jian of China rallied to win the pairs title.

But it was the showdown between Kim and Asada, rivals since their days
as juniors, that took center stage at the sellout event. Even South
Korea Prime Minister Han Seung-soo was in the audience.

Kim, the world bronze medalist, had won her last five consecutive
Grand Prix series events. Asada, the reigning world champion, won the
NHK Trophy but the finals title had eluded her.

Kim admitted to nerves Friday but pulled off a narrow, half-point lead
over Asada in the short program. Fans showed their love for "Queen Yu-
na" by throwing more than 550 stuffed animals and 500 flowers onto the
rink, organizers said.

Asada showed her competitive mettle Saturday by kicking off her free
skate with two triple axels, the only woman to perform such a feat.
She skated with assurance and elegance but later fell attempting
another triple jump, leaving room for Kim to claim the title.

The crowd waited for Kim's opening jump and erupted with cheers when
she landed the triple flip-triple loop combination. But without a
triple axel in her repertoire, a fall on a triple salchow guaranteed a
close finish.

In the end, Kim scored higher than Asada on artistic points but Asada
was nearly four points ahead on technical elements.

Kim said she felt tired and was fighting a cold, along with the
pressure of wanting to do well at home after wins at Skate America and
the Cup of China.

"It was wonderful to skate at home," Kim said. "I am a little
disappointed about my mistakes, but it's OK. I will do better next
time."

Reigning European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy skated away with
the bronze.

Smooth and relaxed, Cup of China winner Abbott performed with speed
and artistry Saturday.

"I was so nervous," he said. "So to be able to control my nerves and
to focus through that and put out the performance that I did was
definitely most satisfying."

Abbott easily topped short program winner Kozuka, who held onto his
opening quadruple loop but fell twice as his energy flagged. Still, it
was enough for silver overall, giving the Japanese men a fourth
straight medal finish at the Grand Prix finals.

Opening with a big combination jump, Johnny Weir came back from an
inconsistent short program to place second in the free skate and third
overall, putting two Americans on the podium. The 17-year-old Canadian
phenom Patrick Chan, the series leader going into the finals, finished
last.

Ice dancing world champions Delobel and Schoenfelder, winners at Skate
America and Trophee Bompard, capped off a victorious Grand Prix season
with gold at the finals. The duo - skating for the 19th season
together - moved with speed and flow to moody Pink Floyd.

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia took the silver while
Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States won the bronze in
their first Grand Prix finals.

Two ice dancing pairs withdrew from the competition: American pair
Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto due to injury, and Jana Khokhlova
and Sergei Novitski of Russia due to illness. Delobel also said she
spent the afternoon fighting off a stomach ailment.

Chinese competitors topped the podium in the pairs competition, with
Pang and Jian winning gold and Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao silver. World
champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany finished
third.

--------------------

Asada, Abbott win gold at Grand Prix, Canadians Rochette and Chan off
podium
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5ju8sBYoq...

GOYANG, South Korea (CP) - World champion Mao Asada's skill with the
triple Axel earned the Japanese skater a nail-biting victory over
longtime rival Kim Yu-na at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating finals on
Saturday.

Asada's triple Axels - two of them launched at the start of her free
skate - proved decisive as she emerged with a total of 188.55 points,
just 2.2 ahead of South Korea's Kim at Goyang Ice Arena north of
Seoul.

It was a particularly satisfying victory for Asada, who had finished
second to Kim at the last two Grand Prix finals.

Joannie Rochette of Ile-Dupas, Que., sixth after Friday's disastrous
short program, nearly rallied her way to bronze, finishing at 166.36,
less than two points back of Italy's Carolina Kostner for the bronze
at 168.01.

Rochette posted the free skate's third best score.

"I'm proud with how I came back in the long program," said Rochette,
who earlier won Grand Prix events in Ottawa and Paris. "I wanted to
show that (Friday) was not me. ...

"I had been having trouble all week in practice and feeling tired. The
last part of my long program with the double Axel sequence was my best
all season."

Patrick Chan of Toronto couldn't make a similar comeback in the men's
event. The gold medallist at the Grand Prix stops in Ottawa and Paris,
he was sixth after the short and finished fifth at 205.16.

"The main concern for me in both programs was the triple Axel," said
the 17-year-old. "It gave me trouble and threw off the triple Lutz as
well. But still today with the mistakes I was able to keep it together
and I did not leave anything out.

"I was happy about that."

Jeremy Abbott of the United States won after nailing every one of his
jumps in the free skate, breezing past Japan's Takahiko Kozuka for
gold in his first Grand Prix final. Abbott earned 237.72 points, well
clear of Kozuka with 224.63.

Ice dancing world champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder
capped off a victorious Grand Prix season with gold, and China's Pang
Qing and Tong Jian came from behind to win the pairs title.

But it was the showdown between Kim and Asada, rivals since their days
as juniors, that took centre stage at Saturday's sold-out event. Even
South Korea Prime Minister Han Seung-soo was in the audience.

Kim, the world bronze medallist, had won her last five consecutive
Grand Prix series events. Asada, the reigning world champion, won the
NHK Trophy but the finals title had eluded her.

Kim admitted to being wracked by nerves Friday but pulled off a
narrow, half-point lead over Asada in the short program. Fans showed
their love for "Queen Yu-na" by throwing more than 550 stuffed animals
and 500 flowers onto the rink, organizers said.

On Saturday, Asada showed her competitive mettle by kicking off her
free skate with not one but two triple Axels - the only woman to nail
the difficult jump. She skated with assurance and elegance but later
fell attempting another triple jump, leaving room for Kim to claim the
title.

The crowd held its breath for Kim's opening jump and erupted into
cheers when she landed the triple flip-triple loop combination. But
without a triple Axel in her repertoire, a fall on a triple Salchow
guaranteed a close finish.

In the end, Kim scored higher than Asada on artistic points but Asada
was nearly 4 points ahead of the South Korean on technical elements.

"I am happy that I could land two triple Axels in my program and that
I was able to win here in Korea," Asada said. "It is really special."

Kim said she felt tired and was fighting a cold on top of feeling the
pressure of wanting to do well at home after wins at Skate America and
the Cup of China.

"It was wonderful to skate at home," she said. "I am a little
disappointed about my mistakes, but it's OK. I will do better next
time."

Reigning European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy skated away with
the bronze.

Smooth and relaxed, Cup of China winner Abbott performed with speed
and artistry Saturday.

"I was so nervous," he said. "So to be able to control my nerves and
to focus through that and put out the performance that I did was
definitely most satisfying."

Abbott easily topped short program winner Kozuka, who held onto his
opening quadruple loop but fell twice as his energy flagged. Still, it
was enough for silver overall, giving the Japanese men a fourth
straight medal finish at the Grand Prix finals.

Opening with a big combination jump, Johnny Weir came back from an
inconsistent short program to place second in the free skate and third
overall, putting two Americans on the podium.

Ice dancing world champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder,
winners at Skate America and Trophee Bompard, capped off a victorious
Grand Prix season with gold at the finals. The duo - skating for the
19th season together - moved with speed and flow to moody Pink Floyd.

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia took the silver while
Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States won the bronze in
their first Grand Prix finals with a sweeping pas de deux.

Two ice dancing pairs withdrew from the competition: American pair
Tanith Belbin, who is originally ...

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