Alexa

Abbott wins gold after spill at Cup of China

Abbott wins gold after spill at Cup of China

American Jeremy Abbott came back from a fall on his opening jump to edge Japan's Nobunari Oda for the men's figure skating title at the Cup of China on Saturday.
Abbott was in third place following Friday's short program, but took gold after disastrous performances by the two men ahead of him after the short, Russia's Artur Gachinski and Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu.
Two-time U.S. champion Abbott finished with an overall total of 228.49 points, just 1.38 ahead of Oda.
Song Nan of China was third, and Hanyu had two falls in his performance to finish fourth.
Gachinski, leader after the short, fell on his opening quad toe loop, stumbled on the landing of his second jump, a triple axel, and then popped a triple salchow to tumble to fifth overall.
Italy's Carolina Kostner wobbled on a couple of landings of her own, but held on to beat American Mirai Nagasu for the women's title with 182.14 points. Nagasu ended with 173.22.
Russia swept the pairs and ice dancing events.
Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, the 2010 world bronze medalists, easily won the pairs competition with 186.74 points. Kavaguti made the duo's only mistake when she put a hand on the ice while landing a throw jump.
China's Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, the 2006 Olympic silver medalists, finished second with 177.67, and Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch were third.
In the ice dancing, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev skated a flawless free dance to take the title with 163.52 points, finishing well ahead of Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States in second with 148.40.
Abbott, who did not match Gachinski and Hanyu by doing a quadruple jump in the short program, fell on his opening jump in the free skate, a quad toe loop. He also singled a triple axel, but didn't take another spill.
"The first thing you learn in skating is to fall down and stand back up," Abbott said. "You never want to fall in a competition, but I guess mine came off the top of my program and if I were to let it affect me, then I have a whole four minutes and 15 seconds of torture left so I try to just put it behind me."
Kostner, who has won a silver and two bronze medals at the world championships, made up for a close loss at Skate America two weeks ago when American Alissa Czisny beat her by 0.13 points for the title.
With the win, Kostner also became the first skater to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix Final next month in Quebec City, Canada. Kostner said she was happy with the way she's been skating this year, especially coming after her 16th-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"After Vancouver it was a big question for me if I should just go on skating because it was quite a bad experience and when I took a longer break I just realized that I loved skating," Kostner said.
Nagasu, who trailed Kostner by less than a point after the short program, landed five triple jumps in her performance, putting pressure on the Italian to land her six planned triples.
Kostner bobbled the landing of her second jump, a triple flip, and didn't perform a planned triple-triple combination. Toward the end of the program, she wavered on another landing and singled a double loop at the end of the combination.
However, she didn't have any falls in the performance, giving her just enough to beat the American.
Kostner said that, since she skated last, the condition of the ice made it difficult for her to nail her landings.
"On the landings, it was a little difficult to hold it stable, but you just do the best you can and you have to accept what you get," she said.
Nagasu was pleased to improve on last year's fourth place at the Cup of China.
"The relief I'm feeling right now is a really nice feeling," Nagasu said. "When I've come to China previously I do really well in the short program, like first-place good, and then drop to like fourth place. So to break that curse is such a huge relief to me."
Fifteen-year-old world junior champion Adelina Sotnikova of Russia finished third after an error-plagued program in her international debut.
"I'm not too pleased with my performance today, but I'm happy I did the triple lutz-triple loop combination. Some other elements unfortunately didn't work out and next time I want to do all that I have planned," Sotnikova said through an interpreter.
Zhang Kexin of China was fourth and Christina Gao of the United States was fifth.