Osmond, Jin lead in Beijing
Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond and China’s own Jin Boyang took the lead on the first day of the Cup of China on Friday, the penultimate heat of the ISU Grand Prix of figure skating.
Both now edge closer to securing places for next month’s grand final. Osmond landed all jumps cleanly and with a sense of ease, ending her crowd-pleasing programme with a knowing change foot combination spin, earning 72.20, a couple of points below her season best of 74.33 at Skate Canada.
The 20-year-old 2014 Winter Olympic team silver medalist said simply of her performance “there’s a couple small things I wish I could change”.
At the end of the first day there was everything to play for among the women with scores close in the standings. Osmond has a slim margin over Russia’s Elena Radionova on 70.75 and Japan’s Mai Mihara in third place with her season best 68.48. After showing off during the warm up, World Championship bronze winner Jin, 19, gave a flamboyant performance to the Spiderman theme, landing a quadruple lutz and high quadruple toeloop to rapturous applause.
His 96.17 score was over 20 points above his season best (72.93) and gave him a huge 12.70 point margin over Daniel Samohin in second place with his season best despite a point deduction at 83.47. The Israeli was in turn just 0.06 points ahead of third placed Patrick Chan of Canada on 83.41.
Chan was on track to clean up but a hand on the floor coming out the triple axle cost him. Jin’s programme got the night’s only standing ovation as spectators waved Spiderman banners and hurled Spiderman toys. The first skater to perform a quadruple Lutz-triple toeloop combination at an ISU competition, at last year’s Cup of China, Jin has even more ambitious plans for tomorrow’s free skate. Afterwards, he said his performance had been “really not bad” and that he had worked hard after Skate America.
Canada’s two time national champions Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje led in the Ice Dance category with their season best 73.78, just 0.55 ahead of second place sister and brother pair Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States on 73.23.
Weaver and Poje got bronze in the previous Rostelecom Cup round in Russia and Weaver observed, “there were a couple of minor mistakes today, we’re getting the bugs out”. The Pairs category was similarly close, but with strong home representation. Leading the standings were home team Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao on 72.49 for their understated and ethereal performance with perfect triple twist lift, throw triple loop and reverse lasso lift.
The couple only became a team earlier this year after their association re-paired them with the two skaters who make up today’s third place pair, Peng Cheng and Jin Yang (69.93) competing internationally for the first time. Between, in second place, were Canada’s Liubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch (71.28).
Medals and places in the final will be decided by the free skates tonight. —AFP
BEIJING: Shiyue Wang and Xinyu Liu of China perform during the ice dance free dance at the Ice Dance short dance at the Cup of China ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Beijing yesterday.
BEIJING: Elena Radionova (C) of Russia celebrates winning the gold medal of the ladies free skating on the podium as she stands next to Kaetlyn Osmond (L) of Canada who won silver and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva who took bronze at the Ice Dance short dance at the Cup of China ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Beijing yesterday.