Double Gold for Japan at NHK Trophy

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The 40th edition of the NHK Trophy in Hiroshima, Japan was a happy hunting ground for the home skaters as they nabbed both singles titles.

Shoma Uno effortlessly secured himself a place in December’s Grand Prix Final with his second victory of the series in the men’s competition, despite a fall on a quadruple toe loop in the short programme, in what was incredibly his first appearance at the NHK Trophy. At the age of 31, Sergei Voronov was a model of consistency as he finished second in both segments of the event and kept himself in with a shout of joining Uno in Vancouver. Matteo Rizzo moved up from fourth after the short to third overall and became the first Italian male singles skater to claim a Grand Prix medal.

After falling on a triple Axel in the short, Rika Kihira came roaring back in the free skating in the ladies event with two cleanly landed triple Axels, one in combination with a triple toe, that played a significant part in her moving up to earn her first senior Grand Prix title. Her compatriot Satoko Miyahara had been in second place after the short and maintained her position thanks to a solid skate in the free. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva landed a clean triple Axel in the short and rotated one in the free, but dropped down from first to third. Both Miyahara and Tuktamysheva have now assured themselves of places in the Grand Prix Final.

Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert were competing at their second Grand Prix in a row and won their second pairs title. The Russians also advanced to the Grand Prix Final. They will be joined in Vancouver by Cheng Peng and Yang Jin who earned their second silver medal of the series. Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim rose from fourth after the short to take the bronze medal.

The withdrawal of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron left the ice dance event wide open. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker took advantage of the opportunity and won the first Grand Prix title of their careers. Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro had been in first following the rhythm dance, but a wobble in the twizzle sequence by Guerreiro and an extended lift deduction saw them drop to second overall. By winning bronze, Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons picked up the first Grand Prix medal of their careers.

You can find full and detailed results for the 2018 NHK Trophy here.


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