- FIGURE SKATING
Hana Yoshida Gains Gold, Rinka Watanabe Siver in Cup of China
15:47 JST, November 12, 2023
CHONGQING, China — Frenchman Adam Siao Him Fa edged Japanese double world figure skating champion Shoma Uno to win the Cup of China Grand Prix event in Chongqing on Saturday.
Uno led after the short programme but Siao Him Fa, who won in France in the previous round, took Saturday’s free skate.
“I am really happy about my performance today. This week was really hard, not because of the training, but all around, I had skate issues, food poisoning, it was quite catastrophic, but I managed pretty well, stayed strong mentally,” said Siao Him Fa.
Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Shaidorov was third for his first Grand Prix podium finish.
With two events left, the victory lifted the French skater to the top of the Grand Prix standings, two points ahead of American teenager Ilia Malinin who skipped the event.
“It feels great because it was a goal for this season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final,” said Siao Him Fa. “Last year I missed that opportunity. I feel glad to achieve it this season.”
The finals are in Beijing on December 7-10.
The top six in each discipline qualify automatically. Uno, after his first points of the season, is sixth in the standings.
“I think I have got very good programmes for this season. I know what to improve and what I have to do. I think I will get better as the season progresses,” Uno said.
In the women’s competition, Hana Yoshida leapt to gold in only her second senior competition at a Grand Prix.
She overtook Japanese compatriot Rinka Watanabe and Belgian Loena Hendrickx, who had led after the short programme.
“I’m really surprised that I won today,” the 18-year-old Yoshida said. “I have lots of things to work on. I want to be able to aim for higher points.”
Yoshida started her routine by stepping out of a triple Axel but recovered to land seven triple jumps.
“After my triple Axel I was a little bit disappointed. I wanted to land it clean but after that I was able to concentrate on the elements after and forget about the Axel. That was good,” she said.
Hendrickx climbed to second in the standings, two points behind American Isabeau Levito, who was absent.
“I feel disappointed about my skate today,” the Belgian said. “I didn’t feel well for the past five days. I don’t want to use it as an excuse. I didn’t eat well here, I wasn’t hungry. I tried to eat but it was pretty hard.
“I didn’t feel ready and confident. I had less energy. It was enough for the short, but not for the free.”
Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier came from second to win the ice dance, overtaking compatriots Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha. Americans Caroline Green and Michael Parsons were third.
“We are really proud of what we accomplished today,” said Poirier. “It is always hard to come back after a not so strong performance and put it behind you, just clear your mind and allow yourself to skate like you know how to do.”
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