USA win World Team Trophy as Tuktamysheva and French pair claim victories on final day
USA claimed victory in figure skating's World Team Trophy after a dramatic final day of competition in Fukuoka, Japan.
Solid skates in the two events on Sunday (13th April 2019) saw the U.S. seal the title, after a one-two finish in the men's free skate from Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou on Saturday had given them an overnight lead.
The Japanese team finished second overall, despite being without double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu due to injury
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva won the last event of the competition, the ladies free skate, to ensure Russia finished in third place.
Victory for the USA was their fourth World Team Trophy, more than any country since the competition started in 2009.
They ended with 117 points overall, after U.S. Champion Bradie Tennell's second place finish in the women's free skate.
Tennell scored 150.83 for her routine, a new national record. Her performance, along with Sarah Bell's sixth place, was enough to seal the title.
Previously Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc earned the United States eight points as they finished fifth in the pairs competition.
"Everyone on our team skated beautifully and I couldn't be more proud - said team captain Madison Hubbell - This is a great way to end our season and the Japanese crowd was so supportive."
Tuktamysheva claims women's free skate
2015 world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva ended her season with a win in that women's free skate.
She beat USA's Bradie Tennell by over three points, with Kaori Sakamoto of Japan in third.
Rika Kihira ended in fifth place.
"The end of the season turned out very well - said Tuktamysheva - I am so happy now that I was able to do almost everything that depended on me. The triple axel went well all season so it was no surprise to me I landed it and I just carried on."
"She put so much work. She was ready the whole season - Russian coach Tatyana Tarasova commented - She can still jump the second axel, I can see it happening. And these lutzes she did are just crazy...We are proud of you Lisa, thank you so much."
France win pairs free skate
Day 3 started with French pair Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres dominating the free pairs free skate.
The reigning European champions recorded their best score of the season (152.52), helping France move above Canada and finish fourth in the overall standings.
They finished ahead of Russia's Natalia Zabiiako/Alezander Enbert (141.32) and Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (131.84).
"After we did the jumps, it was easier, we knew we could do it" said James.
"It was a good competition - added her partner Cipres Physically, it was not easy, I was really tired. I kept my concentration to finish the program"
The victory for the USA brings the competitive figure skating season to a close.
World Team Trophy final standings (after eight rounds):
1- United States 117 points
2- Japan 104
3- Russia 102
4- France 75
5- Canada 73
6 - Italy 69