Medvedeva wins NHK Trophy to secure Grand Prix berth


OSAKA, Japan — Two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia overcame an early fall to win the NHK Trophy on Saturday and secure a place in the International Skating Union's Grand Prix Final.

Russia also won the men's event with Sergei Voronov holding on to his lead from the short program Medvedeva, who was first after the short program, recovered from a shaky start in her free skate to "Anna Karenina" and won her second Grand Prix of the season with a total of 224.39 points.

Carolina Kostner of Italy was second with 212.24 points, followed by Russia's Polina Tsurskaya with 210.19. Medvedeva fell on her opening triple flip, which was supposed to be a combinations jump, and two-footed the landing of a triple lutz but nailed the rest of her jumps. Combined with her win at Cup of Russia last month, Medvedeva booked her place at the Dec. 7-10 Grand Prix final in Nagoya, Japan.

"I'm not satisfied with my free program," Medvedeva said. "But I'm glad I did the combination in the second half which was the best part of my program." Kostner doubled a toe loop and fell on a triple salchow. The 2012 world champion was ranked third in the free skate but held on to claim second place overall. "As for my performance, I made two mistakes today, actually on easier elements, which is too bad," Kostner said. "But mistakes happen and show you where work is needed."

Voronov won the men's event with a total of 271.12 points. Adam Rippon of the United States was second with 261.99, followed by Alexei Bychenko of Israel with 252.07.

World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the gold medal in pairs with 234.53. Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia were second, followed by compatriots Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov.

Three-time and reigning world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who won their seventh Skate Canada title last month with a record score, were first after the ice dance short program with 80.92. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States were second, with Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy in third.

"We had a quick week turnaround from Skate Canada to here, so we had to be strategic about the improvements we wanted to make in each program," Virtue said. "It certainly was a step forward in a lot of the elements and we are pleased with the attack that we had and with our technical proficiency."

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series consists of six events and culminates in the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan, next month. — AP