China’s Sui and Han narrowly win pairs at Four Continents

China’s Sui and Han narrowly win pairs at Four Continents

ANAHEIM, California
China’s Sui and Han narrowly win pairs at Four Continents

China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han had a successful start to their season. The 2018 Olympic silver medalists edged Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro by six hundredths of a point on Feb. 9 to win the pairs competition at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

Sui and Han were sidelined most of the season as Sui was recovering from a stress fracture in her right foot. They were first in the free skate with 136.92 points and finished with a total of 211.11.

Sui said this is only the third time they have performed their long program and that there is still a lot of work remaining before next month’s World Championships in Saitama, Japan.

“There are problems like difficulty level, quality ... To be honest, there are still some technical elements that we haven’t put into the program,” Han said. “This competition is a good motivation for us to reflect and improve before the World Championships.”

Moore-Towers and Marinaro, who were first after the short program on Feb. 8, also skated well with 136.39 points, but the Chinese pair had higher scores in program components. The Canadians finished with 211.05 points, but also struggled on a lift late in their program.

“We had a similar circumstance at our Canadian Championships a couple of weeks ago. When we train it in practice at home it doesn’t go this way so it’s a bit of a head-scratcher for us,” Moore-Towers said.

“It was one of those things that happened and we’re not really sure why, but we will make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

China’s Cheng Peng and Yang Jin were third. American pairs finished fourth through sixth, led by reigning national champions Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc. Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier were fifth, followed by 2018 Four Continents champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea.

The men’s free skate is slated for Saturday night. American Vincent Zhou led after the short program.