Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lysacek claims top spot in latest rankings

American Evan Lysacek took over the top spot in the men's field this week after his gold-medal performance at the Grand Prix Final in Tokyo. The 24-year-old skater previously claimed victory this season at Skate America and came in second at the Cup of China. His 3975.70 points outpace his closest rival, Grand Prix Final silver medalist Nobunari Oda, by over 600 points. Lysacek was second in the standings last week behind Brian Joubert, who slipped to third after not competing in the Grand Prix Final.

Other notable shakeups in the men's standings include Yannick Ponsero's four-spot jump to No. 11, a climb made possible by his NRW Trophy win, and Yuzuru Hanyu's appearance in the top 20 based on his Junior Grand Prix Final title.

Yu-Na Kim remained entrenched in the top spot for the ladies this week, just as she has been since the start of the season. The Korean superstar won the Grand Prix Final gold last week despite losing the short program to Miki Ando, who stood pat at number four after capturing silver in Tokyo. Junior Grand Prix gold medalist Kanako Murakami experienced a big jump, moving from No. 20 to No. 15 with her win over the junior ladies. Ashley Wagner was also on the move after placing fourth in Tokyo. The American jumped three places to land at No. 11.

Unsurprisingly, Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao are the talk of the pairs division after crushing the competition en route to gold at the Grand Prix Final. The Chinese couple moved two places to No. 6 with their latest dominant performance. The 2006 Olympic bronze medalists set a new international judging system record with an astronomical tally of 214.25. And with Wenjing Sui and Cong Han, the Junior Grand Prix pairs winners, climbing to No. 12, it looks like China's proud tradition in pairs competition will continue without a hitch.

Ice Dancing
Meryl Davis and Charlie White remain at No. 1 after outdistancing longtime rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada in a battle royal for ice dancing gold at the Grand Prix Final. Virtue and Moir's silver-medal performance, however, allowed them to claim the No. 2 spot and pass Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, who withdrew from the Grand Prix Final for medical reasons. Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat climbed to No. 5 with a bronze medal in Tokyo, and U.S. junior competitors Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani moved up to No. 15 despite failing to take home gold at the Junior Grand Prix Final. The sibling team left Tokyo with bronze after battling a tough ice dancing field.


No comments: