USA Men’s Basketball Team Drops FIBA World Rankings
ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates led a group of five American figure skaters to qualify for the December Grand Prix Final after the NHK Trophy event ended on Saturday.
Chock and Bates, three-time world medallists, finished second to Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen at NHK in Japan, the fifth of six events in the Grand Prix series that serve as qualifiers for the final, which takes the top six per discipline of the season.
The final is often a taste of the world championships in March.
Chock and Bates qualified for the finals by combining their victory at Skate America in October with their second place finish at NHK.
They became the first American skaters in any discipline to qualify for seven Grand Prix finals (if last year is included, when the final was canceled after the qualifying series ended). They will equal the American record of six Grand Prix final starts held by the 2014 Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Bates, 33, broke the record for oldest American to qualify for a final held by a pair skater Todd Sable of the 1996-97 season. Bates is already the only American figure skater to have competed in four Winter Olympics and the oldest to win a medal (in the team event).
Chock and Bates will seek their first Grand Prix Final title, and the biggest international title of their careers, after silver medals at the event in 2014, 2015 and 2019.
They rank fifth in the world this season with the best total score (209.13 points). Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirierwho has not faced Chock and Bates this season, ranks first with 215.70 points.
None of February’s Olympic medalists will compete this fall: Frenchman Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron at least take this season off. Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov are banned indefinitely, along with all Russian skaters, due to the war in Ukraine. Americans madison hubbell and Zachary Donohue retired.
The NHK Trophy airs Sunday on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.
MORE: NHK Trophy results | Season Release Schedule
Also Saturday, world champion Shoma Uno of Japan won the men’s event with the second best total score in the world this season (279.76). only american Ilia Malinin scored highest this season (280.37 to win Skate America).
Uno and Malinin will face off for the first time this fall in the Grand Prix Final, should Malinin get a decent result in his second Grand Prix start next week in Finland.
Still at NHK, Yelim Kim selected world champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan becomes the second South Korean to win a Grand Prix after the 2010 Olympic champion Yuna Kim.
NHK results also secured the Junior World Championship title Isabelle Levito secured a place in the final thanks to its second places in two previous Grands Prix. Levito, 15, is the youngest American to qualify for a final since Caroline Zhang in 2007.
American compatriots Star Andrews and Amber Glenn followed their first Grand Prix podiums earlier this season by finishing ninth and 11th at NHK. They needed podiums to stay in contention to qualify for the final.
from Japan Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won the NHK Pairs title, improving on their world best score this season. Americans Emily Chan and spencer howe were second to join the Japanese in the Grand Prix Final. Americans Brandon Frazier and Alexa Knierimworld champions and Canadians Deanna Stellato – Dudek and Maxime Deschamps qualified for the final earlier this month.
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