2014 World Figure Skating Championships: Results, Updated Schedule Info and More
The world's best figure skaters took to the ice in Saitama, Japan for the 2014 World Figure Skating Championships with everything on the line.
The action began on March 24 and continued until the final event on March 29.
There was no doubt that the tension was through the roof for these competitors as they began to gear up for the big stage, and the winners from Saitama saw their way into the record books.
With many of the best skaters motivated by their performances—good or bad—from Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and others with a chip on their shoulder after not making it there, the circumstances helped make for some exciting and highly competitive action.
Let's break down all of the results from Japan.
Note: Stats and information via IceNetwork.com, unless otherwise noted.
March 29 Schedule and Results
|Ice Dance free skate||11:30 p.m. on 3/28|
|Ladies free skate||4:15 a.m.|
Ice Dance Final Standings
|1||Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte||Italy||175.43||1||4|
|2||Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje||Canada||175.41||2||3|
|3||Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat||France||175.37||3||2|
|4||Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov||Russia||174.38||5||1|
|5||Madison Chock/Evan Bates||USA||167.59||4||5|
|6||Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani||USA||158.57||6||6|
|7||Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin||Russia||155.35||8||8|
|8||Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier||Canada||153.86||10||7|
|9||Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland||Great Britain||153.66||9||9|
|10||Alexandra Paul/Mitchell Islam||Canada||148.76||11||10|
*Standings courtesy of ISUResults.com
It is unclear what the future holds for the Olympic gold medal ice dance pairing of Meryl Davis and Charlie White, but if retirement from competition is on the horizon, then the World Championships offered a glimpse at the next crop of ice dancing stars.
With Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada potentially on the brink of retirement along with Davis and White opting not to compete at the worlds, the field was wide open and gold was there for the taking.
The Russian pair of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov was favored after taking bronze at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia, but a disappointing short dance put them well off the pace. Even having the top free dance wasn't enough to put them on the podium as the favorites finished a disappointing fourth.
Italians Anna Cappellini and Lucas Lanotte of Italy were the main beneficiaries as they went on to capture gold. They were followed by Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada, with France's Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat taking bronze.
Even without Davis and White present, the United States fared well. Madison Chock and Evan Bates followed up a strong eighth-place showing in Sochi with a fifth-place finish, while Maia and Alex Shibutani came in sixth.
There is no doubt that ice dance is at its best when Davis and White are in the fold, but the World Championships proved that the level of competition is continuing to rise.
Women's Singles Final Standings
|9||So Youn Park||South Korea||176.61||13||9|
*Standings courtesy of ISUResults.com
After a disappointing non-podium finish at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Mao Asada bounced back in front of her home fans as she captured gold in women's figure skating at the 2014 World Championships.
Asada was tops in both the short program and free skate, and there was never much doubt regarding her place on top. It was a heartwarming moment of redemption for Asada as the 23-year-old Japanese star reasserted herself as one of the best female figure skaters in the world in front of her home-country fans.
Asada received plenty of praise from her peers, including Russian figure skating legend Evgeni Plushenko, who marveled at her performance.
"Congratulations to three-time world champion Mao Asada," Plushenko tweeted. "I am so proud of you, thank you for pushing our sport to the next level."
Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia took silver after captivating the audience in Sochi, while Carolina Kostner of Italy added a World Championship bronze to the Olympic bronze she capture in February.
Although no Americans finished on the podium, they acquitted themselves quite well. Gracie Gold placed fifth, Ashley Wagner came in seventh and Polina Edmunds nabbed eighth.
While American women's figure skating isn't quite back to an elite level, it certainly seems to be trending that way. According to Lynn Rutherford of IceNetwork.com, the Americans finished well enough to garner three spots at the 2015 World Championships, which is an important accomplishment.
Olympic gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova and silver medalist Kim Yuna did not compete in Japan, but the amazing performances that were churned out truly speak to the level of depth in women's figure skating right now.
March 28 Schedule and Results
|Ice Dance short program||9:50 p.m. on 3/27|
|Men's free skate||4:10 a.m.|
*all times ET
Men's Final Results
|10||Tomas VERNER||Czech Republic||223.14|
The hometown fans in Japan had to be more than pleased to see Yuzuru Hanyu and Tatsuki Machida stand on the podium together in an exciting one-two finish in the men's singles event.
Hanyu entered the day in third place after a mediocre short program, but he dazzled to his performance while "Romeo and Juliet" played over the speakers. The Olympic champion was able to narrowly secure first place with a three-tenths advantage over his compatriot.
According to The Canadian Press, Hanyu told reporters after winning the gold, "That was very close. I work hard to become a skater who can always end with strong performances. I felt the responsibility to win the event."
The Japanese star became the first man in 12 years to win both and Olympic title and a World Championship title in the same year.
While Machida will take home the silver, he should still feel proud of an excellent performance that came just short of winning.
American Jeremy Abbott finished in fifth place in a solid all-around effort after a disappointing week at Sochi.
Ice Dance Short Program Standings
|1||Anna CAPPELLINI and Luca LANOTTE||Italy||69.70|
|2||Kaitlyn WEAVER and Andrew POJE||Canada||69.20|
|3||Nathalie PECHALAT and Fabian BOURZAT||France||68.20|
|4||Madison CHOCK and Evan BATES||USA||67.71|
|5||Elena ILINYKH and Nikita KATSALAPOV||Russia||65.67|
|6||Maia SHIBUTANI and Alex SHIBUTANI||USA||63.55|
|7||Nelli ZHIGANSHINA and Alexander GAZSI||Germany||62.27|
|8||Victoria SINITSINA and Ruslan ZHIGANSHIN||Russia||62.11|
|9||Penny COOMES and Nicholas BUCKLAND||Great Britain||61.21|
|10||Piper GILLES and Paul POIRIER||Canada||59.42|
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte have the lead after the first day of competition, but it is only be the slimmest of margins. The Italian pair had the highest technical score in the short program and they used it to keep a half-point lead over Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada.
In reality, this race is wide open with Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat right behind the leaders in third place and Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates sitting in fourth.
At least the field has to be excited that they do not have to compete against Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won the Sochi Olympics as well at the 2012 World Championships. This certainly makes it easier to climb the ranks.
Still, each group will have to provide a flawless showing on Saturday to pull ahead in this close competition.
March 27 Schedule and Results
|Pairs free skate||2:55 a.m.|
|Ladies short program||9:50 p.m.|
*all times ET
Pairs Final Results
|1||Aliona SAVCHENKO and Robin SZOLKOWY||Germany||224.88|
|2||Ksenia STOLBOVA and Fedor KLIMOV||Russia||215.92|
|3||Meagan DUHAMEL and Eric RADFORD||Canada||210.84|
|4||Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS and Dylan MOSCOVITCH||Canada||205.52|
|5||Cheng PENG and Hao ZHANG||China||194.83|
|6||Wenjing SUI and Cong HAN||China||192.10|
|7||Vera BAZAROVA and Yuri LARIONOV||Russia||189.44|
|8||Julia ANTIPOVA and Nodari MAISURADZE||Russia||186.22|
|9||Stefania BERTON and Ondrej HOTAREK||Italy||184.28|
|10||Vanessa JAMES and Morgan CIPRES||France||183.90|
Pairs Free Skate
In the pairs free skate, the German tandem of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy that took home their fifth career championship since 2008. The tandem is one of the most decorated pairs in the sport’s history.
Szolkowy spoke to the Associated Press (via ESPN) following the victory, “A fifth title is quite amazing. We did a very good performance yesterday and were very good today."
The German team skated to the music from “The Nutcracker” and earned an impressive 224.88 points. The Russian team of Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov were forced to settle for second with a total of 215.92 points.
Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford finished third with 210.84 points.
Ladies Short Program Standings
|9||Mae Berenice MEITE||France||61.62|
Mao Asada not only took the lead with her short program performance, she set a new world record with 78.66 points on the first day. The Japanese star had a disappointing showing at the Olympics thanks to a fall in the short program, but she was excellent this time around with a nearly flawless routine.
She will now hope to finish off with a gold medal in front of her home fans.
However, she will have some tough competition from Carolina Kostner, who is right on her tail with 77.24 points. The Italian won a bronze medal in Sochi but she has been even better at the World Championships in her career, earning five medals including one gold in 2012.
Also in contention is Russian youngster Julia Lipnitskaia, one of the favorites in Sochi before struggling in the individual event. She is a few points off the lead but has a chance to make up ground with a great free skate.
March 26 Schedule and Results
|Men's short program||3 a.m.|
|Pairs short program||10:30 p.m.|
*all times ET
Men's Short Recap
Japan's Tatsuki Machida was nearly flawless in the men's short program on Wednesday. He posted a score 98.21 to sit atop the standings. With a score of 96.42, Spain's Javier Fernandez is right on his heels.
The pair have a little distance on the rest of the field.
Sochi gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu sits in third after a score of 91.24
It was impossible to see Machida's performance coming. The 24-year-old came in fifth in Sochi. More than that, he is also skating in his first worlds, and he beat his previous personal best in the short program by 7.03 points.
In his routine, he effortlessly landed a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a masterful triple Axel.
This allowed him to upstage countryman Hanyu. The Olympic champ underrotated a quad toe loop and fell. It was a setback, but certainly not one he can't overcome.
March 25 Schedule and Results
With Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov not competing, the pairs competition in Saitama figured to come down to Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov and bronze medalists Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy.
The short program stuck partly to that script.
With a beautiful routine, Savchenko and Szolkowy are in first, but Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, who finished a disappointing seventh in Sochi, crashed the party with a 77.01 to place them in second.
As the last routine of the day, they pushed Stolbova and Klimov into third.
Let's take a look at the 16 teams that qualified for Wednesday's free skate event. You can find the complete results for all 23 pairs here, courtesy of ISUResults.com:
|Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy||GER||79.02|
|2||Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford||CAN||77.01|
|3||Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov||RUS||76.15|
|4||Wenjing Sui/Cong Han||CHN||72.24|
|5||Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang||CHN||71.68|
|6||Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch||CAN||69.31|
|7||Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov||RUS||67.41|
|8||Julia Antipova/Nodari Maisuradze||RUS||66.78|
|9||Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres||FRA||64.01|
|10||Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek||ITA||62.73|
|11||Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir||USA||60.60|
|12||Paige Lawrence/Rudi Swiegers||CAN||59.84|
|13||Maylin Wende/Daniel Wende||GER||58.19|
|14||Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay||USA||57.59|
|15||Daria Popova/Bruno Massot||FRA||52.50|
|16||Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise||ITA||51.38|
With so little separation between the three pairs at the top, this thing is still wide open.
As you may remember, Stolbova and Klimov finished second in the free skate segment in Sochi, surpassing Savchenko and Szolkowy, who slipped to fourth, for silver. Duhamel and Radford, meanwhile, dropped to seventh.
Still, no matter what happened in Sochi, it would be fairly surprising if the veteran Germans didn't come away with their fifth world title.
American champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir are all but out of medal contention, but after finishing 11th in the short program, they have a wonderful opportunity to improve immensely on last year's 13th-place finish at the world championships.