Medvedeva wins NHK Trophy to secure Grand Prix berth

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OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva won the NHK Trophy on Saturday to secure a place in the International Skating Union's Grand Prix final.

The Russian, who was first after the short program, recovered from a shaky start to win the free skate for 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 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."

World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the gold medal in pairs with 234.53 points.

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 points.

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.

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