Madison Chock, Evan Bates Extend Win Streak At Grand Prix Finland To Qualify For Finals
Madison Chock and Evan Bates extend win streakand won their fifth straight ice dance title at Grand Prix Finland, which put them in the running for the Grand Prix Final in December.
The Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen came in second with 123.85 points, after Friday's rhythm dance and Saturday's free dance. Chock and Bates beat them by 209.46 points. That's how much better Chock and Bates were at the free dance.
In a dazzling display of skill and artistry, world champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates continued their reign in ice dance, capturing their fifth consecutive title at Grand Prix Finland and setting the stage for a highly anticipated showdown at the upcoming Grand Prix Final in December.
Chock and Bates mesmerized the audience with their performances, totaling an impressive 209.46 points between Friday's rhythm dance and Saturday's free dance. The dynamic duo prevailed by a margin of 3.14 points over formidable competitors Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen of Canada. The victory, although not entirely mistake-free, showcased the risks the champions are willing to take, with Bates expressing confidence that these risks will ultimately pay off. Bates said, as reported by the International Skating Union:
Might not have been mistake-free today, but I think the risks that we’re taking are going to pay off in the end.- Evan Bates
As Chock and Bates head into the Grand Prix Final, they find themselves ranked third in the world this season by their best total score, trailing behind Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier and Italians Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri. The Final, featuring the top six per discipline from the fall Grand Prix Series, is expected to be a fierce battle, with the winner likely emerging as the frontrunner for next March's world championships.
In other thrilling performances at Grand Prix Finland, two-time world champion Kaori Sakamoto dominated the women's event, claiming victory by a staggering 15 points over compatriot Rion Sumiyoshi. Sakamoto heads into the Grand Prix Final as the top seed, poised to make her mark on the global stage.
American skater Amber Glenn secured the bronze medal, matching her best Grand Prix finish and delivering a personal-best free skate that allowed her to leap from 11th place after Friday's short program. The women's competition showcased the fierce competition and depth of talent.
In the men's category, world junior champion Kao Miura of Japan earned his first senior Grand Prix title in a closely contested battle. Despite being outscored in the free skate by countryman Shun Sato, Miura held on to win by a narrow margin of 1.22 points. With this triumph and his previous runner-up finish at Skate Canada, Miura has earned a spot in the Grand Prix Final, ranking fifth in the world this season by his best total score.
Germans Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin delivered a stunning performance, rallying from third place after the short program to win the pairs' title in their Grand Prix debut, marking their first season competing together. Their victory, edging out world bronze medalists Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii of Italy by 4.12 points, positions them as strong contenders for the Grand Prix Final.
The excitement continues with live coverage of the NHK Trophy on Peacock next Friday and Saturday. The event will feature Olympic silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama and two-time world champion Shoma Uno, both representing Japan, adding to the anticipation as the figure skating season unfolds.
With their gold medals, Madison Chock and Evan Bates remain undefeated in 2023 and will be skating in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in December. Chock and Bates won their 18th Grand Prix medal. They came in first place with a total score of 209.46 and beat Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen in the free dance with a score of 123.85.
When Chock and Bates compete at the Grand Prix Final for the seventh time, they will be the team or skater who has competed at the event the most times in U.S. Figure Skating history.