Jeremy Abbott of U.S. wins Cup of China

Updated: November 5, 2011, 12:23 PM ET
Associated Press

SHANGHAI -- Jeremy Abbott of the United States rallied from a fall on his opening jump to edge Nobunari Oda of Japan for the title at the Cup of China on Saturday.

Carolina Kostner of Italy wobbled on a couple of landings, but held on to beat Mirai Nagasu of the United States. Nagasu, who trailed Kostner by less than a point after the short program, landed five triple jumps, putting pressure on the Italian to land her six planned triples.

Two-time U.S. champion Abbott finished with an overall total of 228.49 points, just 1.38 ahead of Oda.

Abbott was third following Friday's short program, but took gold after disastrous performances by the two men ahead of him, Russia's Artur Gachinski and Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu.

Song Nan of China was third, and Hanyu had two falls in his performance to finish fourth.

Gachinski, leader after the short, fell on his opening quad toe loop, stumbled on the landing of his second jump, a triple axel, and popped a triple salchow to tumble to fifth overall.

Russia swept the ice dancing and pairs events. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev skated a flawless free dance to take the title with 163.52 points, finishing well ahead of Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States in second with 148.40.

Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, the 2010 world bronze medalists, easily won the pairs competition with 186.74 points. Kavaguti made the duo's only mistake when she put a hand on the ice while landing a throw jump.

Abbott, who did not match Gachinski and Hanyu by doing a quadruple jump in the short program, fell on his opening jump in the free skate, a quad toe loop. He also singled a triple axel, but didn't take another spill.

"The first thing you learn in skating is to fall down and stand back up," Abbott said. "You never want to fall in a competition, but I guess mine came off the top of my program and if I were to let it affect me, then I have a whole four minutes and 15 seconds of torture left so I try to just put it behind me."

Kostner bobbled the landing of her second jump, a triple flip, and didn't perform a planned triple-triple combination. Toward the end of the program, she wavered on another landing and singled a double loop at the end of the combination.

However, she didn't have any falls in the performance, giving her just enough to beat the American, 182.14 to 173.22

Kostner, who has won a silver and two bronze medals at the world championships, made up for a close loss at Skate America two weeks ago when American Alissa Czisny beat her by 0.13 for the title.

With the win, Kostner also became the first skater to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix Final next month in Quebec City, Canada. Kostner said she was happy with the way she's been skating this year, especially coming after a 16th-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

"After Vancouver it was a big question for me if I should just go on skating because it was quite a bad experience," she said. "When I took a longer break, I just realized that I loved skating."

Nagasu was pleased to improve on last year's fourth place at the Cup of China.

"The relief I'm feeling right now is a really nice feeling," Nagasu said. "When I've come to China previously, I do really well in the short program, like first-place good, and then drop to like fourth place. So to break that curse is such a huge relief to me."

The 15-year-old world junior champion, Adelina Sotnikova of Russia, finished third after an error-plagued program.

"I'm not too pleased with my performance today, but I'm happy I did the triple lutz-triple loop combination," she said through an interpreter. "Some other elements unfortunately didn't work out and next time I want to do all that I have planned."

Zhang Kexin of China was fourth and Christina Gao of the United States was fifth.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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