The gasps of despair that greeted Sui Wenjing’s fall following a mistimed landing in the side-by-side triple Salchows turned into cheers of joy as she and fellow Chinese Han Cong won the pairs title at the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships on Thursday.
Sui and Han did not let the crash landing derail their gold medal hopes as they capped a year of pain and injury by finally ending their quest for the world title.
The duo sat out the start of the season as Sui recovered from surgery on her right ankle and left foot.
The break seems to have rejuvenated their fortunes, because they finally got their hands on the gold medal with a personal best total of 232.06 points.
Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot went up a level on the podium from 12 months ago to claim silver with 230.30.
Evgeniya Tarasova, who needed 10 stitches before Wednesday’s short program after her partner’s skate sliced her leg during practice, and Vladimir Morozov ended Russia’s two-year barren run in the event by taking bronze.
Sui credited her time out this season for the Chinese duo’s recent run of good form.
Since their comeback last month the pair have enjoyed 100 percent success, having also won the Four Continents title.
“After the surgery something changed in me, as I started to enjoy performing more and more,” said Sui, who went on the ice knowing she had to overhaul a target of 149.07.
Her newfound joie de vivre helped Sui to immediately forget about her crash landing, which happened less than a minute into their free skate, and she floated through the rest of a free skate that included a quad twist lift.
When the final strains of Paul Simon’s Bridge Over Troubled Water died out, Han closed his eyes and held his partner in a tight embrace.
Savchenko, who won five world titles with former partner Robin Szolkowy, thought she had a fighting chance of grabbing the top prize after completing a solid, if not flawless, free skate.
Although her dreams were dashed, Massot was celebrating his best ever finish at the worlds.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
Neymar on Sunday claimed that he had been the victim of racism as he was one of five players sent off in a mass brawl at the end of Olympique de Marseille’s 1-0 win over Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. PSG’s Brazilian star appeared to accuse Alvaro Gonzalez of calling him a “monkey” in a series of furious tweets after he was sent off in stoppage-time for slapping the Marseille defender on the back of the head. “Look at the racism. That’s why I hit him,” Neymar, who was returning from COVID-19 quarantine, said as he left the pitch. “The only regret I