DETROIT — Reigning world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the ice dance competition Saturday at Skate America, the first of six stages of the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
The Americans were the favorites coming into the free dance portion after finishing first in Friday’s short dance at Joe Louis Arena. They earned 188.23 points to finish 20 points ahead of runner-up Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy. American compatriots Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani finished third at 154.47. Davis and White, who train in the Motor City, claimed the ice dance title for the fourth consecutive year. They extended their win streak in the Grand Prix to 13 straight victories. U.S. skaters Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue finished fourth, while Japanese duo Cathy Reed and Chris Reed placed fifth. Davis and White, who won the silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games, are in good shape heading into the Sochi Winter Olympics which are just four months away. Their rivals for gold include Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who will start their season next week at Skate Canada. Virtue and Moir won the gold in Vancouver. Japan’s Tatsuki Machida defeated U.S. skater Adam Rippon to claim the men’s title. Machida won the bronze at this event in 2012. Like Davis and White, Machida helped set the stage for his overall victory by winning the short program skate.
Machida finished with 265.38 points, while Rippon had 241.24 points. Earlier Saturday, former world champion Mao Asada, of Japan, finished first in the ladies short program. The 23-year-old Asada scored 73.18 points to beat runner-up Ashley Wagner (69.26) of the United States. Asada, who has skated for nearly a decade on the international stage, performed her short program to Chopin’s “Nocturne.” Her program included a triple Axel and a successful triple loop-double loop. In the pairs, Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov won the short program over Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch. The pairs and ladies free skate takes place Sunday.