It's grand, alright. Japan's Mao Asada took gold today at the 2013 Hilton HHonors Skate America and became the first woman to win all seven of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating events at least once. Earlier in the day, World champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov racked up another world record to win their ninth competition in a row.
PLAY-BY-PLAY/VIDEOS: Ladies' free
Asada brought a four-point lead from the short program and extended her advantage with a free skate that included four clean triples. Though she started with a fall on an underrotated triple axel, she kept her composure and skated a solid free skate that earned her a total score of 204.55, giving her the win by ten points.
The only other skater or team to accomplish the same feat is Xue Shen/Hongbo Zhao, who also won all seven of the current Grand Prix events and the Bofrost Cup, which was on the Grand Prix lineup before Cup of China replaced it in the early 2000s.
Taking the silver was two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, who landed a clean triple flip-triple toe. She had two underrotation calls, one on a triple loop and another on a triple lutz, which kept her from being more competitive with Asada. But her strong free skate was more than enough to comfortably give her the silver over Russian phenom Elena Radionova. Radionova recovered from a fall on her opening triple lutz to win the bronze in her first appearance on the senior Grand Prix circuit. Teammate Elizaveta Tuktamisheva vaulted up from ninth to finish fourth, and American Samantha Cesario was fifth in her Grand Prix debut.
PLAY-BY-PLAY/VIDEOS: Pairs free
In the pairs' competition, it was dominance from Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov, who recorded their fifth and sixth world record scores in two competitions with a flawless free skate that earned them a total score of 237.71. Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch made one minor mistake - Moscovitch put his foot down on his solo triple salchow - but that did not prevent them from scoring career-best free skate and total scores. They finished with the silver, their sixth career Grand Prix medal.
Former World junior silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov won the bronze over Americans Caydee Denney/John Coughlin, who were able to move up from sixth to fourth.
LADIES (final standings)
1. Mao Asada JPN - 204.55
2. Ashley Wagner USA - 193.81
3. Elena Radionova RUS - 183.95
4. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva RUS - 176.75
5. Samantha Cesario USA - 167.98
6. Mae Berenice Meite FRA - 167.35
7. Valentina Marchei ITA - 156.79
8. Viktoria Helgesson SWE - 152.34
9. Elene Gedevanishvili GEO - 148.94
10. Caroline Zhang USA - 110.12
PAIRS (final standings)
1. Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov RUS - 237.71
2. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch CAN - 208.45
3. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov RUS - 187.35
4. Caydee Denney/John Coughlin USA - 182.43
5. Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek ITA - 180.27
6. Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir USA - 177.11
7. Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay USA - 168.42
8. Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro CAN - 146.28