The streak continues for World champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White, who won gold today at the 2013 Hilton HHonors Skate America in Detroit, Michigan. They concluded the second day of competition today, after Japan's Tatsuki Machida ran away with the men's title.
VIDEOS: Free dance
There was never any doubt that Davis/White would be the champions once again after this competition was said and done. After all, they have won Skate America the past three years, have won the last 12 Grand Prix events that they entered, and have not been defeated since the 2012 World Championships.
Davis/White took the gold easily, winning by almost 20 points over Italy's Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte. The bronze was a tight battle between the two other America teams, with Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani standing on the podium ahead of Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue as a result of a higher overall base value. The Shibutanis overcame an early fluke fall and used a base value advantage of 2.50 to edge Hubbell/Donohue by 1.49.
PLAY-BY-PLAY/VIDEOS: Men's free
The men's event saw some movement during the free skate, but not at the very top. Machida proved that his short program success was no fluke, as he hit a clean quad toe and seven triples to win his first Skate America title with ease. His 265.38 was 24 points ahead of everyone else, and with that win, he has firmly established himself as a contender for one of Japan's three spots in Sochi in men's figure skating.
Scoring his best finish ever at a Grand Prix event was a confident Adam Rippon, the 2012 U.S. silver medalist. Though he fell on his opening quad lutz, he hit seven triples to move up from third to second with a 241.24. Prior to this competition, Rippon's best finish on the Grand Prix was third, once in 2009 and again in 2010.
Jumping from sixth to the bronze was U.S. champion Max Aaron, whose quads were not quite cooperating as he had hoped they would. He opened with a fall on a quad toe and had minor errors on his two quad salchows. But the base value he gained from those three quads, added to that of six clean triples, gave him the second best free skate score of the day and moved him up to bronze in his Grand Prix debut.
Japanese superstar Daisuke Takahashi stepped out of his opening quad toe, but the difference between fourth and the podium for him came later in the program, when he popped two of the easiest jumps in his program - a singled loop and a doubled salchow - and missed out on a bronze by just over two points. This marked the first time Takahashi has finished out of the medals at a non-Final Grand Prix event since 2009, when he was fourth at NHK Trophy.
The other American, Jason Brown, who was the only skater to not plan a quad in his free skate, dropped from second to fifth after struggling with his triple axel.
DANCE (final standings)
1. Meryl Davis/Charlie White USA - 188.23
2. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte ITA - 168.49
3. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani USA - 154.47
4. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue USA - 152.98
5. Cathy Reed/Chris Reed JPN - 136.13
6. Pernelle Carron/Lloyd Jones FRA - 135.70
7. Isabella Tobias/Deividas Stagniunas LTU - 134.67
8. Julia Zlobina/Alexei Sitnikov AZE - 133.76
MEN (final standings)
1. Tatsuki Machida JPN - 265.38
2. Adam Rippon USA - 241.24
3. Max Aaron USA - 238.36
4. Daisuke Takahashi JPN - 236.21
5. Jason Brown USA - 231.03
6. Takahiko Kozuka JPN - 230.95
7. Alexander Majorov SWE - 208.72
8. Artur Gachinski RUS - 208.16