Canadians Moore-Towers, Marinaro win pairs bronze at Cup of China

Kirsten Moore-Towers, left, and Michael Marinaro of Canada compete in the Pairs Short Program during the Audi Cup of China ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017 at the Capital Gymnasium in Beijing, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

BEIJING — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro produced a personal best free skate to win the bronze medal on Saturday in pairs to conclude the Cup of China figure skating competition – the third stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

It was a 1-2 Chinese finish. World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han took the gold with 231.07 and Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang were second at 205.54. Moore-Towers and Marinaro, fourth after the short program, followed at 194.52.

"We did a clean skate although we missed some levels," said Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont. "So to still get a personal best, we feel pretty good about that."

It was a second career Grand Prix medal for the Canadian pair and first since 2015.

"We definitely know we have more than that," added Marinaro, from Sarnia, Ont. "We’re going to go back for the next three weeks and plan to put out an even higher number for our next event."

In women’s competition, Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., dropped from first after the short to sixth overall.

"It was nowhere near where it was when I competed it three weeks ago," said Daleman, 19. "There’s a lot more room for improvement. All I can do is go back home and get ready for Skate America (her next event)."

Alina Zagitova of Russia took the gold, Wakaba Higuchi of Japan was second and Elena Radionova of Russia third.

There was a lot of bouncing around in the men’s standings after the free skate. Mikhail Kolyada of Russia jumped from third to first for the gold. Boyang Jin of China remained second and Max Aaron of the U.S. surged from fifth to third winning the free skate.

Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., moved from 10th to eighth with the seventh best long.

"The free program was more of an indication of how I’ve been practising," said Reynolds. "It’s been going very well in training but just a bit disappointed today with my opening loop attempt in competition."

The next stop on the circuit is the NHK Trophy November 10-12 in Osaka, Japan.

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