Chinese figure skaters Su Wenjing and Han Cong continued their momentum in the pairs free at the Gran Premio d'Italia on Saturday, hitting 144.48 points to wrap up the title with 224.55 overall.
It was Han/Sui's back-to-back victory in the ISU Grand Prix as they also finished with the gold at the Skate Canada one week before. Another Chinese pair Peng Cheng/Jin Yang delivered a solid performance to win the silver medal with a total of 211.86.
Sui/Han completed a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe, triple Salchow, and throw triple flip in their program to "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The 2019 worlds champion had gone through a busy month as they had competed in three competitions in three cities.
"It's a hard month for us with three competitions and we had to change the time zones several times," said Sui. "But now we had overcome it and we are feeling very good now. Although there is a lot to be improved, I am really satisfied with our performance today."
Russia's Iuliia Artemeva/Mikhail Nazarychev claimed a bronze medal in their debut at the ISU Grand Prix.
Both the men's and women's competitions told the same story - the title favorites, who skated poorly in Friday's short program, found their form in the free skating, and finally wrap up the golds.
Japan's Yuma Kagiyama surged from seventh place in the short program to win the men's title with 278.02 points. The 2021 worlds silver medalist struck 197.49 in the free.
"Coming into the long program, I didn't even think about being on the podium or getting a good score, I was just planning to do my best," said the 18-year-old. "After the short program I couldn't change my mindset and even this morning I was feeling low in practice."
"My coach said let's forget about what we did last year - the position, the record - so I shook it off and though I'm starting from scratch and I'm doing my best and it helped," he continued.
Skating to "Schindler's List", Russia's Mikhail Kolyada won the silver while the bronze went to local favorite Daniel Grassl.
Russia's world champion Anna Shcherbakova, who finished third after the short program, clawed back to take her third Grand Prix gold with 236.78 points, including a personal best of 165.05 in free skating.
Shcherbakova's teammate Maiia Khromykh claimed the silver in her ISU Grand Prix debut while Belgium's Loena Hendrickx earned the bronze, the first ISU Grand Prix women's medal for her country.
The competition in ice dance came with no surprise as four-time worlds title winner Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron reigned supreme, even after an absence from any official event for over 22 months.
The French duo put out an impressive performance of their dance to "Elegie" by Gabriel Faure, which was highlighted by intricate footwork and beautiful lifts. A combined score of 220.06 points was enough for them to add one more Grand Prix title in their glory book. Enditem