Wang, Liu win ice dancing gold medal at Asian Winter Games

By Jim Armstrong, Associated Press | Posted - Feb. 24, 2017 at 5:26 a.m.

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SAPPORO, Japan (AP) — Skating to "New York, New York," Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu held onto their lead from the short dance to win the gold medal in ice dancing on Friday at the Asian Winter Games.

The Chinese pair combined intricate step sequences and powerful lifts to receive 98.26 points in the free dance for a combined total of 164.28.

"This is our first Asian Winter Games and to win the gold in our debut at the tournament is very satisfying," Liu said. "Our coach in the U.S. has taught us so much — not least of which the importance of enjoying skating — and we were able to express that today."

Chris Reed and Kana Muramoto of Japan were second with 159.14 points and Chinese pair Chen Hong and Zhao Yan took bronze with 142.42 points.

Wang and Liu were seventh at last week's Four Continents in Gangneung, South Korea.

Jin Boyang of China led after the men's short program. Boyang had two quadruple jumps in his Spiderman routine to score 92.86 points. Shoma Uno of Japan two-footed his opening quad flip and was second with 92.43 points while Yan Han of China was third with 91.56.

Elsewhere at the Asian Games, a fine-tuning exercise for athletes preparing for the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next February, Yuki Kobayashi won her third gold medal when she helped Japan win the women's 4x5-kilometer relay in cross-country skiing.

The team of Kobayashi, Hikari Miyazaki, Kozue Takizawa and Chisa Obayashi won in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 16.6 seconds.

China was second in 1:08:41.4, and South Korea was third in 1:09:13.3.

Kobayashi, who won the 5K classical and 10K free earlier in the week, posted the fastest time of 15:51.6 in the third leg.

Akira Lenting, the men's 10-kilometer classical winner, led Japan to gold in the men's 4x7.5-kilomter relay in 1:27:30.3. The Japanese relay beat Kazakhstan by 19.1 seconds.

Japan also won gold in the biathlon and moguls. Mikito Tachizaki won the men's biathlon 12.5-kilometer pursuit in 38:47.2, followed by Yan Savitskiy of Kazakhstan and Kim Yong-gyu of South Korea.

Ikuma Horishima won the dual moguls, beating Japanese teammate Daichi Hara in the final, while Yuliya Galysheva of Kazakhstan beat Arisa Murata of Japan to win the women's dual moguls gold.

In ski jumping, Naoki Nakamura led Japan to a 1-2 finish in the men's large hill individual event.

Nakamura had jumps of 141.5 and 123 meters to earn 255.3 points ahead of teammate Yuken Iwasa and Marat Zhaparov of Kazakhstan.

Iwasa leapt 133.5 and 124 meters for silver with 247.7 points while Zhaparov took the bronze with 245.7 points after jumps of 130.5 and 127 meters.

The men's curling title went to China, which beat Japan 11-4 with two ends to spare.

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Jim Armstrong


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