Cheng Peng and Yang Jin lead the three Pair teams after the Short Program concluded at 2020 Shiseido Cup of China in Chongqing on Friday night. Yuchen Wang and Yihang Huang are in second, followed by newcomers Daizifei Zhu and Yuhang Liu.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events are primarily domestically run events with domestic skaters and skaters who train in the host country or respective geographical region. As a result, all competitors in this event represent China.
Peng and Jin had a rough start when she fell on the side-by-side triple toes, but the 2020 Four Continents silver medalists recovered to produce a throw triple loop, triple twist and good spins and footwork – all of which received high grades of execution (GOE). They were warded 75.62 points for their routine to music from Somewhere in Time.
“This is the first time we competed this new short program and overall we are satisfied with it,” Jin said. “We did it only two months ago and we still continue to make some changes.”
“I am not so happy about my jump as I made a mistake,” Peng added of the fall. “We have worked a lot on the jumps and this mistake has not happened in a long time. It came as a surprise to me.”
Performing to “Go Now” by Adam Levine, Wang and Huang opened with a good level 3 triple twist, but she stepped out of the side-by-side triple toes. Nevertheless, the throw triple Salchow was solid and the level 3 lift received positive GOES. The national junior champions scored 63.56 points.
“We are competing at the Cup of China for the first time and we were able to show our level from training,” Huang said. “There were still some mistakes and we were a bit nervous.”
Zhu and Liu showed a level 1 triple twist, throw triple loop, and side-by-side double Axels. The group 3 lift was graded a level 4 while the spins and footwork were level 3. They were awarded 54.37 points for their performance to “Never Tear Us Apart” by Bishop Briggs.
“It was quite OK for us,” said Liu. “We also have a new choreography and made some changes in the step sequence.”
“There is still room to grow,” Zhu added. “I am happy with how my partner did and he helped me to overcome my nervousness.”