Han Cong and Sui Wenjing on Saturday captured the fifth pair skating title at the ISU Four Continents Championships in Anaheim, California. The 2018 PyeongChang silver medalists, who ranked second after the short program, gave an impressive performance in the free skate to prevail by just 0.06 points.
Sui and Han are the penultimate couples to perform. Skating to "Rain, In Your Black Eyes" by Ezio Bosso, the pair opened with an impeccable triple twist and a triple toe-double toe loop combination. But Sui, previously suffering from multiple injuries, fell on an under-rotated triple Salchow. She later recovered and landed a triple flip.
The pair finished with a score of 136.92 points in the free skate and with a total of 211.11 points, Han and Sui beat Canadian pair Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro to win for the fifth time. Compatriots Peng Cheng and Jin Yang finished with the bronze medal. "This is a very hard year for us, getting back to the rink. Everything is a challenge for us.
At first, when we went back to the competition, we actually felt that we were not ready. So today I think it's a lucky day because it's during Chinese New Year. So we want to thank all of the audience for supporting us.'' Han said after receiving the gold medal.
"This is our fifth time to win the title. But also, it's our third time coming back to the ice rink. Coming back is very hard for us, and I want to say thank you to everyone who supported us." Sui said emotionally after the awarding ceremony.
In the women's singles, China's 16-year-old Chen Hongyi finished in 14th place. The youngster was the last to perform in the free skate in Group B. Chen started well, but later made mistakes in her jumping. Chen received 96.06 points from the judges and finished with a combined score of 150.50 points.
Previously injured Japanese Rika Kihira made mistakes in her short program routine and entered fifth, but the teenager, who is also 16 years old, delivered a perfect performance in the free skate and received 153.14 to top the standings with 221.99 in total.
Kazakhstan's Elizabet Tursynbaeva took silver, and Japan's Mai Mihara won bronze.