White and Davis of US win ice dance at NHK Trophy
Two-time world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States won the ice dance event at the NHK Trophy on Sunday.
Davis and White, who had a comfortable nine-point lead after Saturday's short dance, finished with 186.65 points after the free dance, more than 26 points ahead over Italy's Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, who were second. Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States were third with 157.58 points.
Davis and White, who also won Skate America, turned in a strong performance of their ''Scheherazade'' free dance that featured innovative lifts and intricate footwork.
''Charlie and I were very pleased with our skate today.'' Davis said. ''We're feeling the growth since Skate America. We've been working very hard all season, including in between the two competitions. We are really excited about the direction our free dance is taking.''
With Sunday's win, Davis and White secured a berth at the Dec. 5-8 Grand Prix final in Fukuoka, Japan. The Americans have dominated the Grand Prix series for the past five seasons, including a record four consecutive victories at the GP final.
''We put a lot of pressure on ourselves every year,'' White said. ''With this being an Olympic year we expect to win the gold medal and this was an important step for us.''
The NHK Trophy is the fourth of six events in the International Skating Union's Grand Prix series. The next event is the Trophee Bompard in Paris Nov. 15-17.