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Davis, White whip up 14th straight Grand Prix win

Americans, Italians make Grand Prix Final; Shibs bag NHK bronze
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World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. captured the gold without much trouble, collecting 186.65 total points en route to a 26.59-point victory. Their 112.95 segment score was a new personal best. -Getty Images

The 2013 NHK Trophy concluded in Tokyo on Sunday with the free dance. Yoyogi National Stadium, where the event was held, was filled to capacity on all three days of competition, and a total of approximately 27,750 spectators followed the events live.

Davis, White dance away with gold

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of Team USA danced to the gold medal. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy claimed the silver, and the bronze went to Americans Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani.

Davis and White turned in a strong performance of their "Scheherazade" free dance, which featured innovative lifts and intricate footwork. The reigning world champions earned a Level 4 for the lifts, twizzles, spins and circular step sequence and a Level 3 for the diagonal footwork to post a new personal best of 112.95 points. Overall, they accumulated 186.65 points.

"Charlie and I were very pleased with our skate today," Davis said. "I think we're feeling the growth since Skate America. We've been working very hard all season, including in between the two competitions. I think we are really excited about the direction our free dance is taking.

"We certainly feed off the energy of the Japanese audiences and can't thank them enough for their support, enthusiasm and appreciation for what we put out on the ice."

Dancing to "Barber of Seville," Cappellini and Lanotte produced five Level 4 elements, but the spin and the diagonal steps were rated a Level 2. The Italian champions scored 95.48 points, which added up to 160.06 points overall.

"We had some tough skates this week," Cappellini said. "It was a little hard; maybe we had jet lag problems or the tiredness was catching up with us. Of course, we are happy with the result and we can't wait to go home, take some days off to regroup a little bit and start working hard for the Grand Prix Final to end this Grand Prix season as best as possible."

The Shibutanis entertained the crowd with their program to a Michael Jackson medley. The siblings picked up a Level 4 for all elements but the footwork and achieved a new season's best with 94.49 points, which added up to 157.58 total points.

"We very happy with our performance today," Maia said. "It felt great to build on what we did at Skate America. The crowd was absolutely incredible. We have two programs that we really love this year, so that makes a world of difference, and this has been such a successful Grand Prix season for us."

Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia remained in fourth place with a dance to "Swan Lake" (155.37 points), and Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier finished fifth at 144.07 points.

Davis and White qualified for the Grand Prix Final with two victories on the circuit (30 points). Cappellini and Lanotte have two silver medals and 26 points, which will get them to the Final as well.

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