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Petrov overcomes missed quad to win Nebelhorn

Belgian Hendrickx earns silver; Hochstein breaks through for bronze
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Alexander Petrov of Russia won the Nebelhorn men's title by more than nine points. -Getty Images

Russia's Alexander Petrov didn't land his quad, but he did win the gold medal at the 2016 Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Friday.

The 17-year-old from Saint Petersburg popped a quadruple toe loop at the start of his Frank Sinatra free skate, but he went on to perform eight solid triple jumps, including two axels. His three spins all gained Level 4, and he won the title with 232.21 points.

"I gave a good performance today -- I just popped the quad," Petrov said, "I started my season with a victory, but my main goal was to skate a clean program, which I did not do. Therefore, my main goal for my next competition, Finlandia Trophy, is to do the quad."

Jorik Hendrickx of Belgium took the silver with 223.04 points. He did not try any quads, but he was credited with landing eight triple jumps, including two axels.

"I am very pleased with my free skate," Hendrickx said. "I did a good first triple axel, and the second was so-so. This was my first competition of the season, and I did not do a test skate before it, so it was quite exciting."

Hendrickx added that while he was working on a quad, it was not yet ready for competition. Instead, he emphasized artistry and expression in his free skate, choreographed by former Hungarian ice dancer Adam Solya.

"I like to explore my creativity, and I hope I can please the audience and the judges," he said. "In my free program, I tell the story of someone who has a car accident and is battling between life and death."

Grant Hochstein, the reigning U.S. pewter medalist, won bronze with 217.25 points. It is his first medal in a senior international competition.

The California-based skater fell on the quad toe loop at the start of his Pagliacci program. He went on to land five triple jumps (three in combination), and his spins and interpretation were top notch. His program components score (75.44) was almost equal to Petrov's (75.52).

"So far I've improved at each event this season, so I'm quite happy," Hochstein said. "Last year I was seventh at Nebelhorn Trophy, and this year I am third, so this is a step forward."

Julian Zhi Jie Yee of Malaysia, who trains in Barrie, Ontario, finished fourth with a personal-best 212.27 points. Six of his eight triple jumps were clean, including two axels.

Canadian Liam Firus, who entered the free skate in third place, fell three times and wound up fifth. Artur Dmitriev Jr. of Russia was the only man to do a clean quad, but he made other mistakes and placed sixth with 209.12 points.

Timothy Dolensky, seventh in the U.S. last season, was fourth in the free skate and seventh overall with 207.49 points. Skating to a modern version of Tosca entitled "Sometimes I Dream," sung by Mario Frangoulis, he under-rotated and fell on his opening quad salchow. He followed that with a triple axel-triple toe worth 13.80 points -- the most of any element in the event -- and his spins were among the best in the field.

"It was better than the short program," Dolensky said. "It was the first time to show this new long program at a competition. I am a bit disappointed I didn't land the quad. I two-footed the (second) triple axel, but normally I am not a two-footer. My numbers of successful quads at home are low, and I have to try more quad salchows to get more consistency."