Belbin, Agosto rise to No. 2 in the world in ice dance
Move gives U.S. top two ice dancing teams in the world
|Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have jumped to No. 2 in the icenetwork.com world skater rankings. (Getty Images)|
Rachael Flatt won the free skate and the silver medal at Skate America, pushing her up four spots to No. 6, her highest-ever ranking. Korea's Yu-Na Kim won the event easily -- setting a new short program record of 76.28 points in the process -- to increase her lead over second-ranked Mao Asada of Japan to more than 1,700 points. Bronze medalist Julia Sebestyen of Hungary inched up two places to No. 16.
Evan Lysacek captured his first Skate America title and his first gold medal in the Grand Prix Series since 2006 Cup of China. The victory gave him the No. 2 slot in the rankings -- two places higher than where he sat last week. Neither Canadian Shawn Sawyer's silver medal nor American Ryan Bradley's bronze in Lake Placid were enough to put either skater into the top 20. The fourth-place finish of France's Florent Amodio, however, moved him into the rankings at No. 20. Czech Republic's Tomas Verner remained at No. 6 despite missing the podium at a Grand Prix Series event for the first time since 2007 Trophée Eric Bompard; he finished fifth at Skate America.
China's Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao have staked their claim as the team to beat this season, posting a score of 201.40 points in Lake Placid en route to winning their second gold medal in this year's Grand Prix Series. They are the only pairs team to break the 200-point barrier this season, a feat they have accomplished twice, as they amassed 200.97 points at the Cup of China. They are ranked No. 9 solely on the strength of two triumphs. Silver medalists Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov of Ukraine and bronze medalists Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang of China maintained their No. 7 and No. 3 rankings, respectively, while fourth-place finishers Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker of the United States ascended one notch to No. 8.
Belbin and Agosto's fifth career Skate America title vaulted them four places to No. 2. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy claimed their second silver medal of this Grand Prix Series, a placement that raised them two rungs to No. 10. Alexandra Zaretski and Roman Zaretski of Israel earned the bronze at Skate America, their first Grand Prix medal in 10 events. That finish bumped them up one spot to No. 13. Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre of the United States climbed three places after finishing fifth in Lake Placid, while Russians Kristina Gorshkova and Vitali Butikov entered the rankings at No. 19 after placing seventh.