Virtue and Moir win ice dance event at NHK Trophy

  OSAKA, JAPAN - Three-time and reigning world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have won the ice dance event at the NHK Trophy to secure a place in the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix Final next month.

Virtue and Moir, who led after the short program, finished with an overall total of 198.64 points on Sunday to claim their second title of the season.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States were second with 188.35 points, with Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy placing third with 186.56.

Skating to Tango de Roxanne and Come What May, the Canadian duo combined powerful lifts with well-synchronized twizzles and smooth step sequences for 117.72 points in the free dance.

With the victory Virtue and Moir, who won their seventh Skate Canada title last month with a record score, booked their place at the Dec. 7-10 Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.

“We’ve made some improvements this week that we’re quite proud of from Skate Canada,” Moir said. “We only had one week. We’re looking to make the same sort of transition into the final. It’s a great stepping stone here for us.”

Hubbell and Donohue, with a bronze and a silver from their two competitions, will have to wait to see if they get to go to Nagoya.

“We left some points on the table, but we’ll be going home, working,” Hubbell said.

The NHK Trophy is the fourth event in the ISU’s Grand Prix series. The next competition is the Nov. 17-19 Grand Prix of France.