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American Czisny captures GP Gold in China

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BEIJING — American Alissa Czisny protected her overnight lead to take gold Saturday after the women's free skate program at the Grand Prix final.

Patrick Chan of Canada won the men's competition after a strong performance in the free skate helped him take advantage of a fall by overnight leader Nobunari Oda of Japan.

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the ice dance.

Czisny, who won this year's Skate Canada, performed a graceful triple lutz, double toeloop opener followed by a powerful triple flip, double toeloop to "Winter and Spring" by George Winston.

She finished third in the free skate with 116.99 points, giving her a total of 180.75.

Czisny had taken the lead Friday with 63.76 points in the short program despite an off-balance trip flip.

"I was very happy to be able to stay on my feet today and very happy with my performance," Czisny said. "Last year, being in this spot was only something I could dream of, but I'm glad I got here and my dream came true."

Despite a left knee injury, Carolina Kostner of Italy was second with a season's best 116.47 in her free skate, giving her a total of 178.60. Kanako Murakami of Japan was third with 178.59 in her first senior Grand Prix final since moving up from juniors.

Chan, the world silver medalist, opened with a solid quad toeloop performing to "Phantasia" by Andrew Lloyd Webber, earning 174.16 points in the free skate and giving him 259.75 overall.

"It's been a dream for me to do well here," the 19-year-old Chan said. "I'm very happy to be able to skate well here, leading up to worlds. It's a very big step for me."

Oda won silver with 156.22 points in his free skate, which was marred by a fall during his opening quad toeloop, for a total of 242.81.

"I was very disappointed with tonight's performance because I fell," Oda said. "I wasn't satisfied with the performance. ... I couldn't do the last part because I was so late on the music."

Japan's Takahiko Kozuka came in third with 159.89 in his free skate and a total of 237.79.

In the ice dance, Davis and White tangoed their way to gold after opening their performance with a graceful straight line lift to music from "Il Postino", "Payador", and "Recuerdo".

The duo scored 102.94 in the free skate, earning a total of 171.58 for their second title.

"We feel very good about winning our second Grand Prix final," Davis said. "We're excited to see how far we can take it."

The Skate America champions finished ahead of French pair Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, who took silver with 162.10 points after a free skate program to an upbeat Charlie Chaplin medley. Canadian duo Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier were third with 139.74 points for their first medal at a Grand Prix final.

The top six skaters in the regular-season standings qualify for the Grand Prix final.