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Sensational skates at the Grand Prix Final are boding well for Sochi, as the fields close in and rivalries heat up. Ryan Grant Colts Jersey . As the season progresses, the gaps are narrowing and the fields are closing in on the leaders. A week ago, there wasnt an obvious challenger in the mens or pairs event. In fact, heading into the Grand Prix Final in Japan, it was difficult to imagine that the defending champions could be beaten. Patrick Chan had an enormous 30-point lead over the rest of the men in this seasons scores and so did the defending world pair champions from Russia - Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov - who had the same 30-point margin over the rest of the teams.  Patrick faltered in the short program in Japan and Tatiana and Max in the free program to open the door, but what was intriguing in both cases was the way that the challengers stepped up and that the underdogs won. Yuzuru Hanyu from Japan hit one out of the park in the short program breaking Patricks world record that he set just two weeks ago. It all came together for Yuzuru in that performance, as he aggressively attacked the jumps and played with the music to sell his program to his hometown audience. It was an easy sell and they ate it up to help lift Yuzuru to a record-breaking skate where he missed the 100-point mark by a slim .16.  As Coach Brian Orser said when the marks were posted, "Sooooo close!" Patrick and Yuzuru both delivered strong free programs each with one mistake, but the edge went to Hanyu and Patrick had his first loss of the season. Patrick, of course - barring injury - has his Olympic spot locked up. Theres no doubt he will go as this countrys No. 1 guy. Thats not the case for Yuzuru, whos fighting for his Olympic life. Hes up against five other guys who are all capable and who are all fighting for three spots. With the new world record in the short program, the second best freeskate and total scores ever and with the win over Chan, one would think Yuzuru might be awarded one of those coveted spots to Sochi. But no such spot has been given and the Japanese team will be named after their nationals - which take place just before Christmas. Patrick can find new motivation in the fact that hell be pushed and he will indeed need two great skates like he had two weeks ago in Paris to win Olympic Gold. The Russian pairs take the same knowledge into the holiday season with the loss to the German team of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. It is the kind of knowledge one needs at this time of year, lest one sits back and gets too comfortable.  It was expected that the Ice Dance would be a close contest in Japan. While defending world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White received better scores all season than Olympic Champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, one could sense that Tessa and Scott were working out the kinks early in the series. And in Japan they put the technical glitches behind them and had stunning performances in both the Short and Free Dance.  Meryl and Charlie brought their A game as well and came away with the win. And once again we were reminded how lucky we are to have two teams of their calibre at the same time.  It was a terrific event and a moment that stood out for me was the look on the faces of Tessa and Scott after the free dance. Total satisfaction - a look thats been missing of late. When youre competing there are always the little things that youve done better in practice or things you had to fight through, that werent quite right and when you finish your skate those things immediately flash through your mind and the instant self evaluation is briefly written on your face. Tessas appraisal was immediate. Her eyes flashed in delight and she said yes. Totally satisfied. That was the performance they had been reaching for. They now have the momentum and as their rivalry demands, will have to build on it. They have to dig deep and soul search in order to answer the questions. "What more can we do?" "Whats next to fine tune?"  The same questions that Meryl and Charlie are now asking in light of their narrow win. This is why were so fortunate to have these two great teams. As they drive each other to strategically find the edge, they find new levels of excellence and we the audience are ultimately the winners.    In the ladies event the clear winner in Japan was indeed the favourite going in, hometown heroine Olympic Silver medalist Mao Asada. While it was no surprise to me that Mao won gold what was surprising, actually I was quite shocked, was her captivating short program.  In fact, it ranks as one of my all time favourite skates. In a word, she was brilliant and when I rack my brain for comparisons, it would be Olympic champion and the defending world champion Yuna Kim.  Yuna missed the Grand Prix season due to injury and competed in a B international to gain some competition mileage for her new material, while the Final was taking place. She received some impressive scores and so the stage is set for a showdown in the ladies event in Sochi.  Mao and Yuna - a rematch from 2010. Yuna by all accounts is on track to be as good as ever, while Mao is new and improved.  Her jumping arsenal is bigger and better and artistically she is skating, with more joy, heartfelt emotion and conviction than ever before.   Let the games begin! Kemoko Turay Colts Jersey . The 12th-ranked Haas served well throughout the match at the Ibirapuera arena, allowing only one break point to the 152nd-ranked Italian. Both players held serve until the first-set tiebreak, when Haas stepped up his game to easily clinch the set. Nyheim Hines Colts Jersey .Y. - Matt Harvey wants to make sure hes on the mound in late October — if the New York Mets get there for the first time since 2006.TORONTO -- Liam Hendriks already had a big day on the go before taking the mound for his Blue Jays debut Friday night. The Australian was called up from triple-A Buffalo, enjoyed his six-month anniversary with wife Kristi, and gave his mother Debbie a long-distance present as she celebrated her birthday Down Under. Hendriks capped a day to remember with an impressive 5 2/3-inning performance in Torontos 3-2 win over Oakland at Rogers Centre. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed three hits and one earned run for his first major-league victory since last August. "Its kind of a big deal today for me," he said. Steve Tolleson staked Hendriks to an early lead with a two-run shot -- his first homer of the season -- in the second inning and the Blue Jays scratched out another run in the third. Hendriks allowed a solo homer to Brandon Moss in the fourth inning. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and left to a standing ovation in the sixth inning. "That was incredible," he said. "I got tingles all over my body for that. This is such a good crowd up here. Its fantastic. They know their baseball up here." Hendriks, who spent parts of the last three seasons with the Twins, earned the callup with a sparkling 5-0 record and 1.48 earned-run average this season with the Bisons. He hopes to take full advantage of this second chance in the big leagues. "Its a huge thing for me," he said. "I was given opportunities in Minnesota and I didnt capitalize on them. Now Ive got a different mindset coming into the season of just getting ready, getting aggressive and getting after guys early. "I think its paid dividends so far and hopefully I can continue this trend and stay up here all year." Toronto manager John Gibbons was impressed. "I would definitely say hes earned another start," he said. The Blue Jays have won four straight games, nine of their last 11 and improved to 11-11 at home this season. Toronto (27-22) is five games over .500 for the first time in over two years. The Blue Jays also lead the American League East division. The last time they were alone in first place this deep into the season was way back on July 6, 2000. It was Tollesons first home run in a Toronto uniform and first in the majors since he went deep on June 10, 2012 with Philadelphia. Quenton Nelson Colts Jersey. "We have a tremendous lineup, I mean Melky (Cabrera), Jose (Bautista), Eddie (Encarnacion), all of these guys have been swinging the bat really well," said Tolleson, who batted seventh. "When the bottom of the order can get on base and they can drive us in or produce some runs ourselves that just helps everybody." Scott Kazmir (5-2) shouldered the loss for American League West-leading Oakland (30-18). He allowed five hits and three earned runs over seven innings. However, it was the southpaws throwing error in the third inning that allowed the eventual winning run to score. With Kevin Pillar aboard after a double, Kazmir threw to second base on a pickoff attempt but no one was covering the bag. Pillar ran to third on the play and scored when Jose Reyes hit a slow grounder to the right side of the infield. "That turned out to be costly," Kazmir said. "I should have held on to it. It ended up being the difference-maker in the game." Jed Lowrie was playing shortstop and Nick Punto was at second base. "(Kazmir) thought that I was going to go to the base and I was just there to hold (Pillar) on just a little bit longer because he was extending his lead," Lowrie said. "I wanted to stay there. He looked back and thought I was going to break and I didnt have any plans to." The Athletics made it a one-run game in the eighth inning and threatened in the ninth. Coco Crisp hit a two-out double off Casey Janssen and stole third but the Toronto closer got Lowrie to ground out for his sixth save in six opportunities. Notes: Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (4-4) will get the start Saturday afternoon against Jesse Chavez (4-1). ... The Blue Jays will host Tampa Bay and Kansas City during the homestand next week. ... Hendriks allowed three walks and had three strikeouts. ... Moss has 11 homers on the season. ... Bautista, who walked in the third inning, has reached base safely in 48 of 49 games this season. He leads the major leagues with 42 walks. ... Announced attendance was 21,007 and the game took two hours 37 minutes. Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Hoodies Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Throwback Jerseys ' ' '
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    ked back and thought I was
    ked back and thought I was
    Sensational skates at the Grand Prix Final are boding well for Sochi, as the fields close in and rivalries heat up. Ryan Grant Colts Jersey ...
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