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 Asada seals women's world figure skating title

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PostSubject: Asada seals women's world figure skating title   Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:42 am

Asada seals women's world figure skating title

Source, The Vancouver Sun


TURIN — Japanese teenager Mao Asada toppled Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim in a triumphant season finale which saw her claim her second world title at the world figure skating championships here on Saturday.

Olympic runner-up Asada, 19, added to the world title she won in 2008, as Japan claimed a double at the worlds after Daisuke Takahashi won their first men’s gold earlier in the week.

It was the first defeat for Kim since the Grand Prix Final in December 2008 when Asada beat her.

Favourite Kim had struggled in seventh after a diastrous short programme and could not follow her Olympic exploits in the free skate as she finished nearly 38 points off the world record total she achieved in Vancouver.

But despite falling on a triple salchow she nevertheless seized silver with the bronze going to Finland’s Laura Lepisto, as American Mirai Nagasu, who had led the short programme, dropped down to seventh place.

As Kim struggled, the feisty Asada, who had placed second in the short programme, was determined to seize her chance.

Skating in the last group to Rachmaninov’s "Bells of Moscow" she achieved 197.58 points for the free skate and 129.50 overall, to beat her long-time rival by 6.80 points.

It was a golden end to a rollarcoaster season for the Japanese skater who finished second to Kim in the season-opening Grand Prix in Paris and a lowly fifth in the next event in Moscow, before rebounding by claiming the Japanese national title and the Olympic silver.

It is the sixth time that a Japanese woman has stood on top of the podium at the worlds.

Skating in the earlier group, the 19-year-old Kim, known to her fans as ’Queen Yu-Na,’ needed something exceptional to defend her title.

But she was far from her best and after her fall she did not attempt the final double axel jump in her performance to Gershwin’s "Concerto in F".

She nevertheless scored the best marks in the free skate with 130.49 for 190.78 overall.

In Vancouver Kim scored 228.56 overall and 150.06 in the free skate.

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