The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2012 continued in Nice, France, Saturday with the Men's and Ladies Free Skating.
Patrick Chan (CAN) claims gold
Canada's Patrick Chan skated to the gold in the Men's event and defended his World title. Japan's Daisuke Takahashi pulled up from third to claim the silver and Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan surged from seventh to take the bronze medal in his debut at the ISU World Championships.
Performing to Concerto de Aranjuez, Chan produced a quadruple toe, quadruple-triple toe combination, a triple Axel and four more triples, but he fell on a popped Axel. The Canadian earned a level four for two spins and the circular footwork. He scored 176.70 points and racked up 266.11 points to win his second consecutive World title. Being the last skater in the group, I was happy that I finally was able to go out there, feeling ready to go, ready to do the quad, Chan commented. The double Axel, I don't know, it isn't me if I don't make at least one freaky mistake. It was a little touch of Patrick at the end. I learned a lot this season, I hope I keep doing it. I think it will be good in the future, he continued.
Takahashi nailed a quad toe, a triple Axel-triple toe, another triple Axel and followed up with four more triple jumps, and three level-four spins in his routine to Blues for Klook. The only glitch came when he under rotated a triple flip. The 2010 Olympic bronze medalist posted a new season best with 173.94 points and totaled 259.66 points. I was nervous but I still had a good time. The audience helped me a lot. It actually is the first time this season that I landed the quad (cleanly) in competition, Takahashi noted. After my surgery I didn't expect to win the silver medal here, the long-time goal being Sochi, but I have improved so much. I could prove to myself that I can still improve, he added.
Hanyu gave a powerful performance to Romeo and Juliet, reeling off a quad toe and eight triples including two triple Axels. The 17-year-old was ranked second in the Free Skating at 173.99 points and pulled up from seventh with 251.06 points overall. I was very nervous, I felt the pressure of the World Championships before I skated today. It's my first Worlds, and I had a mistake in my short program, I was really disappointed. But I skated much better today so I am happy. I didn't expect to medal here at all at my first Worlds so I am very surprised, the 2010 World Junior Champion told the press.
Brian Joubert (FRA) finished fourth with a strong performance that included a quad toe and seven clean triples (244.58 points). Florent Amodio (FRA) came fifth (243.03 points) while Michael Brezina (CZE) slipped from second to sixth after missing his quad toe and quad Salchow (239.55 points).
Carolina Kostner (ITA) claims historic World title
Carolina Kostner made figure skating history by winning the first Ladies world title for Italy. Alena Leonova of Russia earned the silver medal and Japan's Akiko Suzuki took the bronze. It was the first World medal for Leonova and Suzuki.
Kostner turned in a extraordinary performance to Mozart's Concerto No. 23 for Piano and Orchestra that featured a triple loop, flip, double Axel-triple toe as well as two triple Salchows and three level-four spins. The four-time European Champion scored a new seasons best of 128.94 points to move up from third to first at 189.94 points overall. I am very, very happy. I was quite nervous going out on the ice. I knew I had skated some really good programs in practice, but it was so overwhelming to go out there and have so many people cheering for you, it was hard for me to stay focused. It reminded me so much of Torino (2006), but I thought this time I can change it and have a different experience. I just wanted to skate my best, straight from my heart, now I can sit back and enjoy, Kostner said.
Short program leader Leonova had to skate first in the final flight and put out a solid program to Adagio for Strings and Requiem for a Dream, completing a triple toe-triple toe and four triples, but stepped out of a triple Lutz. The Russian picked up 119.67 points and was ranked fourth in the Free Skating. Overall she accumulated 184.28 points. I am very happy. I did my best the day before yesterday and today. There was one small mistake on my Lutz, but I am glad, I could pull myself together. I had really bad warm up, made single jumps, so about three minutes before my skating I started to think about the performance so I could concentrate on it. During the warm up I was nervous, but then, before the music played I was absolutely calm. Now I am relieved, the 21-year-old commented.
Suzuki's routine to Die Fledermaus (The Bat) was highlighted by a triple Lutz, double Axel-triple toe, four more triples and a level-four step sequence. However, she singled the second Lutz. The Japanese earned 121.30 points and totaled 180.68 to win her first medal at the World Championships three days after her 27th birthday. I am very, very happy to have won a medal. But I wanted to give a clean performance and get a medal with it. So I have a few regrets about that, Suzuki explained. I think I missing last year's World team gave a lot of motivation to train harder. This is my first World medal and I am 27 years old. Others win their first medal at 17 years old, like Yuzuru (Hanyu), she continued.
Ashley Wagner (USA) came fourth with a strong performance that featured six triples (176.77 points). She was ranked third in the Free Skating. Kanako Murakami (JPN) slipped from second to fifth at 175.41 points and Mao Asada (JPN) came sixth at 164.52 points.
The results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2012 determined the six qualifiers for the ISU World Team Trophy in Tokyo, Japan (April 18 to 22). The six teams are Japan (7891 points), Canada (6943 points), Russia (6807 points), USA (6399 points), Italy (5412 points) and France (5214 points).
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2012 conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala.