Shanghai / China

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015 continued in Shanghai, China, on Saturday with the Ladies Free Skating. The Oriental Sports Center with its capacity of 14,700 was packed for the fourth consecutive day.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) skates to the gold

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia skated to the gold medal and became the first Russian lady in ten years to win the World title. Japan’s Satoko Miyahara claimed the silver medal and Elena Radionova of Russia took the bronze in their debut at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

Tuktamysheva landed seven triple jumps and two double Axels in her oriental themed program to “Sandstorm” and “Batwannis Beek”, however the first triple Lutz and the triple toe-triple toe combination were shaky. The European Champion also produced two level-four spins and level-three footwork to score 132.74 points. The 18-year-old totaled 210.36 points and became the third Russian lady after Maria Butryskaya (1999) and Irina Slutskaya (2002 and 2005) to win the World title. “I am very pleased with my performance and that I was able to put out a decent skate. I am full with emotions now. It is an amazing moment”, Tuktamysheva commented. “Following the failure last season, it was difficult. My coaches helped me, who always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself anymore. I realized that I am very capable and that this is not the end and that I just have to survive this moment and I am glad that I was able to come back into the elite of women’s figure skating”, the ISU Grand Prix Final Champion added.

Miyahara’s program to “Miss Saigon” featured six clean triples including two double Axel-triple toe combinations, but she almost fell on a triple Lutz. The two-time Four Continents silver medalist picked up a level four for all three spins and earned 126.58 points, a new personal best score. She was ranked fourth in the Free Skating but overall moved up from third to second with 193.60 points. „I have some regrets, because the second Lutz wasn’t good enough, I put my hands down. But overall my performance was pretty satisfactory. I got a seasons best with this performance which was my goal. I had a good placement after the short program and I wanted to be calm and put out everything”, the 17-year-old, who celebrated her birthday on Thursday, said.

Skating to music by Sergei Rachmaninov, Radionova completed a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and three more clean triple jumps, but she doubled a loop and stumbled on a double Axel. The European silver medalist collected 121.96 points and was sixth in the Free Skating. Overall she slipped from second to third at 191.47 points. “Honestly, I don’t believe yet that I am a World bronze medalist. I made some minor mistakes on my jumps, but this competition gave me a good experience and I know what to work on when I return home to Moscow”, the 16-year-old told the press.

Gracie Gold (USA) moved up from eighth to fourth and was ranked second in the Free Skating (188.96 points) and Ashley Wagner (USA) pulled up from 11th to fifth with the third-best Free Skating (185.01 points). Rika Hongo (JPN) finished sixth with 184.58 points.

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015 continue with the Men’s Free Skating.