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Ando, White/Davis take Moscow Figure Skating Gold
The competition at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2011 concluded Saturday in Moscow, Russia, with the Ladies Free Skating and the Free Dance. 11 000 spectators followed the events in the Megasport Arena.
Miki Ando (JPN) takes Ladies' gold
Miki Ando of Japan overtook Korea's Yuna Kim to take her second World title. Carolina Kostner pulled up from sixth to capture the bronze medal.
Ando's performance to Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto No. 1 featured five triples jumps including two triple Lutzes, but she doubled the planned triple toe in her combination with a double Axel and stumbled. The Japanese picked up a level four for all three spins and scored 130.21 points. Overall she accumulated 195.79 points. „This was the last time to skate this program and I really wanted to show my best, but had little mistake on my double Axel-triple toe“, Ando said. „This time I was skating for Japan, it was a tribute to the Japanese people who suffered in the disaster. Maybe I was able to bring back a little smile to the people of Japan. I won my first World title in Japan and now my second title here in Moscow and I'm very happy about that as I consider Russia being my second home“, she continued.
Overnight leader Kim opened her routine to Korean music with a solid triple Lutz-triple toe and nailed three other triples, but singled a flip. Her spins were a level four. The Olympic Champion scored 128.59 and slipped to second at 194.50 points. „At the beginning I had a mistake and I was nervous after the jump (popped flip), but then I was back to normal and did my best“, the 2009 World Champion commented. „Today I wanted to show my new program to the audience, my fans. I was not thinking about results. I was ready to achieve my goals. I was skating to Korean music, it was really important to me and it gave me a lot of energy“, she explained.
Skating to „L'Après-Midi d'un Faun“ by Claude Debussy, Kostner produced a triple flip, a double Axel-triple toe, three more triples and only singled a loop. The three-time European Champion earned 124.93 points and took her third Worlds medal with 184.68 points. „Yesterday I made a mistake and I was angry with myself because it cost a lot as it was short program. But today's mistake was not so terrible as I had a chance to fix it by performing everything left properly“, the Italian said. „I competed here in 2005 and I won bronze as well, so I can say that this is a good thing for me to compete in Moscow.“
Alena Leonova turned in a dynamic performance that included a triple toe-triple toe and four other triples to move up to spots to fourth (183.92 points). Alissa Czisny (USA) finished fifth at 182.25 points. Defending World Champion Mao Asada placed sixth (172.79 points). Ksenia Makarova (RUS), who stood in third place following the Short Program, dropped to seventh (167.22 points).
Davis/White (USA) dance to gold and make history
Meryl Davis/Charlie White struck gold and made history as the first U.S. dance team to win this title. Canadians Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir earned the silver medal and in a surprising turn, Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) captured the bronze in their debut at the World Championships.
Davis/White skated last and put out a crisp Tango routine. Their lifts, the spin and the circular footwork were graded a level four and they got all plus 2 and plus 3 Grade of Execution marks for their elements. The Four Continents Champions posted a new seasons best of 111.51 points and totaled 185.27 to move up to first place. „We couldn't be any happier. We've worked our entire life for this moment. It's never been easy, we put an extra effort when it got hard and it's just such a blessing it paid off when it counts here at Worlds“, White said. „We were ready mentally, physically, and to be able to perform when it counted we are so proud of each other. It's really a dream come true for us. I think that was probably the best skate we've ever had in our career“, he continued. „There were so many other amazing (American dance) teams we've looked up to over the years and to be the first to win this title means the World to us“, Davis commented.
Virtue/Moir excited the crowd with their fast paced Latin dance. They had a level four for all elements but for the two step sequences and scored 107.50 points. Overall they accumulated 181.79 points and slipped to second. „We are really happy with the way we skated. That's a really demanding program, really tough, we thought we skated really well, and we are really proud of this silver medal”, Moir offered. „I think I was a little bit sloppy at the end, we were a little tired, but we were really in the moment, skated each step 100%, which was exactly what we wanted to do“, added Virtue.
Dancing to „Smile“ and „Let's Face the Music and Dance“, Shibutani/Shibutani turned in a flawless performance as well, executing difficult lifts and steps. The brother and sister team picked up level fours for the lifts and twizzles as well. „We're just speechless. Going into our first World Championships we were really looking forward to just enjoying the experience and showing all the hard work we have put in this year. We're just happy having two solid performances so this result (bronze medal) is amazing”, Maia Shibutani commented. „I'm just shocked. There's an amazing caliber of skaters in this particular competition and for us to be where we are... It's been a long year for everyone. We're proud of each other and how we skated in our first year at the senior level“, her brother offered.
European Champions Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) dropped from third to fourth as they both fell right at the beginning of their circular step sequence (163.54 points). Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) moved up from 7th to 5th with a strong performance to „Moulin Rouge“ (160.32 points).
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2011 conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.organd http://www.isuworlds2011.com/