Extra! Korea

March 27, 2010

(Updated with videos) Kim Yu-na wins silver, Mao Asada gold at Turin 2010 figure skating world championships

Filed under: sports — extrakorea @ 10:28 pm

After stumbling to seventh place in the short program, Kim Yu-na moved way up in the free skate to win the silver medal at the 2010 Turin world figure skating championships.

Kim, 19, fell on a triple salchow and popped a double axel. She also lacked spark throughout the 4-minute program.

To be honest, with a performance like that, taken together with her disastrous short program, I really wonder if she deserved to move up so far, onto the medal podium. And the future?

With the next Winter Games four years away in Sochi, Russia, Queen Yuna as she dubbed at home is considering whether she should turn professional.

“I’ll take a break and think about my future,” she said.

Mao Asada won the competition, the second time in three years that she’s done so.

The 2008 world champion, sitting second after Friday’s short program, was a little loose on two jumps but otherwise showed supreme grace and control as the “Bells of Moscow” rang out from the loudspeakers.

Her triumph gave Japan both male and female gold at these 100th world championships. Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi claimed the title on Thursday.

“I wanted to follow Takahashi’s success,’’ said Asada. “Next year the world championship is in Japan (Tokyo) and I think this is a good start to the new season.’’

She says that she’s grateful to Kim for pushing her to be a better skater.

“It has been a long time that I felt I had to work harder because of her (Kim),” Asada said. “Thanks to her, I grow as a skater, and I will be encouraged to work harder even from now on.”

Mao says that she’s considering getting a new coach. In my view, that would be a smart move because the Russian coaches have shown that they either lack the ability or desire to use the current point system to the best advantage.

“At the start of the season I had to continue to challenge and push myself to do the triple axel. After the Olympics I was very relaxed,” Asada said, adding that she would now consider hiring a new coach for next season.

Finland’s Laura Lepisto, who was in third place after the short program, remained in third place. It was Finland’s first medal at a world championships.

America’s Mirai Nagasu, who was in the lead after the short program, finished the long program in 11th place, and so fell to 7th overall.

Nagasu started badly, with a stepout on her first triple lutz that kept her from doing a combination. Then she had a two-footed landing on her second triple lutz and fell on a double axel.

“I’m sorry,” Nagasu said to her coach, Frank Carroll, as she left the ice.

She really beat herself up.

“I’m just really disappointed in myself for not stepping up to the plate today,” Nagasu said. “I’m sorry I didn’t do the best that I could have done. Coming out of the Olympics, where I was in fourth place, finishing in seventh place here is a really big blow. I feel really bad.”

[ snip ]

“I am really disappointed with myself because I always do this, I always go from first to like seventh,” Nagasu said, sniffing through tears. “Except at the Olympics. I didn’t drop there.”

If she can break this bad habit (one columnist called it a “fear of flying high“), she’s a future world champion for sure, possibly even the next Olympic champion.

Japan’s Miki Ando was fourth, and Canada’s Cynthia Phaneuf was fifth.

Cynthia Phaneuf is more known for popping jumps than popping eyes.

She did none of the former and quite a lot of the latter here Saturday afternoon, lifting herself into a fifth place finish at the World Figure Skating Championships.

The 22-year-old from Brossard, Que., once a national champion, finally nailed the clean long program she has been longing for through several seasons of climbing back from injury and eclipse.

European champion Carolina Kostner of Italy received a rousing reception from her home crowd but could only finish sixth despite an elegant display — prompting boos toward the judges.

Mao Asada's really happy

So is Cynthia Phaneuf

And Mirai Nagasu is really bend-y

Edit/Update:

Mao Asada

Kim Yu-na

Laura Lepisto

Mirai Nagasu

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