Saturday, January 19, 2019 | ePaper

Japan's Kihira upsets Oly champ Zagitova to win Grand Prix gold

  • Print





Japan's rising star Rika Kihira won the battle of the 16-year olds, upsetting reigning Olympic champ Alina Zagitova to claim ladies' gold at the ISU Grand Prix Figure Skating Final on Saturday. Skating her free skate programme 'Beautiful Storm' by Jennifer Thomas, Kihira missed her first triple Axel but skated clean the rest of the way, including nailing her triple Lutz-toeloop.
"I made a mistake early but got to go out there and finish. I am really happy to perform that way on this stage," said Kihira. Kihira, who also won the short programme, finished with a personal best total score of 233.12 points to beat runner-up Zagitova by more than six points. European champion Zagitova, skating to "Carmen" in her free programme, earned a total of 226.53 points while her Russian compatriot Elizaveta Tuktamysheva grabbed the third spot on the podium with 215.32 points.
The women's competition was a Japan-Russia affair as Japan's Kaori Sakamoto placed fourth, Russia's Sofia Samodurova finished fifth and Japan's Satoko Miyahara was sixth. Kihira earned $25,000 for finishing first while Zagitova collected $18,000.
Kihira's victory continued a breakthrough season in 2018. She won two prior grand prix events -- NHK Trophy in Hiroshima and the Internationaux de France in Grenoble.
She is the first women to land a triple Axel-triple toeloop in competition when she did it at the junior grand prix finals last year.
Zagitova started the 2018 season several centimetres taller after going through a growth spurt over the summer. But she adapted almost immediately to the added height, winning grand prix series events in Helsinki and Moscow.

More News For this Category

Sharapova-inspired teen Anisimova dreaming big

Sharapova-inspired teen Anisimova dreaming big

AFP, Melbourne :Teenager Amanda Anisimova played the match of her life to continue a dream run to the last 16 at the Australian Open Friday, inspired by idol Maria

Treasurer of Dhaka University (DU) Professor Dr Md Kamal Uddin inaugurating the Annual Sports Competition of Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall of DU by releasing the balloons as the chief guest at the Central Playground in DU on Friday.

Treasurer of Dhaka University (DU) Professor Dr Md Kamal Uddin inaugurating the Annual Sports Competition of Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall of DU by releasing the balloons as the chief guest at the Central Playground in DU on Friday.

.

Chairperson of Women's Football Committee of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Mahfuza Akter Kiron speaking at a press conference at the conference room in BFF House on Friday.

Chairperson of Women's Football Committee of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Mahfuza Akter Kiron speaking at a press conference at the conference room in BFF House on Friday.

.

Cricket fan Barty bowls into Open fourth round AFP, Melbourne Local hope Ash Barty bounced Greece's Maria Sakkari from the Australian Open third round Friday and revealed she planned to celebrate by watching the Australian cricket team in action against India. Barty, seeded 15, saw off the unseeded Sakkari 7-5, 6-1 in 82 minutes to reach the last 16, her best performance at Melbourne Park after third round appearances in 2018 and 2017. She is yet to drop a set and finished in time to see the start of Australia's third one-day international against India at the neighbouring Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Cricket fan Barty bowls into Open fourth round AFP, Melbourne Local hope Ash Barty bounced Greece's Maria Sakkari from the Australian Open third round Friday and revealed she planned to celebrate by watching the Australian cricket team in action against India. Barty, seeded 15, saw off the unseeded Sakkari 7-5, 6-1 in 82 minutes to reach the last 16, her best performance at Melbourne Park after third round appearances in 2018 and 2017. She is yet to drop a set and finished in time to see the start of Australia's third one-day international against India at the neighbouring Melbourne Cricket Ground. "Ice bath, physio, coffee, cricket - I'm good," she said when asked about her post-match plans. The 22-year-old will face a fourth-round test against the victor of the blockbuster clash between defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and five-time major winner Maria Sharapova later Friday. Barty is currently among the standout players on the women's tour, winning seven of eight matches this month to back up a title victory in Zhuhai late last year.

.

England fast bowler Stone ruled out of West Indies tour

England pace bowler Olly Stone will miss the tour of the West Indies after suffering a back injury. Stone has been hampered by stiffness in his lower left back

Solskjaer warns Man Utd players over complacency

Solskjaer warns Man Utd players over complacency

AFP,  Manchester :Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Manchester United of the dangers of complacency as they prepare to face Brighton after beating Tottenham to extend their perfect record under

Konta slams 'dangerous' Australian Open late start

AFP, Melbourne :Briton Johanna Konta labelled her late-night Australian Open match against Garbine Muguruza "dangerous" and unhealthy Friday, saying they should not have had to play in the early

Ian Poulter of England tees off at the 10th hole in round two of the Abu Dhabi Championship golf tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Thursday.

Ian Poulter of England tees off at the 10th hole in round two of the Abu Dhabi Championship golf tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Thursday.

.

Sharapova upsets defending champion Wozniacki

Sharapova upsets defending champion Wozniacki

AFP, Melbourne :Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova upset defending champion Caroline Wozniacki to reach the Australian Open fourth round Friday after an epic three-set match.The Russian, who is

Chelsea clash vital in Arsenal's need for Champions League cash

AFP, London :The need for the riches as much as the prestige of a return to Champions League football leaves Arsenal little room for error when Chelsea visit the