Milano / Italy

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Ladies Podium 2018

2018 Olympic bronze medalist Kaetlyn Osmond came from fourth place to take the first World title for a Canadian Lady in 45 years at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 in Milan (ITA) on Friday. Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi and Satoko Miyahara claimed the silver and bronze medals in an eventful competition that saw Russia’s Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova dropping off the podium. For the first time since 2013 no Russian Lady was on the podium.

Osmond, who skated first in the last flight, opened her powerful program to ‘Black Swan’ with a triple flip-triple toeloop combination and went on to complete a triple Lutz, loop, flip and triple Salchow-double toe-double loop combination. The only glitch came when the 2017 World silver medalist stepped out of the double Axel-triple toeloop combination. The Canadian Champion collected a level four for her spins and footwork and scored 150.50 points. Overall she racked up 223.23 points. Osmond is the first Canadian Lady to become World Champion since Karen Magnusson in 1973.

“It (winning) never crossed my mind until it actually happened. My goal here was to skate clean and I was able to do that. To make the podium was my ultimate goal but I never thought that being champion was possible,” the 22-year-old said. “That was probably the hardest long program I’ve done all year. It was a great mental focus for me to be able to do that and I’m just really happy that I was able to end my year with two clean long programs,” she shared.

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Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)

Higuchi produced seven clean triples including two triple Lutz-triple toeloop combinations as well as two double Axels and level-four spins in her James Bond routine to pull up from eighth place after the Short Program. The 17-year-old earned 145.01 points which added up to 210.90 points.

“After the mistakes in the short program I was determined to give everything that I did in practice in the free, and I think I did that today so I was very pleased. It gave me a lot of confidence that I was able to show everything I had at the end of the season,” the two-time World Junior bronze medalist told the press. “I wish I had been able to show a better short program but it was a very good experience for me.”

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Wakaba Higuchi (JPN)

Performing to ‘Madame Butterfly’, Miyahara hit five clean triple jumps as well as difficult spins and footwork. However, the 2015 World silver medalist fell on a double Salchow. The Japanese Champion scored 135.72 points and remained in third place on 210.08 points.

“After finishing my free program I didn’t expect to get this bronze medal so it is very unexpected, but I also think I was stiff and the jumps were small so again I think I have to do more, I have many things to do,” Miyahara noted. “I want to be a skater that moves people’s hearts. Of course it is necessary to skate perfect programs so I need to work hard. Other things I think I have to work on is more like dances, ballet, everything,” she added.

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Satoko Miyahara (JPN)

Short program leader Carolina Kostner  (ITA) slipped to fourth place after she fell on a triple Salchow and stumbled on a single Axel (208.88 points). “I was concentrating 100% on my skating and the elements but the rhythm felt a bit off and I didn't feel as comfortable and confident as in practice and so I made mistakes.  I tried my best. I couldn't do more. To me it is a great achievement and I'm grateful to the Italian crowd for how much they have learned about the spirit,” Kostner commented.

Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova (RUS) missed three jumps and dropped to fifth place (207.72 points). U.S. Champion Bradie Tennell (USA) moved up one spot to sixth place on 199.98 points while 2017 World bronze medalist Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) finished seventh (196.72 points).

Dabin Choi (KOR) has withdrawn from the competition due to equipment failure as her right skating broke was broken. Choi stood in 21st place following the Short Program.