Milan /Italy

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Italy’s 2012 World Champion Carolina Kostner wowed the home crowd with a personal best performance as the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 opened with the Ladies Short Program Wednesday in Milan (ITA).Kostner upstaged reigning Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova of Russia, who came a close second. The 2015 World silver medalist Satoko Miyahara of Japan ranked third in the first segment of the competition.

Kostner gave a mesmerizing performance to ‘Ne me quitte pas’, hitting a triple flip-triple toeloop, triple loop, double Axel as well as level-four spins and footwork. The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist posted a personal best of 80.27 points.

“I am amazed and happy any joyful to be here. For me it’s a big honor, like a big cherry on the cake,” the five-time European Champion shared. “I already felt amazing even before my performance because skating in my home country is so, so special and so emotional. You could feel the silence, you could feel the tears. I could feel the support and the passion. I remember, 15 years ago when I started to compete internationally, nobody came to watch Figure Skating in Italy and now we fill up this big venue,” she continued. “I hope I’ll be able to show all the elements and want to show how much I love skating (in the Free Skating),” the multiple Italian Champion concluded.

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Carolina Kostner (ITA)

Zagitova’s program to ‘Black Swan’ featured a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, a triple flip and a double Axel. The European Champion collected a level four for her spins and footwork as well to score 79.51 points. “I am not that happy with my performance today. The combination (triple Lutz-triple loop) could have been better and I felt I was tight overall in the program,” the 15-year-old admitted. “It was hard to get back into the training process. After the Olympics, we had a lot of events going on. Carolina Kostner is my idol, I am looking up to her and I am very happy for her that she was able to do her best performance today.”

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Alina Zagitova (RUS)

Skating to ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, Miyahara completed a triple loop, double Axel and exquisite spins. However, the Japanese Champion underrotated the back end of her triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination. She earned 74.36 points. “The first Lutz-toe I got stuck, so it was not my best jump. I thought I could not get high points like today, but I’m really happy today with the performance,” Miyahara told the post-event press conference. “(After the Olympic Games) I took a couple of days to rest my body and then I started to practice as usual. Physically my body is ready and mentally I’m very excited to come here,” she added.

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Satoko Miyahara (JPN)

The 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) stayed in medal contention in fourth place on 72.73 points. She had stumbled on her double Axel in her Edith Piaf routine. “Overall it wasn’t my best and it wasn’t the way I wanted to finish my short program this year but I’m happy. I’m still in a good spot and I’m still happy that I can fight in my long program and to see what happens,” Osmond said.

ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalist Maria Sotskova (RUS) sits in fifth with 71.80 points followed by 2017 World bronze medalist Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) with 71.61 points.

37 Ladies competed in the Short Program and the top 24 advance to the Free Skating on Friday.

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 continue with the Pairs Short Program.