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Winter Sports: Kim Yu-na returns to win NRW Trophy

Photo: Frank Augstein/AP

Kim Yu-na finished with 201.61 points, including the 72.27 she was awarded for the season's best short program on Saturday.

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) -- Olympic champion Kim Yu-na completed her triumphant return to figure skating competition on Sunday by winning the NRW Trophy with the season's best total score.

Kim overcame one fall in an otherwise assured free skate to end her 19-month sabbatical with 201.61 points, including the 72.27 she was awarded for the season's best short program on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Kim was competing in the second-tier competition to secure a place at next year's world championships.

"I'm happy that I could reach my goal today," said Kim, who needed just 28 points from the short program and 48 from the free skate to ensure her participation in worlds in London, Ontario.

"At the beginning of the program my spins were going well, but I made one mistake. Afterward I felt shaky but I persevered to the end. I was actually surprised at the score I received. That was unexpected. I think I did my best, the best I could, even though I don't feel I've shown all I can do. But overall I'm satisfied with the result today."

Xenia Makarova of Russia was second with 159.01 points, while Sweden's Viktoria Helgesson finished third at 158.93.

Mao Asada of Japan reached the season's previous best of 196.80 when she won the Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia on Saturday.

Norway's men, women win World Cup biathlon relays

HOCHFILZEN, Austria (AP) -- Norway won the men's and women's World Cup biathlon relays Sunday.

The Norwegian men used nearly flawless shooting to beat defending champion France in the 4x7.5-kilometer race. The team of Lars Helge Birkeland, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Vetle Sjastad Christiansen and Henrik L'Abee-Lund missed one target before finishing in 1 hour, 17 minutes, 55.2 seconds.

France also avoided penalty loops but lost time with six shooting mistakes and trailed Norway by 34.5 seconds. Russia had nine missed targets and came 46.6 behind in third.

It was the first men's relay of the season. Norway won two of four events last season but was still edged by France in the final standings.

The Norwegian women's team of Fanny Welle-Strand Horn, Synnoeve Solemdal, Hilde Fenne and Tora Berger missed five targets and finished in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 45.1 seconds to beat Ukraine by 30.4 seconds in the 4x6K relay.

Ukraine was ninth after four early shooting mistakes but avoided further misses to gain seven places. Russia also had four missed targets and trailed Norway by 45.4 seconds in third place. Defending relay champion France took fifth.

The biathlon World Cup resumes Thursday with a men's 10K sprint in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Hamelin wins men's 500 at short track World Cup

SHANGHAI (AP) -- Charles Hamelin of Canada won the men's 500-meter race at a short-track speedskating World Cup event on Sunday.

Hamelin clocked 40.821 seconds for his first win of the season. Vladimir Grigorev of Russia was second with a time of 40.854 while China's Wu Dajing took third in 41.687.

China's Wang Meng won the women's 500 with a time of 43.743 ahead of compatriot Fan Kexin, who had a time of 43.975. Marianne St. Gelais of Canada was third in 53.900.

South Korea's Kwak Yoon-gy won the men's 1,000 in 1:24.928. Victor An of Russia was second in 1:25.055 while Noh Jin-kyu, also of South Korea, was third with a time of 1:33.100.

Russian bobsledder Zubkov makes it 4 in 4

WINTERBERG, Germany (AP) -- World Cup titleholder Alexander Zubkov won his fourth consecutive four-man bobsled race Sunday to extend his lead in the season standings.

Pushed by Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov and Maxim Mokrousov, Zubkov beat World Championship runner-up Maximilian Arndt of Germany and his crew of Alex Mann, Alexander Roediger and Martin Putze by 0.19 seconds. Arndt made the podium for the first time this season.

Arndt was followed over the finish line by the Latvian team of Oskars Melbardis, Daumants Dreiskens, Arvis Vilkaste and Intars Dambis, 0.35 seconds back.

After four of nine races, Zubkov leads with 900 points. World and Olympic champion Steven Holcomb of the United States, who finished sixth, is second with 788 points. Arndt is third with 722.

Japan's Nagashima wins speedskating World Cup

NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Japan's Keiichiro Nagashima won the men's 500-meter race on Sunday to claim his first speedskating World Cup victory of the season.

Nagashima, the Vancouver Olympics silver medalist, beat Canada's Gilmore Junio by two hundredths of a second, clocking 35.14 seconds for his 11th career victory.

Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands was third in 35.18.

South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa clocked 37.60 to win the women's 500 for her fourth straight World Cup win. Germany's Jenny Wolf was second in 37.91 while Japan's Nao Kodaira was third in 38.09.

Hein Otterspeer of the Netherlands won the men's 1,000 in 1:09.20, 0.44 seconds ahead of Denny Morrison of Canada. Kjeld Nuis, also of the Netherlands, was third in 1:09.72.

Christine Nesbitt of Canada won the women's 1,000 in 1:15.132, 0.13 seconds ahead of Heather Richardson of the United States. Lotte van Beek of the Netherlands was third in 1:15.87.

Germans sweep luge World Cup event

ALTENBERG, Germany (AP) -- Olympic champion Felix Loch won his second luge World Cup race of the season Sunday to lead a German sweep of the podium places.

Loch finished .205 seconds ahead of Andi Langenhan, who won the World Cup in Koenigssee last weekend. Johannes Ludwig, who had improved the track record to 53.429 seconds in the first run ahead of Loch, dropped to third place in the second run.

Loch leads the overall World Cup rankings with 285 points ahead of Langenhan with 245 and Ludwig on 225. Loch posted his first career victory on the Altenberg track and also captured his third world title there. He now has 12 career wins.

Germany also won the team relay event.

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