South Korean skater Choi wins gold at Asian Winter Games
SAPPORO, Japan (AP) Choi Da-bin of South Korea held her lead from the short program to win the gold medal in women's figure skating at the Asian Winter Games on Saturday.
Skating to music from Doctor Zhivago, Choi landed all her jumps cleanly with the exception of a triple salchow she under-rotated. First after the short program, Choi received a total of 187.54 points.
''The first half of this season was difficult,'' said Choi. ''But as the season went on, I started to get better and better and this is a very satisfying way to end things.''
Li Zijun of China was second with 175.60 points followed by Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan with 175.04.
Many of Japan's top female skaters did not take part. Satoko Miyahara was injured and Japan junior champion Kaori Sakamoto pulled out with flu.
Earlier, North Korea won its first medal of the games as Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik won the bronze medal in the figure skating pairs event.
The North Korean pair, who were third after the short program, received 112.18 points in Saturday's free skating for a total of 177.40. Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao of China were first with 223.88, followed by compatriots Peng Cheng and Jin Yang with 197.06.
The Japanese government decided to allow North Korean athletes and officials to enter the country to take part despite Japan's entry ban on North Korean citizens.
Tokyo will treat the athletes as an exception to its punitive measure taken as part of its sanctions in response to Pyongyang's nuclear tests and rocket launches.
Elsewhere at the games - seen as a fine-tuning exercise for athletes ahead of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea next February - Japan's Emi Hasegawa won the women's slalom for her second gold medal.
Hasegawa, who won the giant slalom on Thursday, had a total time of 1 minute, 42.20 seconds.
Japan's Asa Ando clocked 1:42.84, followed by Kang Young-seo of South Korea in 1:45.70.
In the men's slalom, Jung Dong-hyun led a 1-2 finish for South Korea, clocking a time of 1:37.10. Kim Hyeon-tae was a further 2.08 seconds back. Japan's Hideyuki Narita took third with a time of 1:39.38.
Liu Jiayu and Zhang Yiwei of China won the women's and men's snowboard halfpipe gold medals.
Japan won the men's large hill ski jumping team event.
Naoki Nakamura, Yuken Iwasa, Yukiya Sato and Masamitsu Ito combined for a total of 975.6 points. Kazakhstan was a distant second with 771.0 and South Korea was third with 726.3.
Japan beat China 6-1 to win the gold medal in women's ice hockey.