Tuktamysheva wins free skate, US claims World Team Trophy
TOKYO (AP) World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia was first in the women's free skate on Saturday but the United States held on to win the World Team Trophy.
Tuktamysheva landed a triple axel and five more triple jumps to finish with 134.21 points, comfortably ahead of compatriot Elena Radionova with 129.73. Japan's Satoko Miyahara was third with 129.12.
''I think the girls did their job a 100 percent, while for the others there is still room for improvement,'' Russia captain Alexander Smirnov said. ''We could have had more points in the pairs and men, but we are still satisfied.''
Tuktamysheva performed the triple axel for the first time in a major competition at last month's world championships in Shanghai, joining a handful of female skaters who have successfully landed the difficult jump.
She fell on the triple axel in the short program on Thursday but had no trouble landing a clean jump on the final day.
Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold were fourth and fifth respectively as the U.S. finished with a combined 110 points, one ahead of Russia. The Americans had a four-point lead going into the final day.
Japan finished third with 103.
''This was an amazing competition,'' U.S. captain Evan Bates said. ''Watching is so much more stressful than being on the ice and skating. Especially toward the end, when the ladies were skating and it started to get really close and we were not sure what was going to happen.''
Gold was first after the short program but struggled on Saturday. She fell on her opening triple lutz and was deducted points on a triple flip.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada won the pairs free skate with 140.70. Sui Wenjing and Han Chong of China were second with 139.73, followed by Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the U.S. with 127.87.
The United States also won this event in 2009 and 2013. Japan won in 2012.