Mihara 2nd in free skate as Japan wins World Team Trophy

Publish date:

TOKYO (AP) Mai Mihara placed second in the women's free skate on Saturday to help Japan win the World Team Trophy.

The 17-year-old Mihara, the Four Continents champion, received a personal best 146.71 points and Wakaba Higuchi came third with 145.30, as Japan clinched the title with 109 points.

Russia finished second with 105 and the United States was third with 97.

Mihara's performance to ''Cinderella'' featured seven clean triples and excellent spins.

With the retirement of Mao Asada earlier this month, Japan captain Kana Muramoto was encouraged to see strong performances from the country's young skaters.

''I think the ladies put on a wonderful performance tonight,'' Muramoto said. ''I think Team Japan was able to grasp this event together as a team and we were able to make a statement as a new Team Japan.''

Skating to ''Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'', Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva landed seven triples, including two triple-triple combinations, to take first place in the free skate. The 17-year-old two-time world champion achieved a new record score of 160.46 points.

Elena Radionova of Russia delivered a strong performance as well to ''Tosca'', but she stumbled on an underrotated double axel. The two-time European silver medalist was fifth in the free skating with 137.08 points.

Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres of France won the pairs free skate with 146.87 points, beating Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia with 142.30. Peng Cheng and Jin Yang of China were third with 133.13.

Canada finished fourth with 87 points, followed by China (80) and France (62).