Japan edges US to win World Team Trophy

By Jim Armstrong

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, April 21 2012 6:00 a.m. MDT

Akiko Suzuki of Japan performs during the women's free skating program at the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating in Tokyo Saturday, April 21, 2012.

Itsuo Inouye, Associated Press

TOKYO — Akiko Suzuki finished second in the free skate and first overall in the women's program on Saturday and host Japan won the International Skating Union's World Team Trophy.

Ashley Wagner of the United States won the free skate with 122.29 points, but Japan held a solid eight-point lead after Daisuke Takahashi won the men's free skate on Friday and finished the competition with 55 points, two ahead of the U.S.

Canada was third with 42 points.

Suzuki, who was also second in the short program, had 120.28 points in the free skate and finished first overall with 187.79 points. Her only major mistake came when she under-rotated a double loop in a combination jump.

"The results for Japan were great, but I felt the content of my program needs some work heading to next season," Suzuki said. "It was a tough competition to prepare for coming so close after the worlds, but I'm happy we won."

The United States won the inaugural World Team Trophy in 2009 in Tokyo.

Wagner, who was fifth after the short program, turned in one of her best performances of the season in a free skate that got a standing ovation from the crowd at Yoyogi Arena.

"That performance was just the way I wanted to end my 'Black Swan' program," Wagner said. "It's one of my favorite programs by far and to skate it clean is quite extraordinary. To top it off, I had a great double axel-triple toe. Overall, it was a solid program."

World champion Carolina Kostner of Italy was third in the free skate with 116.24 points. Kostner fell on a triple-toeloop, double toeloop combination and singled a double axel.

Russians Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov finished first in the pairs event with 180.70 points. Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were second with 177.62 points followed by the Japanese pair of Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran, who had 177.56 points.

Figure skating's team event will make its Olympic debut in 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Each team consists of two women, two men, one pair and one ice dancing couple.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS