Kostner skates past Nagasu in ladies short

Italian skater was not perfect but still held off challengers

Italian skater Carolina Kostner leads American Mirai Nagasu by less than a point.
Italian skater Carolina Kostner leads American Mirai Nagasu by less than a point. (Getty Images)


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(11/04/2011) - Italy's Carolina Kostner came out on top Friday, taking first place in the Cup of China short program, followed by American Mirai Nagasu. Kostner's win marred what otherwise would have been a Russian sweep of the short programs.

Kostner scored a whopping 61.88 points in the short program to Dmitri Shostakovich's "Allegreto from Trio No. 3," starting with a clean triple toe-triple toe and going into a triple loop, on which she put both of her hands down.

The two-time world bronze medalist finished with a strong double Axel and led the short program despite a nearly spotless performance by Nagasu. Nagasu, who scored 60.96 points, was deducted for an edge call on her triple Lutz-double toe loop.

"I am not completely satisfied with what I did today," Kostner said. "At Skate America, I got really low levels on the spins, so I was concentrating a lot on the spins this week. I probably was more focused on the spins today than on the jumps, and I made a mistake on the loop."

Nagasu, who skated to the intense "Danzarin" by Tango Lorca, came in a disappointing fifth place at Skate Canada, but she opened her performance on Friday with a strong triple loop followed by a triple Lutz-double toe and a clean double Axel. A triple-triple for Nagasu on Saturday could put her in the running for gold.

Nagasu was followed far behind by third-place finisher and world junior champion Adelina Sotnikova of Russia, who finished with 53.74 points in her international senior debut. Her performance got off to a shaky start, with a fall on her opening triple Lutz.

American Christina Gao finished with 51.99 points, coming in eighth place following a fall on her double Axel. She hit a triple flip-triple toe and later a triple Lutz.