Italy's Kostner carries lead to win Cup of China
Mozart routine delights Shanghai crowd
|Carolina Kostner's 182.14 points were enough to take gold at Cup of China. (AFP)|
After finishing second at Skate America last week, Kostner finished her free skate Saturday with 120.26 points, executing a smooth triple loop during her conservative routine, which was similar to previous performances.
She began her routine with a gentle triple loop while skating to music by Mozart and then went on to land a triple flip with a foot down in addition to three triples executed with ease. With a total of 182.14 points after her performance, Kostner beamed in the Shanghai stadium at a roaring crowd.
"I am so relieved to make it to the Grand Prix Final," Kostner said. "Usually I struggle with consistency early in the season. The scores in this competition give me confidence that my programs have been accepted."
She has fared well in China in the past -- she placed second last year at the Grand Prix final in Beijing -- but said she questioned in the past whether to take a break from skating.
American Mirai Nagasu took home silver on Saturday after a strong free-skate performance to music by Aram Khatchaturian that earned 112.26 points. And after a disappointing fifth-place finish at Skate Canada last week, a more mature-looking Nagasu started with a solid triple loop-double toe combination followed by a triple Lutz and triple toe.
Following her second-place finish Friday, Nagasu said she was happy with her her final performance. She went home with 173.22 points total -- her second Grand Prix medal.
"When I came to the Cup of China previously, I did very well in the short program and then dropped to fourth place," Nagasu said. "To break that curse is such a huge relief to me. Coming here and skating well, I'm just happy and ready for my next competition."
Nagasu was followed far behind by third-place finisher and world junior champion Adelina Sotnikova of Russia, who finished with 159.95 points in her international senior debut. The world junior champion gave a rocky performance in the free skate and received 106.21 points for landing a singled Lutz and stepping out of two double Axels.
American Christina Gao finished strong in fifth place with 152.48 points overall, landing a flip-triple toe. She came in fourth in the free skate for her terse performance to "Libertango" by Astor Piazzolla, scoring 100.49 points.