Saturday, March 31st –Palais des Expositions– Nice, France
That’s a wrap from Nice! The final gold medal of the week belongs to Italy’s Carolina Kostner. She earned her first World title, and fourth overall World medal, with 189.94 points. Silver went to Alena Leonova of Russia, the short program winner, and bronze to Japan’s Akiko Suzuki.
Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth, gave the crowd something to cheer about with Black Swan free skate. She received 120.35 points for the segment and totaled 176.77 for the week.
Wagner, smiling from ear to ear after the performance, acknowledged the fans’ support.
“The free skate was incredible. I’m so happy with it,” she said. “The crowd was on its feet clapping as loud as it could while I was in my spin. It took all of my effort not to come out of my spin and hit my final pose because I was so excited. Today couldn’t have been any better for me.”
Alissa Czisny finished 22nd with 124.11 points.
In the men’s event, Canada’s Patrick Chan repeated as World champion, totaling 266.11 points. The raucus crowd was treated to riveting performances, including those from Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi and Yuzuru Hanyu, who won silver and bronze, respectively. For the first time in history, Japan won two World medals. The host nation was well represented with Brian Joubert placing fourth and Florent Amodio, fifth.
For Team USA, Jeremy Abbott fought back in his free skate after Friday’s short program. He earned 151.34 points for the free skate and 226.19 overall. He finished eighth. After the skate, Abbott noted that he was skating today to make himself proud.
“I knew after yesterday I was going to have to come out clawing and scratching for everything because I was not going to lie down and take it,” he said. “I came into this championships more prepared than ever. I felt confidence and I believed deep within myself that it was going to happen for me. Yesterday, it didn’t. Today, I forgot about yesterday. This is for me. Forget the expectations, forget the placement, every other competitor, the media. This was for me and I fought my way through that program.”
Adam Rippon, in his second World Championships, placed 13th with a total score of 216.63 points. Like Abbott, he was more pleased with his performance in the free skate than in the short program.
“It wasn’t my best, but I felt like I fought through the entire program,” he said. “I felt really strong especially at the end. I put out a strong performance and can be nothing but proud of what I did today. I’m satisfied.”
Team USA will next be in action at the 2012 ISU World Team Trophy set for April 19-22 in Tokyo. Look for more details later this week.