March 28, 2015 / 10:22 AM / 4 years ago

Tuktamysheva eases to gold in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva added the World Championship title to her European crown after a solid, if not spectacular, free skate in Shanghai on Saturday gave her a comprehensive victory.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia reacts after competing in the ladies short program during the ISU World Figure Skating Championship in Shanghai March 26, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The 18-year-old had a big lead after landing a rarely attempted triple axel in an impressive and daring short programme on Thursday and was able to coast to victory with a free skate routine featuring a triple lutz and double toeloop.

Her score of 132.74 gave her a 210.36 total, way clear of Japan’s Satoko Myahara in silver with 193.60.

“I can’t believe it yet,” the Russian, who failed to qualify for her home Sochi Olympics last year, told reporters.

“I was tight, even with my advantage in points from the short programme I couldn’t make any major mistakes. With two major mistakes the advantage would have been gone. It would have been a shame to lose.

“I kept a high level and skated really well. But today my performance was not as good as my short programme, and I hope I can finish a triple axel in free skate in the future.”

Myahara produced a season’s best mark but the 17-year-old said there was plenty of room for improvement after putting her hand down on the ice after her second lutz.

Russian Elena Radionova was delighted with her bronze after complaining of feeling ill and weak in her free skate of 121.96, for a 191.47 total.

Radionova, who finished runner-up to Tuktamysheva at the Europeans, edged out American Gracie Gold for a medal.

Gold, who finished fourth at the Olympics, had the second best free skate of 188.96 but the damage was done in Thursday’s short programme where she botched her opening triple-triple combination.

“It’s always hard to skate a long programme after a rough short programme, because if you can’t get through a short well, how could you go through a long programme well?” she said.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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