Figure skating: Kaori Sakamoto 2nd as Japan finishes 3rd in Team Trophy


mainichi– Kaori Sakamoto was second in the women’s free skate on Saturday as Russia won its first six-nation World Team Trophy figure skating team competition, while host Japan finished third.

Russia dominated the women’s, pairs and ice dance to finish with 125 team points at Intec Arena Osaka. The four-time champion United States, lifted by Nathan Chen’s victories in the men’s short and free skate, finished second with 110 points, ahead of Japan’s 107.

Anna Shcherbakova won the women’s free skate with 160.58 points to Sakamoto’s 150.29.

“With each passing day, my body felt more and more tired,” Sakamoto said. “I think I was skating by instinct alone. Because the Olympics are taking place next season, I want to keep pushing forward.”

Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva was third and Japan’s Rika Kihira, who has been competing while dealing with lower back pain, was fifth.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara were third in the pairs free skate, won by Russia’s world champions, Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov. Miura and Kihara, who achieved their best-ever score in the pairs short program, scored 130.83 in the free skate, topping their previous best from March’s worlds by 10.79.