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[Photo News] Japanese teen Rika Kihira wins gold in women’s singles at Grand Prix Final

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Dec 9, 2018 - 16:14
  • Updated : Dec 9, 2018 - 16:14

Rika Kihira of Japan won gold in the women’s singles competition at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating held at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver, Canada.


Ladies free program gold medalist Japan`s Rika Kihira poses with her medal at the ISU Grand Prix 0f Figure Skating Final 2018-19 on December 8 2018 in Vancouver, B.C., at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. (Yonhap)
Ladies free program gold medalist Japan`s Rika Kihira (center), silver medalist Russia`s Alina Zagitova (left) and bronze medalist Russia`s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (right) pose with their medals at the ISU Grand Prix 0f Figure Skating Final 2018-19 on December 8 2018 in Vancouver, B.C., at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. (Yonhap)
Gold medallist Rika Kihira of Japan, bronze medallist Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia, and silver medallist Alina Zagitova of Russia, from left, pose at a victory ceremony for the ladies` singles competition at the 2018/19 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. (Yonhap)

This makes Kihira the first Japanese skater competing in the women’s singles to claim gold since Mao Asada’s debut season in 2005.

The rising 16-year-old star of Japan topped the women’s event with a total score of 233.12 points. The silver and bronze medalists were both from Russia. Alina Zagitova, the PyeongChang Olympic champion, finished runner-up with 226.53 points, followed by Elizaveta Tuktamysheva with 215.32.


Japan`s Rika Kihira won gold for her performance in the Ladies Free program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2018-19 on December 8, 2018, in Vancouver, Canada. (Yonhap)
Japan`s Rika Kihira won gold for her performance in the Ladies Free program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2018-19 on December 8, 2018, in Vancouver, Canada. (Yonhap)
Figure skater Rika Kihira (left) of Japan with her coach Mie Hamada reacts in the kiss and cry after the ladies` free skate at the 2018/19 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. (Yonhap)

Kihira was one of the few women to perform a triple axel in the competition, although she missed her first triple axel in her free skate program “Beautiful Storm” by Jennifer Thomas.

By The Korea Herald (khnews@heraldcorp.com)