Kostner brings gold to Italy
Carolina Kostner made figure skating history for her country by winning the first ladies world title. Alena Leonova of Russia earned the silver medal, which is also very worthy as it was first medal at Worlds for Russia since the times of Irina Slutskaya. Japan’s Akiko Suzuki took the bronze.
Kostner turned in a strong performance to Mozart’s Concerto No. 23 for Piano and Orchestra that featured a triple loop, flip, double Axel-triple toe as well as two triple Salchows and three level-four spins. The four-time European Champion scored a new season’s best of 128.94 points to move up from third to first at 189.94 points overall. “I am very, very happy. I was quite nervous going out on the ice. I knew I had skated some really good programs in practice, but it was so overwhelming to go out there and have so many people cheering for you, it was hard for me to stay focused. It reminded me so much of Torino (2006), but I thought this time I can change it and have a different experience. I just wanted to skate my best, straight from my heart, now I can sit back and enjoy.” Kostner said.
Short program leader Leonova had to skate first in the final flight and put out a solid program to “Adagio for Strings” and “Requiem for a Dream”, completing a triple toe-triple toe and four triples, but stepped out of a triple Lutz. The Russian picked up 119.67 points and was ranked fourth in the Free Skating. Overall she accumulated 184.28 points. “I am very happy. I did my best the day before yesterday and today. There was one small mistake on my Lutz, but I am glad, I could pull myself together. I had really bad warm up, made single jumps, so about three minutes before my skating I started to think about the performance so I could concentrate on it. During the warm up I was nervous, but then, before the music played I was absolutely calm. Now I am relieved.” Leonova commented.
Suzuki’s routine to “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat) was highlighted by a triple Lutz, double Axel-triple toe, four more triples and a level-four step sequence. However, she singled the second Lutz. The Japanese earned 121.30 points and totaled 180.68 to win her first medal at the World Championships three days after her 27th birthday. “I am very, very happy to have won a medal. But I wanted to give a clean performance and get a medal with it. So I have a few regrets about that”, Suzuki said. “I think I missing last year’s World team gave a lot of motivation to train harder. This is my first World medal and I am 27 years old. Others win their first medal at 17 years old, like Yuzuru Hanyu.” she continued.
World Championships 2012 – Ladies, Final standings, Top 10