Japan’s Mihara wins Four Continents with strong free skate

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) Mai Mihara captured the women’s title Saturday at the Four Continents, a test event for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The 17-year-old Japanese rallied with a strong free skate after placing fourth in the short program. She had a total of 200.85 points at Gangneung Ice Arena. Skating to music from Cinderella, Mihara landed her jumps cleanly to earn 134.34 points in the free skate.

“I was able to achieve my goals in my first Four Continents,” she said. “I was a little nervous at first.”

Gabrielle Daleman of Canada, first after the short program, stumbled on the landing of a double axel and was second with 196.91. American Mirai Nagasu, who had a personal best of 132.04 in the free skate, was third with 194.95.

“When these moments happen, it’s so exciting and so gratifying,” Nagusu said. “It just validates my reason for training hard every day, doing programs even when I don’t feel like it and getting up when I fall.”

Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada was second after the short program but finished fourth after placing sixth in the free program. Choi Dabin of South Korea was fifth and Karen Chen of the United States was 12th.

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China won the pairs gold medal after placing first in the free skate for a combined total of 225.03 points.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were second with 212.23 points, followed by compatriots Liubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch with 205.31.