Wagner, Gold help US win World Team Trophy
TOKYO (AP) — Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold finished on the podium in the free skate on Saturday to help the United States win the figure skating World Team Trophy.
Wagner, fourth after the short program, received 188.60 points for her routine to Samson and Delilah to finish second. Gold was third with 188.03 points. Akiko Suzuki of Japan won the women’s free program with 199.58 points.
“I could not be prouder of the U.S. team,” Wagner said. “Every member contributed to this victory and I am proud to be the captain.”
The United States, which won the inaugural World Team Trophy in 2009, entered the final day of competition leading in the overall standings and finished with 57 points. Canada was next with 51, two points ahead of Japan.
Wagner hit all her jumps in a lively routine to Samson and Delilah. Her only blemish was when she took off with the wrong edge of her skate on a triple lutz.
“I really made sure to capture the character of Delilah,” Wagner said. “The personality of the program is what carried me to such a strong performance. Competing has been fun for me this season, and more than anything else that is what made a difference this year.”
Gold, who was third after the short program, also completed all her jumps in a routine to Life is Beautiful.
Mao Asada of Japan finished a disappointing fifth after being downgraded on her trademark triple axel at the start of her program. Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, who was first after the short program, was sixth.
The World Team Trophy brings together selected skaters from the six countries that scored the highest combined points at major senior and junior competitions.
A team event will be included for the first time at the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi, although the format will differ slightly from the World Team Trophy.