Japan earned a bronze medal in the figure skating team competition on Monday at the Beijing Winter Olympics after Kaori Sakamoto finished second in the women’s free skate section.
The Russian Olympic Committee won gold with 74 points to finish nine points ahead of United States, with Japan two points further back at Capital Indoor Stadium.
Kamila Valieva, the ROC’s 15-year-old prodigy, backed up her first-place finish in Sunday’s short programme by topping the standings in the free skate with 178.92 points, underlining her status as the gold medal favourite in the women’s individual event.
Sakamoto scored 148.66 and earned nine team points with an assured performance featuring a double axel and seven triple jumps. Canada’s Madeline Schisas was third with 132.04.
Ice dancers Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto finished fifth in the free dance section, scoring 98.66 points to earn six team points, which sent Japan into the last event of the five-team final in third place.
Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates were first with 129.07, ahead of the ROC’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov with 128.17. Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier placed third with 124.39.
Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara started Monday’s competition by placing second in the pairs free skate section to briefly move Japan up to second overall. The pair, who finished fourth in Friday’s short programme, hit all of their elements in a mistake-free routine to score 139.60.
The ROC’s Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov led the way with a score of 145.20, while China’s Peng Cheng and Jin Yang finished third with 131.75.
Japan came into the final day of competition trailing the ROC and United States in third after Yuma Kagiyama topped the men’s free skate section on Sunday.
The 18-year-old’s score of 208.94 made him just the third person to earn more than 200 points for the free skate, joining the elite company of back-to-back Olympic men’s champion Yuzuru Hanyu and this year’s gold medal favourite Nathan Chen.
This is not a CAPTIS article. Originally, it was published here.