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Figure-skating: Golden Wagner, Mura light up Paris GP

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Published : 2012-11-20 16:24
Updated : 2012-11-20 16:34

Ashley Wagner from USA poses with her trophy after winning the gold in the ladies free skating program during the Trophee Eric Bompard, the fifth in the six-round ISU Grand Prix figure skating series, on November 17, 2012 at Paris-Bercy. (AFP)



Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy perform their free dance program during the Trophee Eric Bompard, the fifth in the six-round ISU Grand Prix figure skating series, on November 17, 2012 at Paris-Bercy. (AFP)


 
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia performs in the Ladies Free Skating of the ISU Figure Skating Eric Bompard Trophy at Bercy arena in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP)





U.S. figure skating champion Ashley Wagner and Japan's Takahito Mura lit up the Paris-Bercy arena on their way to gold in the Trophee Bompard here on Saturday.

Wagner's flawless "Samson and Delilah" free skate gave the 21-year-old a second Grand Prix title this season after Skate America and a berth in next month's ISU Grand Prix final in Sochi, Russia.

She won by a comfortable 11.01-point margin on last year's winner Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia, who moved up to second ahead of compatriot and overnight leader Julia Lipnitskaia, who took bronze after errors.

"Today was a huge achievement for me," said Wagner, who complained of a head cold. "I went out there feeling sick and not the best, and being able to accomplish that not feeling 100 percent was a great achievement."

The tangerine-clad American opened with a solid triple flip-double toeloop-double loop combination, followed by a double Axel-double toeloop in a routine which included also six triple jumps but no triple-triple.

"My goal for the Grand Prix final is to get my spin levels up and I hope to put the triple-triple out there for the first time this season," she added after becoming the first American woman since Sasha Cohen in 2003 to win here.

She scored 127.57 for the free skate for 190.63 overall.

Fifteen-year-old Tuktamysheva, the revelation of last season with two Grand Prix wins, made up for her fourth in Skate Canada with a strong free skate to "Dark Eyes", scoring 211.36 for 179.62 overall.

Lipnitskaia, 14, struggled with her jumps in her "Nutcracker" routine scoring 115.76 and 179.31 overall.

"It wasn't happening for me today. I don't know why," said the Russian.

Earlier Mura, 21, claimed his first senior medal when he surged to gold in the men's event ahead of US champion Jeremy Abbott with France's Florent Amodio moving up from seventh after the short program to take the bronze.

Despite popping a triple flip jump and getting a one-point time deduction for his "Shogun" routine, Mura scored 230.68 overall, as overnight leader Abbott's back problems restricted his jumps but he took silver with 227.63.

"I have to say I'm very surprised," said Mura, whose eighth place in Skate Canada means he won't qualify for the Grand Prix final.

"Thinking about last year or the year before I never imagined that I could win the competition here."

Abbott added: "I had a couple of mistakes and issues with spin levels and that cost me first place but I'm happy that I'm done and still in one piece."

Amodio's "Jumpin Jack" and "Broken Sorrow" routine proved a hit with the home crowd, earning him the highest free skate score for an overall 214.25 to take bronze ahead of compatriot Brian Joubert who fell on his quad jump.

Earlier pairs skaters Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov booked their spot in the Grand Prix final at home in Russia next month after taking gold.

The Russians held their overnight lead, taking gold by just 1.28 points on Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford after the free skating final.

The win means Kavaguti and Smirnov, already runners-up in the Cup of China, can compete in the Grand Prix final in 2014 Winter Olympic host city, along with Skate Canada runners-up Duhamel and Radford.

The Russians scored 121.21 points for the free skate for 187.99 overall with the Canadians achieving 124.43 and an overall 186.71.

Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek grabbed bronze as Chinese pair Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao dropped to fourth.

In ice dancing, France's Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, already winners in the Cup of China, are also through to the Grand Prix final after winning a second gold.

Italians Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte also booked their Sochi ticket after their second runners-up spot after Skate Canada.

The final leg in the six-event series will be the NHK Trophy in Japan from November 23-25 with the Grand Prix Final from December 6-9. (AFP)

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