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Led by Malinin, Americans finish off strong junior worlds

Led by Malinin, Americans finish off strong junior worlds

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — U.S. figure skaters finished off a strong performance at the world junior championships Sunday by winning three more medals.

Isabeau Levito took the women’s event and was joined on the podium by teammate Lindsay Thorngren, who earned bronze. Oona and Gage Brown clinched the gold medal in ice dance.

Over the course of the event, Team USA earned four medals, the most since 2013, including three of the four golds after Ilia Malinin claimed gold on Saturday that included a record-shattering showing. It's the first time since 2008 the United States has won three world titles at this level.

Levito, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, is the 2022 U.S. bronze medalist. She won gold Sunday by just over half a point ahead of Jia Shin of Korea. Rachael Flatt in 2008 was the last U.S. woman to take the title.

Thorngren, of Montclair, New Jersey, set international personal bests in both her free skate and total score. She was the 2020 U.S. junior champion.

Levito and Thorngren become the first duo of U.S. skaters on the junior women’s podium since 2009.

The Browns' ice dance title marks the second consecutive gold and 11th overall for Team USA at world juniors. A U.S. ice dance team has medaled 10 of the last 11 times the championships have been held.

After setting a personal best in the rhythm dance Friday, the Browns extended their lead, setting personal bests in the free dance and total score, shattering their previous top score by more than 15 points with a combined 170.25.

The Browns, of Middle Island, New York, were joined on the podium by the two Canadian teams. Natalie D’Alessandro and Bruce Waddell took silver with 162.56 points, and Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont secured bronze with 157.64 points.

Malinin, second at U.S. nationals in January but left off the Olympic team for the more experienced Jason Brown, smashed the world record in the short program on Thursday. He scored 88.99 points with his program set to David Cook's “Billie Jean.”

The 17-year-old Malinin, dubbed the “QuadGod” for his dynamic leaping ability, then the native of Vienna, Virginia hit four quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to total 276.11 points. He won by 41.8 points.