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As expected, American women dominate competition at junior world championships

As expected, American women dominate competition at junior world championships

Mirai Nagasu led a 1-2-3 U.S. sweep in the short program at the junior world figure skating championships on Friday.
Nagasu, the U.S. senior champion, scored 65.07 points _ more than 10 points ahead of the fourth-place finisher. Defending junior world champion Caroline Zhang (62.60) was second and Rachael Flatt was third (60.16).
Also, Americans Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates won the ice dancing title.
"I was really nervous coming into this competition, because it's such a big competition," Nagasu said. "But when I got on the ice I put all my fears behind me and I attacked out there, and so I'm really happy with my performance."
Nagasu and Flatt were first and second in the senior division at the U.S. championships last month. But neither was 15 by last July 1, making them too young for the senior world championships. Flatt turned 15 on July 21 while Nagasu won't even turn 15 until April. Zhang, who was fourth at nationals, doesn't turn 15 until May.
So they came to junior worlds _ and it's looking as if they're going to go home with some shiny souvenirs. Yuki Nishino of Japan, who is in fourth place, has 54.15 points, and will need to make up six points just to catch Flatt.
Samuelson and Bates made the most of their second go-round at junior worlds. The couple had to withdraw during last year's free skate when she fell and he stumbled over her, cutting her head. There were no such mishaps on Friday, as they received level fours _ the highest _ for all of their elements except a dance spin.
The Americans finished with 181.66 points, easily beating Canada's Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier (178.09) and Russia's Kristina Gorshkova and Vitali Butikov (172.85).
"It's the opposite extreme from what happened last year," Samuelson said. "We're grateful for everything, for our coaches for getting us thus far, the judges and fans for their support. It just has been wonderful."


Updated : 2021-08-05 15:20 GMT+08:00