March 29 - Mao Asada of Japan has won her third title at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Championships on home ice.
Skating to Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic silver medallist, who also won world gold in 2008 and 2010, landed five clean triples and, even with three under-rotated jumps, managed to finish with 216.69 points overall in the Japanese city of Saitama.
"It hasn't sunk in yet that I won the Championship," Asada said.
"I wanted to put out everything I had on the ice for the short and free programme and I feel I did that.
"The Olympics and worlds brought me happiness and also made me regret, I went through so many emotions but after all it made me realise again how wonderful skating is."
Russia's Yulia Lipnitskaya claimed silver 9.19 points behind Asada, while Italy's Carolina Kostner, the Sochi 2014 bronze medallist and 2012 world champion, secured bronze with 203.83 points.
Meanwhile, the Italian duo of Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte delivered a strong free dance to "Barber of Seville", completing difficult lifts and intricate steps, to win the ice dancing gold by edging out Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje by just 0.02 points.
Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat of France, the 2012 third place finishers, claimed the bronze medal and were just 0.06 points behind the champions.
"We have no words, we are shocked," Cappellini said.
"We had to work so much to block out the pressure of being first in the short dance.
"It was such a long season.
"We were at the end of our energy and we turned to each other for strength.
"We were already happy with the way we performed, the rest doesn't matter as we always say."
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships are due to conclude tomorrow with the Exhibition Gala.
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