Canadians Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford win world championships bronze
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada perform their pairs free skating in the World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, near Tokyo, Thursday, March 27, 2014. The Canadian pair won the bronze medal. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:01AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:12PM EDT
SAITAMA, Japan -- Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won a pairs bronze medal at the world figure skating championships Thursday while Mao Asada of Japan set a world record to finish first in the women's short program.
Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., were third with 210.84 points. Teammates Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto were fourth.
Duhamel and Radford, who were seventh at the Sochi Olympics, also won bronze at last year's world championships in London, Ont.
"In some ways I think that this bronze medal feels even better than the last one," Radford said. "This season was just a lot more difficult and we had a lot more downs than we did last season. Especially after the Olympics, with our sort of disappointing result, we had to really pull ourselves together and to shift our point of view to just go out here and do it for ourselves.
"And then to go out there and to actually do it and be back on the podium, it's a huge thing for us. We are just so proud of ourselves."
Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy won the gold, claiming their fifth title in the event they have dominated since 2008.
Skating to Chopin's Nocturne, Asada hit her trademark triple Axel at the start of her routine and completed all her remaining jumps to finish with 78.66 points, surpassing the previous record of 78.50 set by Yuna Kim at the Vancouver Olympics.
"As the last competition of this season, I am happy to skate the best short program," said Asada, a two-time world champion. "My mission here is to perform both programs perfect so already half is done and tomorrow I want to focus on showing everything I have practised."
Carolina Kostner of Italy was second with 77.24 points followed by Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia, who had 74.54 points. Kim, the defending champion, has retired and Olympic gold medallist Adelina Sotnikova of Russia isn't competing at the worlds.
Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., was eighth and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was 14th.
Skating to music from the "Alice in Wonderland" soundtrack, Duhamel fell on a triple Salchow in what was supposed to be a three-jump combination for the Canadian pairs team. It was an otherwise clean performance.
"When you make a mistake as a figure skater, you need to put that mistake behind you as quickly as possible and continue skating as if you were skating cleanly. And we've been able to do that before, but at the Olympics after we made one mistake, things started to unravel a little bit," Duhamel said. "So we were really aware, as soon as I fell, that was not going to take away from our performance, that we were still going to go strong right until the end."
Savchenko and Szolkowy were solid on all their elements in their program to "The Nutcracker," and earned 224.88 points to beat Russia's Olympic silver medallists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, who had 215.92 points.
"A fifth title is quite amazing," Szolkowy said. "We did and very good performance yesterday and were very good today."
Savchenko and Szolkowy, who won the Olympic bronze in 2010 and 2014, have been together since August of 2003 and will split up after the world championships.
"I can hardly believe it is over now. It feels very strange," Savchenko said. "To be honest, it felt like I was skating in an exhibition gala."
Duhamel and Radford, in only their fourth year together, will continue competing next season.
"I think that we have just learned a lot about where skating fits into our lives and the way that we approach our competitions. We spent the beginning of the season trying so hard to get every other point, and to really please the judges," Radford said. "We've realized that if we go out and just skate the way that we want, we tend to skate better and we get better points.
"Knowing that, we will take a very different approach going into next season. I think we will have a lot more streamlined programs, maybe a little bit simpler, just to create as much flow as possible and in turn we will perform more relaxed."
Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., were 12th overall out of 16 pairs.
In women's singles, Osmond pulled off all three of triple flip, triple toe and triple Lutz in the short program for the first time in competition.
"I was really excited with the program," said Osmond. "It meant a lot to me to be able to do that here at worlds."
-- With files from The Associated Press.