Laura Lepistö wins bronze at World Figure Skating Championships in Torino
The competition at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2010 concluded in Torino, Italy, on Saturday with the Ladies Free Skating.
Mao Asada of Japan claimed victory in an exciting finale.
The overwhelming Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim of Korea surged from seventh to second, while Finland’s Laura Lepistö captured the bronze medal, the first-ever medal for a Finnish female single figure skater at the World Championships level.
After the short program, in which Yu-Na Kim showed a unexpected measure of uncertainty and threw the competition wide open, Laura Lepistö was in third place, but the free skating was exciting until the very end, and the Finn had to wait for all the others’ scores before the bronze was secured.
Skating to “Adios Nonino” and “Fuga y Misterio”, Lepistö nailed a triple toe-triple toe combination and a triple Lutz, but then doubled the edge jumps loop and Salchow, with obvious reductions in points.
The European silver medallist conversely picked up points with her strong pirouettes and stylish delivery.
Lepistö earned 114.32 points for the free programme and was ranked sixth in this segment, and she fell well short of the scored she gained in finishing sixth at the Olympics last month, but overall she just held on to third place with 178.62 points. Fewer than 1.5 points separated the four girls occupying places 3 to 6 - including the European Champion Carolina Kostner in 6th place - in a very tight competition for the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, Mao Asada took full advantage of a less than stellar performance by her Korean rival, and reversed the placings between them from Vancouver.
Asada is a former World Champion from 2008 and was the silver medallist in 2007.
“Today I did the hardest elements very well, but I’m very annoyed about the easier ones; they are not that difficult for me but I didn’t do them perfectly”, Lepistö commented on Saturday evening.
However, it was better this way, as failing in the more difficult elements would have cost more points, and in an even competition like this it could have led to her slipping off the podium.
Laura Lepistö was born in Espoo in 1988. She is an Espoo resident and represents the skating club Espoon Jäätaiturit.
Her longtime coach is Virpi Horttana.
The performance of the other Finnish skater, Kiira Korpi, was something of a disappointment.
After struggling in both programmes, she earned a total of 134.49 points and finished 19th, after placing 16th in Friday's short programme.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Laura Lepistö takes silver in European Figure Skating Championships (25.1.2010)
Laura Lepistö wins European title in front of ecstatic home audience (26.1.2009)
Finns fall short in medals department, but there were Olympic highlights after all (1.3.2010)
Laura Lepistö (Wikipedia)
International Skating Union