Kim holds on to win Four Continents title

Compiled From Kyodo, AP

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Mao Asada rebounded from a poor short program to take the bronze medal at the Four Continents Championships on Friday.

Sixth after Wednesday’s short program, the reigning world champion turned in the top free skate score of 118.66 points for a total of 176.52 in the women’s event won by South Korean rival Kim Yu Na.

Kim, 18, was ranked third in the free skate with 116.83 points but was able to maintain the lead she established in the short program and earned 189.07 for her first Four Continents title.

Canadian Joannie Rochette took the silver on 183.91 after placing second in both the short and free programs. Fumie Suguri finished sixth (167.74) and Akiko Suzuki eighth (160.36).

“I was so nervous that I lacked speed for my first jump,” Asada said. “I wasn’t prepared enough for this competition, but I think I did all right for my current condition.”

Asada refrained from a triple-triple combination jump she has not succeeded in competition all season, making it a triple-double.

She also under-rotated a double lutz early on and then a triple while landing on her only triple axel attempt.

Kim, meanwhile, said she was happy to win at the venue of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“I’m pleased that I won in Vancouver. I fell on a triple loop, but other than that, I performed very well,” said Kim, who trains in Toronto with Canadian coach Brian Orser, a former world champion.

In ice dance, Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White overtook Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to capture their first Four Continents crown.

The American pair scored a 192.39, beating the Canadians 191.81 in the test event for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the final one before next month’s world championships.

“Things have really been coming together for us this season, last season and the year before we were working on different aspects of our skating, and I think this season it all came together for us,” Davis said. “We’ve been working really hard so we’re pretty happy with our performance.”

Americans Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates, the reigning world junior champions, won the bronze with 180.69.

“We were really happy with our performance today,” Bates said, “we were able to execute the elements and also give a good performance, which we were really excited about, and we got a new personal best, so we’re really happy all around.”