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Takahashi comes from behind to win Skate America

Kyodo

Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi came from behind to capture his second Grand Prix title of the season at Skate America on Saturday.

Takahashi was second after the short program but the reigning world champion and Vancouver Olympic bronze medalist did enough to beat compatriot Nobunari Oda into first place, despite a shaky performance.

Takahashi collected 227.07 points to add to his victory at the season-opening NHK Trophy in Nagoya last month and secure a place in the Grand Prix Final in Beijing in December.

He is now top of the all-time list of Japanese men’s Grand Prix winners with six titles.

Oda, who led after the short program, had 226.09 points for second place, while American Armin Mahbanoozadeh took third with 211.17. Japan’s Daisuke Murakami was fifth with 203.00.

Earlier, Japanese schoolgirl Kanako Murakami delivered a sparkling performance to take second place in the women’s short program.

The 16-year-old, clad in a black dress with pink polka-dots and skating to “Jumping Jack,” had the crowd at Rose Garden arena spellbound as she glided through her program to take 54.75 points and finish behind leader Carolina Kostner of Italy.

Three-time European champion Kostner, winner of the NHK Trophy last month, had 60.28 points while Sweden’s Joshi Helgesson was in third place with 51.17.

“I thought overall I skated really well. I am satisfied,” said junior world champion Murakami, who placed third on her senior debut behind Kostner and American Rachel Flatt at the NHK Trophy.

Murakami skated cleanly although she was unhappy about under-rotating a double axel.

“Maybe I was overly concerned about it. It’s not one of my strong points,” she said.