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Sotnikova inspired by watching Mao

AFP-JIJI

Newly crowned Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova has revealed that she had been inspired by Mao Asada in her journey toward Winter Games’ gold.

Mao’s bid to give Japan a second figure skating gold in Sochi fell foul of her trademark triple Axel jump on Wednesday, leaving her in 16th position after the first night of the competition.

But she recovered strongly on Thursday to post the third-highest score in the free skate behind winner Sotnikova of Russia and South Korean silver medalist Yuna Kim, lifting her to sixth place overall.

“I love Mao as an athlete and as a worker,” said Sotnikova of the Vancouver silver medalist.

The Russian said she had been particularly impressed with how Mao coped with the death of her mother in 2011.

“She’s a workaholic. She overcomes all difficulty. When tragedy struck she didn’t stop, she dedicated her skating to her mother. I’m always happy to skate with Mao,” said the four-time Russian champion.