• Reuters

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Yukina Ota of Japan won the overall women’s title at the Four Continents figure skating championships in Hamilton, Ontario on Friday.

Canadian champion Cynthia Phaneuf took second spot after winning the free-skating section of the event.

“I’m happy but I still have a lot to work on,” Ota said.

“I want this victory to be a step toward building my confidence.”

The 17-year-old Ota, who was the 2003 world junior champion and recently finished fifth at the Japanese nationals, made full use of her lanky arms and legs, receiving a mark as high as 5.8 for artistry.

“I tried to accentuate my good points,” she said.

Amber Corwin of the United States took bronze with Canadians Joannie Rochette and Jennifer Robinson finishing in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

In the ice dancing event, U.S. senior champions Tanith Belbin and partner Benjamin Agosto took the gold medal after winning the free skate.

“We’re very excited to have another title,” Belbin said. “It’s great to start building those up. It wasn’t our strongest performance. . . . We’re looking forward to going home and working on the speed and the performance and everything we need for worlds.”

The judging panel gave the American duo a 6-3 decision over Canadians Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, who took the silver.

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