• Kyodo


Japan’s Yoshie Onda skated a lackluster free skate and had to settle for third place in the women’s event at Skate America on Saturday.

News photoYoshie Onda of Japan performs her free skate in the women’s event at Skate America in Atlantic City.

Onda’s unconvincing performance saw her finish with 150.98 points, while the 2003 world silver medalist, Russian Elena Sokolova, easily beat a diluted field to take first place with 163.02 points.

American Alissa Czisny, who replaced injured Sasha Cohen, took second on 159.30.

“I thought I would have a good chance at this event,” said Onda, who was hoping to take advantage of the absence of Cohen and Michelle Kwan, who is also injured.

“But I was unable to skate the same way I have been doing in practice,” shrugged a disappointed Onda, who was second after the short program.

Still, Onda was confident she could turn things around as she tries to make a second straight Winter Olympic appearance next year in Turin.

“It’s not like my chances of competing (in Turin) are zero and things cold get better if I give it a good shot at the next (Grand Prix series) event in Russia,” Onda said.

In the ice dance, American pair Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto claimed their third straight Skate America crown, while the pair’s title went to China’s Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao.

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