Takahashi, Kozuka guide nation to victory


Figure skaters Daisuke Takahashi and Takahiko Kozuka both landed quadruple jumps Saturday, leading host Japan to its fifth overall victory in the Japan Open international competition.

Japan outperformed North America and Europe with a high score of 569.25 points at Saitama Super Arena to win the title for the first time in two years, following a third-place finish at last year’s meet.

Takahashi topped the men’s individual standings, while Kozuka was runnerup. Compatriots Mao Asada and Akiko Suzuki came second and third, respectively, in the women’s competition won by American Ashley Wagner.

Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko, the 2006 Turin Olympic gold medalist, placed fourth while two-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada was back in sixth.

Two men’s and women’s skaters each perform in the free skate with the individual results combined for the team standings.