Figure Skating

Choi collects Asian Winter Games gold

Injury replacement Hongo finishes in fourth place

Kyodo

Rika Hongo struggled in the free program Saturday and missed out on a medal in the women’s figure skating competition at the Asian Winter Games, placing fourth.

South Korea’s Choi Da-bin held on to win the gold with a total score of 187.54 points at Makomanai Ice Arena, while China’s Li Jizun took silver with 175.60 and Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva bronze with 175.04.

Second after the short program, Hongo, the lone Japanese in the women’s event, put her hand on the ice on a triple lutz and botched a number of other jumps to score 161.37.

“I was skating well in official practice and in practice yesterday, too, so it is a bit depressing that I wasn’t able to reproduce that,” said Hongo. “I am just going to have to try and perform better.”

Hongo finished 10th at last week’s Four Continents Championships in South Korea, where she competed as a replacement for the injured Satoko Miyahara, who won the event last year.

In the pairs competition, China’s Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao triumphed, grabbing gold with 223.88 points. Compatriots Peng Cheng and Jin Yang (197.06) were second and North Korea’s Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Suk (177.40) third.

Japan’s Narumi Takahashi and Ryo Shibata finished in fifth place.