Figure Skating

Shoma Uno wins at Skate Canada with strong performance in free skate

Kyodo, AFP-JIJI

Shoma Uno on Saturday won the men’s competition at Skate Canada International, while 15-year-old compatriot Mako Yamashita finished second among the women in her senior Grand Prix debut.

Uno scored 88.87 points to finish second in Friday’s short program at the second Grand Prix event of the season. Canada’s Keegan Messing scored 95.05 to lead the 12-man field.

But the Pyeongchang Olympic silver medalist from Japan put together a strong free skate routine for a total of 277.25 points, edging Messing on 265.17. South Korea’s Cha Jun-Hwan took bronze with 254.77. Japan’s Kazuki Tomono finished ninth overall.

The 20-year-old Uno said the free skate had been a welcome turnaround from a “frustrating” short program despite missing on a triple axel.

“I was able to take out some of my frustration (from the short program) in my free skate,” he said. “I wanted to land the triple axel no matter what. I failed the jump in the end, but this is something I’ll focus on in practice.”

The 2015 world champion Tuktamysheva finished with 203.32 total points while Yamashita was right behind her with 203.06. Evgenia Medvedeva finished third with 197.91.

“I felt really good out on the ice. I was able to do my best in both the short program and the free. I didn’t expect to get a medal, so I’m really happy,” said Yamashita, who took bronze at the World Junior Championships in March.

Wakaba Higuchi, who was second after the short program, finished sixth overall. Compatriot Yura Matsuda finished 11th.

France’s Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres, who won a bronze medal at this year’s world championships, captured the pairs crown by taking the free skate.

The French duo, who opened by winning Friday’s short program, were runaway winners in the free skate with 147.30 points to finish with the overall crown on 221.81.

China’s Peng Cheng and Jin Yang, last year’s Asian Winter Games runners-up, were second overall on 201.08, .15 ahead of Canadian third-place finishers Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro.