THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – Teenager Rika Kihira continued her unbeaten international run on Sunday when she came from behind to win the Challenge Cup in the Netherlands.
The 16-year-old, who is nearing the end of her first international senior season, has now won six straight international tournaments including the ISU Grand Prix Final and this month’s Four Continents Championship.
The competition in The Hague is a prelude to next month’s world championships, scheduled to run from March 20-24 at Saitama Super Arena.
“That was about as good a program as I was capable of at this time,” Kihira said. “I was determined to win it in my free skate.
“I want to perform at the worlds in both the short program and free skate with a determination like I had today.”
Kihira was second after the short program but scored 141.90 points in her free skate for a 208.34 total to move into first place.
Starr Andrews of the United States was second with 187.69. Wakaba Higuchi, who was second at last year’s worlds, was third with 186.24.