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Kim loses world title to Asada; Nagasu falls to seventh

March 27, 2010 |  9:19 am
Asada_300

Kim Yuna's chances of retaining her world title disappeared when she botched two of her final three jumps in Saturday's free skate at Turin, Italy. Japan's Mao Asada took the title for the second time in three years.

And short program leader Mirai Nagasu of the U.S. came undone, dropping all the way to seventh in the final standings after a free skate with three major errors.

Nagasu was only 11th in the free skate.

Kim's free skate score, 130.49, was nearly 20 points below the record total (150.06) the South Korean amassed in her Olympic victory last month.

Asada overtook Kim in the overall score. Asada was lower in the free skate. Asada had a total score of 197.58 to 190.79 for Kim.  Laura Lepisto was third, becoming the first Finnish woman to win a medal at worlds.

Kim, 19, fell on a triple salchow and popped a double axel.  She also lacked spark throughout the 4-minute program.

As she came off the ice, her coach, Brian Orser, said, "You got through it.  Don't worry about it."

Kim's free skate score still was more than respectable.  She had only 111.70 at Skate America last fall, and only three other women (Asada, Joannie Rochette and Sasha Cohen) ever had scored higher than 130.49 going into Saturday's action.

But Kim had finished just seventh in the short program Friday with the third lowest score of her senior career, 10 points behind Nagasu and 8 behind Asada.  Kim botched a jump, a spin and a spiral in the short program.

"I'm sorry,'' Nagasu said to her coach, Frank Carroll, as she left the ice.

Nagasu started badly, with a stepout on her first triple lutz that kept her from doing a combination.  Then she had a two-footed landing on her second triple lutz and fell on a double axel.  She finished at 175.48.

U.S. champion Rachael Flatt was 9th, four places below her 2009 finish.

Kim is the first woman to compete at worlds in the same season she won the OIympic title since Kristi Yamaguchi of the U.S. in 1992.

Earlier this week, Kim said she had struggled with finding the motivation to compete at worlds.

-- Philip Hersh

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