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Asada leads Japanese sweep at Four Continents

Mon., Feb. 11, 2013

Two-time world champion Mao Asada won figure skating’s Four Continents in Osaka, Japan, on Sunday, leading a Japanese sweep.

After reintroducing her trademark triple axel in Saturday’s short program, Asada was downgraded on the jump in Sunday’s free skate but was solid in her other elements to finish with 205.45 points. Akiko Suzuki was second with 190.08 points while Kanako Murakami finished third with 181.03.

Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the pairs with a total of 199.18 points, edging compatriots Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, who finished with 196.78.

Moore-Towers and Moscovitch won Sunday’s free skate but couldn’t overtake Duhamel and Radford, who built a lead in winning the short program.

U.S. champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were third with 170.10 points.

Rolland wins downhill

Marion Rolland of France beat all the favorites to win the world downhill title, mastering an icy course in Schladming, Austria, that left most of her rivals struggling to find the right race line.

Rolland, who has yet to win a World Cup race after 15 top-10 finishes in downhill, earned her first medal at a major championship after charging down the 1.9-mile Streicher course in 1 minute, 50.00 seconds.

Nadia Fanchini of Italy trailed Rolland by 0.16 in second. Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany came 0.70 back in third.

Vonn surgery goes well

Lindsey Vonn had surgery on her right knee on Sunday after she shredded two ligaments during a crash last week at the world championships.

The U.S. Ski Team said Dr. William Sterett, a physician for the squad, operated on the four-time overall World Cup champion in Vail, Colo., on Sunday morning.

Sterett was optimistic at a full recovery and said of Vonn: “She will do everything in her power to return as quickly as possible to competitive skiing.”

Vonn tore her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments last week during the super-G in Schladming, Austria. She also broke a bone in her lower leg.

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