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Russian teenager Alina Zagitova wins Grand Prix Final

Alina Zagitova of Russia performs during Ladies Free Skating of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya central Japan, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (Koji Sasahara / Associated Press)
Alina Zagitova of Russia performs during Ladies Free Skating of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya central Japan, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (Koji Sasahara / Associated Press)
By Jim Armstrong Associated Press

NAGOYA, Japan – Alina Zagitova performed a near-flawless free skate on Saturday to win the figure skating Grand Prix Final.

Skating to Don Quixote, the 15-year-old world junior champion from Russia placed all seven of her jumps in the second half of her routine and made no major mistakes to finish with 223.30 points.

Zagitova landed seven triple jumps while receiving level-fours on her spins and step sequence.

“I am pleased with my performance,” Zagitova said. “There were a few glitches, but they were minor. I am glad I was able to deal with my nerves.”

Zagitova’s compatriot, Maria Sotskova, who was fourth after the short program, also had a strong free skate and moved up to second place with 216.28.

“It was a good performance,” Sotskova said. “But you always have something to work on and something to achieve. We did a great job with my team … Of course with experience you get the confidence and consistency.”

Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada, first after the short program, fell on her triple salchow and dropped to third with 215.16.

Two-time defending world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia pulled out because of a fracture in her foot.

The Grand Prix Final is the last major international competition before the Feb. 8-25 Pyeongchang Olympics.

In ice dance, world silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the free dance to secure the gold medal with 202.16 points. World champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada were second with 199.86, ahead of world bronze medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States with 188.00.

In pairs, Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany retained their lead from the short program to win the gold medal with 236.68.

World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China were second with 230.89 while Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford took bronze with 210.83.

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