TOKYO (AP) — Reigning world pairs silver medalists Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier finished first in free skate on Saturday to lead the United States to its fifth figure skating World Team Trophy.
Knierim and Frazier, first after the Friday’s short program, received 147.87 points in the free skate to finish 4.18 points ahead of Japanese skaters Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara to give their team a 17-point lead.
Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii of Italy were third with 130.22 points.
The United States finished with 120 points, 25 ahead of South Korea. Host Japan was third with 94 points. Italy was fourth with 83 points followed by France (80) and Canada (68).
Jason Brown landed a triple axel, double axel sequence and six more triple jumps to receive 183.43 points and finish third in the men’s free skate. The 10 points he received was enough to secure the gold for the Americans.
“It’s been so fun getting to talk on behalf of my team the last few days, but I’m just going to let the skating to speak for itself,” Brown said. “I’m really proud of them and what they put out and I feel like they left it all out on the ice.”
Team USA came into the final day of competition with a comfortable 15-point lead and Knierim and Frazier solidified it with a strong free program.
The 2022 world champions produced a triple twist, throw triple loop and flip. Their only mistake came when Knierim missed a triple salchow.
Jun Hwan Cha of South Korea won the men’s free skate with 187.82 points to secure the maximum 12 points for his team to overtake Japan.
Matteo Rizzo of Italy was second with 187.35.
Team USA had already secured gold before 2023 world bronze medalist Ilia Malinin took to the ice. The 18-year-old skater known for his quad jumps fell on his opening quad axel.
He recovered to land three other quads but fell on an underrotated quad lutz to finish fifth in the free skating with 173.64 points.
A biennial event, the ISU World Team Trophy features the top six teams from the 2022-23 season: Japan, the United States, Canada, France, Italy and South Korea.
Each team is composed of two men, two women, one pair skating couple and one ice dance couple.
The standings are calculated according to the sum of team points achieved in each phase with a maximum of 12 points in each event.
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