Japan's Mura wins figure skating gold

Japan's Takahito Mura claimed his first ISU figure skating Grand Prix title when he surged to gold at the Trophee Bompard here on Saturday.

Japan's Takahito Mura performs his routine during the men short program of the Trophee Eric Bompard, the fifth in the six-round ISU Grand Prix figure skating series. Mura claimed his first ISU figure skating Grand Prix title when he won the gold.

The 21-year-old Mura took the gold ahead of America's Jeremy Abbott with France's Florent Amodio moving up from seventh after the short programme to take the bronze following the free skating final.

Skating to "Shogun" Mura scored 230.68 overall, despite popping a triple flip jump, as overnight leader Abbott, who has been struggling with back problems, restricted his free skate to drop to silver with 227.63.

Mura cannot however qualify for the Grand Prix final in Sochi, Russia next month as he placed just eighth in Skate Canada.

Home hope Amodio's routine to the music "Jumpin Jack" and "Broken Sorrow" proved a hit with the crowd and earned him the highest free skate score for an overall total of 214.25.

France's Brian Joubert placed fourth after falling on his opening quad jump.

Earlier pairs skaters Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov booked their spot in the Grand Prix final at home in Russia next month after taking gold.

The Russians held their overnight lead, taking gold by just 1.28 points on Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford after the free skating final.

The win means Kavaguti and Smirnov, already runners-up in the Cup of China, can compete in the Grand Prix final in 2014 Winter Olympic host city Sochi, along with Skate Canada runners-up Duhamel and Radford.

The Canadians scored highest for their "Angel" free skate routine despite Duhamel landing on her bottom on a throw triple loop, as Kavaguti and Smirnov were at times shaky in their performance "February" by Leonid Levashevic.

"We're happy that we finished first and have a ticket to the Grand Prix final," said Japanese-born Kavaguti, who admitted they were at times struggling on the ice of Paris-Bercy.

The Russians scored 121.21 points for the free skate for 187.99 overall with the Canadians achieving 124.43 and an overall 186.71.

"We wanted to do better than yesterday," said Duhamel, who fell on a triple lutz in the short programme.

Radford added: "Last year we were third and third (in Grand Prix events), this year we're second and second, so we're hoping for first next season."

Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek grabbed bronze as Chinese pair Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao dropped to fourth when Cheng, 15, fell on an opening quad twist. It was the second bronze this season for the Italians after Skate Canada.

The final leg in the six-event series will be the NHK Trophy in Japan from November 23-25 with the Grand Prix Final in 2014 Olympic host city Sochi from December 6-9.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency