Japan wins a bronze medal in the figure skating team competition on Monday after Kaori Sakamoto finished second in the women’s free skate section at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) won gold with 74 points, nine points ahead of silver medalists the United States, with Japan a further two points back.
The ROC’s 15-year-old prodigy Kamila Valieva in the free skate backed up her first place in Sunday’s short program by top-scoring with 178.92 points, underlining her status as the women’s individual gold medal favorite.
Sakamoto with an assured performance featuring a double axel and seven triple jumps scored 148.66 and earned nine team points. Canada’s Madeline Schizas came in third with 132.04.
In the free dance section, Ice dancers Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto finished last with 98.66 to earn six team points and send Japan into the last event of the five-team final in third place.
Ahead of the ROC Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov with 128.17 were Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates who came in first with 129.07. And Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier came in third with 124.39.
In the pairs free skate section Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara started the competition by placing second to briefly move Japan up to second overall on Monday. While the Japanese pair, who finished fourth in Friday’s short program, hit all of their elements in a mistake-free routine to score 139.60.
Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov from the ROC’s secured top scores top 145.20, while China’s Peng Cheng and Jin Yang finished third with 131.75.
Japan trailing the ROC and United States in third after Yuma Kagiyama topped the men’s free skate section on Sunday came into the final day of competition.