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Japan’s Sakamoto Retains Women’s Title at Figure Skating Worlds

Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto retained the women’s title in the World Figure Skating Championships at the Super Arena here on Friday.

Sakamoto, who led the short program with 79.24 points, scored 145.37 in the free skate, winning with a total of 224.61 points.

South Korea’s Lee Haein, who won the Four Continents Championships in February, outperformed Sakamoto in the free skate with 147.32 points but had to settle for the silver on 220.94.

Loena Hendrickx of Belgium took bronze on 210.42.

It is a dream come true for Sakamoto to win the world title in front of a home crowd. Four years ago when the world championships were held in the same venue, she finished fifth.

“I was very disappointed in 2019,” an emotional Sakamoto told the crowd. “I told myself that I would come back to win.”

Sakamoto, also the bronze winner at the Beijing Olympics last year, was not happy about the mistakes in her triple jump.

“There are some regrets in the free skate. I believe that will remind me to work harder next season and I will come back with a better show.”