Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins world figure skating title

MILAN, Italy – Kaetlyn Osmond won the gold medal in women’s competition on Friday at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. It is Canada’s first women’s world figure skating crown in 45 years.

‘’This feels unbelievable for me,’’ said Osmond. ‘’Being world champion is something I never expected. I was fighting to skate clean and fighting to hit the podium.’’

The 22-year-old Olympic bronze medallist from Marystown, N.L., was the first skater in the final flight of six and put down a free skate that couldn’t be matched. She scored 150.50 points for her Black Swan routine to finish with 223.23 points overall, and in the process, climbed from fourth after Wednesday’s short program.

The last time a Canadian woman was golden at worlds was Karen Magnussen in 1973. Osmond is the fourth Canadian woman to ever win a world title. Petra Burka took gold in 1965 and Barbara Ann Scott scored back-to-back wins in 1947 and 1948.

‘’Canada has such a strong history of competitors in all disciplines,’’ said Osmond. ‘’Just that gold medal was always a fight for the ladies. Hopefully now we’ll be able to be champions a lot more.’’

Osmond’s jammed packed routine opened with two combos, a triple flip – triple toe and double Axel-triple toe. Those were followed by a triple Lutz, triple loop, triple flip, triple Salchow-double toe-double loop combo and another double Axel.

‘’It took a lot of mental focus today to do that, it’s been a really long year,’’ said Osmond. ‘’I wanted to show that my bronze at the Olympics wasn’t a fluke.’’

Wakaba Higuchi of Japan was second at 210.90 and her compatriot Satoko Miyahara third at 210.08.

Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was seventh.

In ice dancing, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., set a personal best score in their short dance to stand third with 78.31. Olympic silver medallists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France lead with 83.73 and Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue sit second at 80.42.

‘’We’ve struggled with the short program this season so we are happy and pleased to deliver one that we are proud of,’’ said Poje.

The couple, two-time worlds medallists, is coming off a self-described disappointing seventh place performance at the Olympics.

‘’We were discouraged and exhausted after the Games,’’ said Weaver. ‘’But we knew how hard we worked and how good our product is and we prepared ourselves to arrive here with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.’’

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto also set a new personal best and are sixth at 74.51. Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are 11th.

‘’It was a physically hard skate for both of us being the end of the season,’’ said Poirier. ‘’The Olympics took a lot out of us. We reorganized the short dance so we could skate a little bit freer and that really paid off especially with a stronger technical score.’’

Soucisse and Firus are in their worlds debut.

‘’We went out there and enjoyed the moment,’’ said Soucisse.

Competition ends Saturday with the free dance and the men’s free skate.

Full results: ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018

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