American teenager Polina Edmunds marked her debut at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships by securing the ladies' title, as the event drew to a close today at the Mokdong Ice Arena, in South Korea.
The 16-year-old started the day in fourth position in Seoul, following Friday's (February 13) short programme, but last year's United States Championships silver medallist attempted to elevate her position in the standings by performing a triple Lutz-triple toe, a triple flip-single loop-triple Salchow, three triple jumps and two level-four spins.
Edmunds' programme had the desired effect as she was rewarded with a season's best 122.99 points, which when combined with the short programme gave her a points total of 184.02, enough for gold.
"This competition I wanted to skate well to gain momentum going into Worlds," Edmunds said.
"I knew that I had a shot [at gold] if I skated two clean programmes.
"We have the same or more elements than everyone in the top five that were in the warm up.
"In the short programme, we were held close together and I knew if I relaxed and skated like I knew I could, it was possible."
Japan's Satoko Miyahara, leader after the short programme, was forced to settle for the silver medal for the second consecutive Four Continents Championship after the 16-year-old fell performing a triple Lutz.
Miyahara was still ranked second in the free skating, but the Japanese champion admitted she was disappointed by the outcome.
"I didn't feel any pressure after leading in the short programme, but I was a little nervous today," she said.
"I was thinking if I had a good performance, it is not a dream to win this competition.
"I am sorry, but I wasn't able to put everything out that I am capable."
Miyahara's compatriot Rika Hongo secured bronze, with US skater Gracie Gold dropping from second after the short programme to fourth after the free skate to miss out on the medals.
The International Skating Union World Championships will take place in Shanghai, China from March 23 to 29.
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