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Figure skating

Asada wins women’s title

GOTEBORG, Sweden — Mao Asada of Japan won the women’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships on Thursday night, overcoming a big fall going into a planned triple axel.

Italy’s Carolina Kostner took the silver, despite putting her hands down twice on jumps. South Korea’s Kim Yu-na, who missed a competition last month because of a hip injury, finished third.

All three American skaters fell at least once, and their stumbles mean the United States will only be able to send two women to next year’s all-important world championships in Los Angeles. Results at the 2009 world championships determine how many spots countries get for the Vancouver Olympics.


The two best Americans needed to have a combined placement of 13 — fifth and eighth, say — to keep three spots at the 2009 worlds. But former world champion Kimmie Meissner was seventh, Bebe Liang was 10th and Ashley Wagner was 16th. That leaves no leeway for next year, with both U.S. skaters having to finish with the combined 13 to earn back a third spot for Vancouver.

Earlier Thursday, Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France widened their lead in the ice dancing competition.

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