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Friday, March 21, 2008 8:48 am

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Mao Asada strikes gold at world championships in figure skating

Japan’s Mao Asada rallied from second place in the short program to take the gold medal with 185.56 points after the free program Thursday of the women’s event at the world figure skating championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, winning a world championships title for the first time, Kyodo News reports.

Italy’s European champion Carolina Costner finished 2nd place, while Asada’s South Korean rival Kim Yu Na overcame a slow start in fifth place in the short and led the score board in the free program to take the bronze medal. Another Japanese, Yukari Nakano finished fourth.

Japan’s defending champion Miki Ando was forced to pull out in the middle of her free performance because of a leg injury after an eighth-place start in the short program.

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