Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old won the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France perform during the ice dance short program at the Figure Skating World Championships in Assago, near Milan, Italy, on Friday, March 23. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Kaetlyn Osmond ended Canada’s lengthy drought at the world figure skating championships.

The 22-year-old from Marystown, N.L., won the women’s singles crown Friday, scoring 150.50 points for her Black Swan routine to finish with 223.23 points overall. Osmond stood fourth following the short program Wednesday.

”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.”

Osmond, a bronze medallist at last month’s Winter Games in South Korea, became the first Canadian woman to win gold at the world championship since Karen Magnussen in 1973.

READ MORE: Canadians all smiles after record medal haul

She is the fourth Canadian woman to ever win a world title. Petra Burka took gold in 1965 and Barbara Ann Scott registered consecutive wins in 1947 and 1948.

”Canada has such a strong history of competitors in all disciplines,” she said. ”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.”

Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi was second at 210.90 with compatriot Satoko Miyahara finishing third at 210.08. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was seventh.

Osmond won gold with a nearly perfect performance. But Olympic champion Alina Zagitova fell three times and crowd favourite Carolina Kostner turned in a lacklustre skate – both tumbling completely off the podium.

She hit seven triples with only a minor deduction for stepping out of a combination jump. That seemingly left the door open to either Kostner, who had an eight-point lead after the short program, and the young Russian jumping genius, Zagitova, to battle for the title.

But Zagitova fell on a straight lutz, missing a combination, then fell again on two subsequent combinations. The 15-year-old waited two minutes to start her jumps, which in theory raises their value, but in this competition she seemed sapped of energy. The crowd rallied behind her in sympathy after the second fall, clapping rhythmically to urge her on.

All Kostner had to do was skate clean. But her nerves showed when she doubled a triple lutz. And she fell on a triple salchow late in the program. All of her artistic prowess couldn’t make up for the errors in what could be her last world championship — in her home country no less.

With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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