Silver shine for Leonova in Nice

Alena Leonova has claimed the second silver medal for Russia at the world figure skating championships in Nice despite leading after the short program.

Leonova lost 5.66 points to Carolina Kostner, who produced a stunningly faultless free skating performance to win the first ever ladies’ world title for Italy with a total of 189.94 points.

Her exceptional performance to Mozart’s Concerto No. 23 for Piano and Orchestra featured a triple loop, flip, double Axel-triple toe as well as two triple Salchows and three level-four spins.

“This is my 10th world championship and I can’t really describe how it finally feels to reach that dream,” the 25-year-old Kostner said afterwards. “Deep in my heart I knew I had a chance to win. I trained so hard and I have beautiful programs. My main goal was to show how much I love figure skating.”

Leonova only managed fourth overall in free skating and ended up with 184.28 points, though it was enough to clinch her first world championships medal and end the Russian women’s seven-year draught.

“I did my best the day before yesterday and today. There was one small mistake on my Lutz, but I am glad, I could pull myself together. I had a really bad warm up, made single jumps, so about three minutes before my skating I started to think about the performance so I could concentrate on it,” the ISU website quoted Leonova as saying.

Japan’s Akiko Suzuki, who settled for bronze, also got her first world medal.

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