Japan Teen Kihira Skates To NHK Trophy Win On GP Debut

Japan teen Kihira skates to NHK Trophy win on GP debut

Japanese schoolgirl Rika Kihira marked her Grand Prix figure skating debut with a stunning victory at the NHK Trophy on Saturday.

Hiroshima, Japan, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 10th Nov, 2018 ) :Japanese schoolgirl Rika Kihira marked her Grand Prix figure skating debut with a stunning victory at the NHK Trophy on Saturday.

The 16-year-old shocked the favourites in Hiroshima as she produced a dazzling free skate that earned her 154.72 points from the judges, giving her a winning total of 224.31.

"I still can't believe it," said the Osaka-based Kihira, who was fifth after Friday's short programme.

"I've literally never been so happy in my life. I want to keep this memory forever." Kihira opened with a breath-taking triple axel, triple toe-loop combination as fellow Japanese Satoko Miyahara took silver with a total of 219.47 points and former world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia bronze on 219.

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"I couldn't land a triple axel yesterday," said Kihira after becoming the first Japanese to lift the NHK Trophy since Miyahara in 2015.

"I went into practice this morning determined to get it right."Russians Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert completed back-to-back victories after winning in Helsinki last week as they won the pairs competition to clinch their spot at next month's Grand Prix Final in Vancouver.

Their season's best 140.66 points in the free skate gave them a total of 214.14 as China's Peng Cheng and Jin Yang took silver (207.24) and Americans Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim bronze (190.49).

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