Asada wins GP Final with botched jumps
L-R: Julia Lipnitsukaia and Ashley Wagner and Mao Asada pose during the awarding ceremony for women's event of the ISU figure skating Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, western Japan, on December 7, 2013
With a lead from Thursday's short programme, the 2010 Olympic silver medallist managed to top the free-skate table and triumphed overall ahead of Russia's 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia and US national champion Ashley Wagner.
With Yuzuru Hanyu beating Canada's three-time world champion Patrick Chan for the men's title on Friday, Japan finished with two golds at the final which brought together the top six finishers in each category from the Grand Prix series.
On the final day of competition, Germany's former world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy came from behind to beat reigning world and European title holders Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia in the pairs event.
World ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States narrowly outpointed Canada's Olympic gold medallists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to win a fifth straight Grand Prix Final title.
Asada, the 2008 and 2010 world champion, crashed after an opening triple axel and under-rotated her next element, another difficult but high-scoring 3.5-revolution jump.
But she went on to nail five triple jumps but under-rotated two combination doubles.
Skating to "Piano Concerto No. 2" by Rachmaninov, Asada also hit a maximum level-four in three spins and one step sequence to collect 131.66 points in the free programme.
She won the title with a total of 204.02, followed by Lipnitskaia at 192.07 and Wagner at 187.61.
As the only top-level woman skater who regularly attempts the triple axel at present, Asada also tried one in the short programme but judges ruled that it was under-rotated.
"I have regrets," she said. "But I tried the axel twice today and this would carry me on to my next challenge."
"I guess I have found issues to solve. I will clear them for my next competition in the run-up to the Olympics."
She became the first woman to nail three triple axels in a competition when she finished runner-up to South Korea's Kim Yu-Na at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Kim, also the reigning world champion, skipped the Grand Prix series to recover from a foot injury. She has come back to competition at the second-tier Golden Spin event in Zagreb, Croatia, also under way this weekend.
The final has brought together the top six in each category in terms of placements. Each skater was allowed to compete in just two of the season's six Grand Prix events.
Asada won the season-opening Skate America and the NHK Trophy in Tokyo, in her build-up for a possible gold-medal showdown with Kim, a fellow 23-year-old.
It was Asada's fourth Grand Prix Final title since 2005 when she won it at the age of 15. Kim has won three times.
"It has been so fast since I first competed. This time I did not care about my placement but tried to perform at the level I aimed for. I am satisfied with my short programme but I have a lot of work to do with the free skate."
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