Olympic gold medallist Alina Zagitova earns 1st world figure skating title
Canada's Gabrielle Daleman finishes 11th with strong free skate
Olympic champion Alina Zagitova won the free skate on Friday to capture her first title at the figure skating world championships.
Skating to "Carmen," the 16-year-old Russian built on her lead from the short program with a strong free skate that included a triple-lutz, triple-toeloop combination in the first half of her program. She added five more triple jumps to finish with 237.50 points.
WATCH | Zagitova snags world championship gold:
"I realized that I needed a clean skate and I went into each jump determined to land it," said Zagitova, who also landed two double axels. "I was very nervous, but the experience from the Olympic Games helped me somehow."
Elizabet Tursynbaeva became the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the world championships when she opened her routine with a quad salchow. The 19-year-old Kazakh finished second with 224.76 points.
"I can't believe I landed it," Tursynbaeva said. "It was good in practice this morning. I couldn't do it at the last two competitions so I was really glad to be able to do it here."
WATCH | Tursynbaeva makes figure skating history:
Two-time world champion and Olympic silver medallist Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia was third with 223.80 points.
Canada's Gabrielle Daleman, the 2017 bronze medallist, placed a triumphant 11th after battling with mental issues over the past two years.
WATCH | Daleman skates to 11th in return to worlds:
Daleman, 21, was consistent with the 11th-best short program and 12th-ranked free skate for a total score of 192.67 points.
"I view this free skate as such a success," said Daleman. "Yes, the last half wasn't the best for me. Still, I'm very excited with how I carried the program.
"I'm so happy to be back."
Fellow Canadian Alaine Chartand finished in 23rd (148.97 points).
Papadakis, Cizeron lead ice dance
In ice dance, defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France were first in the rhythm dance with 88.42 points. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov were second with 83.94 points, followed by Russian teammates Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin in third with 83.10.
WATCH | Papadakis, Cizeron take commanding lead in ice dance:
Canadian pair Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje are also in contention, sitting fifth with 82.84 points.
"It was a magical experience out there but not perfect," said Weaver. "We had great focus."
WATCH | Weaver, Poje sit 5th after rhythm dance:
Other Canadian results include Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier in eighth (80.44) and Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorenson placing 10th (74.76). All three Canadian duos qualified for the free dance.
Gilles and Poirier made adjustments to their routine for the worlds. "The changes absolutely paid off," said Gilles. "We received higher levels on the aspects we were working on and that was an accomplishment for us."
Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen had a wardrobe malfunction when the button that holds the strap to Sorensen's pants to his skates broke.
"That's why we train," said Sorensen. "We've done this dance so many times that even with a little thing like that you may not be in the moment as much as you would like to be, but we still did a decent program so we're very happy."
The men's free skate and the ice dance free dance are scheduled for Saturday, the final day of competition.
With files from CBC Sports