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Asada withstands Suzuki's charge for NHK crown

Two-time world champ wins by 0.05 points; America's Nagasu bags bronze

Despite winning two Grand Prix golds, Mao Asada still thinks she has more to work on.
Despite winning two Grand Prix golds, Mao Asada still thinks she has more to work on. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(11/24/2012) - Mao Asada of Japan clinched the gold over teammate Akiko Suzuki by just 0.05 points at the 2012 NHK Trophy, with American Mirai Nagasu claiming the bronze.

Skating to Swan Lake, Asada produced a double Axel-triple toe combination, a triple flip and Level 4 spins and footwork, but doubled a few jumps. With 117.32 points, the two-time world champion finished second in the free skate but held on to first place with 185.27 points overall.

"Based on the result, I can go to the Grand Prix Final," Asada said. "That is good, but today in my programs, I didn't do many things that I had worked on and I am disappointed about that. At the Grand Prix Final, I would like to make sure not to repeat the same mistakes. There is not so much time, but I will prepare."

Suzuki pulled off a double Axel-triple toe as well as five more triple jumps and picked up a Level 4 for her spins in her routine to "O" from Cirque du Soleil.

The world bronze medalist won the free skate portion with a season's best score of 126.62 and moved up from fifth to second with 185.22 total points.

"I was able to put out everything I am capable of in the free skating today," the skater from Nagoya said. "However, the short program was felt in the result. Having gone through two Grand Prix events, there was a certain pattern to be observed: I do a disappointing short program and make up for it in the long program. This is not a good trend."

Nagasu landed four triples and earned a Level 4 for the combination and layback spin, but under-rotated two triple loops. The 19-year-old received 115.50 points and came in third with 176.68 points.

"I was happy to take part in this competition," Nagasu said. "Compared to the Cup of China, I felt I skated better and I also got a better score. Now, I have to go home and work hard for U.S. nationals."

Asada and Suzuki qualified for the Grand Prix Final. Nagasu is second substitute.

Zijun Li of China slipped from third to fourth with 174.11 points, while Team USA's Agnes Zawadzki pulled up from seventh to fifth with 160.37 total points.

Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia placed sixth.