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Olympic: Sotnikova inspired by battling Asada

Newly-crowned Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova has revealed that she had been inspired by Japanese star Mao Asada in her journey towards Winter Games' gold. As Sotnikova, 17, glided to her first major title, 23-year-old Asada was competing in her last Games. Asada's bid to give Japan a second figure skating gold in Sochi fell foul of her trademark triple Axel jump on Wednesday -- leaving her in 16th position after the first night of the competition.

Japan's sports minister plays down ex-PM Mori's remarks on Asada

Japan's sports minister Hakubun Shimomura on Friday downplayed remarks by former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori that were viewed as being critical of the country's star figure skater Mao Asada, who failed to win a medal at the Sochi Games. However, new Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe, who departed for Sochi the same day to attend the closing ceremony of the Winter Games, called Mori's remarks troubling and said he intends to advise Mori to refrain from such comments in the future.

Olympics: Asada all set for figure skate gold showdown

Japanese figure skater Mao Asada said Wednesday she was all set for another Olympic showdown with South Korean rival Kim Yu-Na, who beat her for gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games. "The time has come. That's how I feel," Asada, the 2008 and 2010 world champion, told reporters at Tokyo's Narita airport before leaving for Russia. "My physical fitness and skating have been very good since the start of the year. I will adjust my condition after arriving in Sochi and go out competing with a positive attitude."

(Sports) Japan's Asada wins ladies' gold medal in ISU GP Finals

(Sports) Japan's Asada wins ladies' gold medal in ISU GP Finals TOKYO, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Japanese player Mao Asada on Saturday won the gold medal of ladies figure skating in the International Skating Union Grand Prix Finals, marking her second straight ISU Grand Prix Final championship and the fourth of her career. With a 3.98-point lead after short program on Thursday, Asada gained 131.66 points in the free skating and held 204.02 points in total to claim the champion.

Figure skating: Asada leads Japan sweep at Four Continents

Former two-time world champion Mao Asada led Japan's medal sweep in the women's singles at the Four Continents championships, remaining unbeaten with five wins in the pre-Olympic season. Cushioned by a comfortable lead from the short programme and skating to Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake", the 2012 Grand Prix Final winner topped the free skating table with 130.96 points for a two-day total of 205.45.

Figure skating: Asada leads Japan sweep at Four Continents

Former world champion Mao Asada led Japan's medal sweep in the women's singles at the Four Continents championships, remaining unbeaten with five wins in the pre-Olympic season. Cushioned by a comfortable lead from the short programme and skating to Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake", the 2012 Grand Prix Final winner topped the free skating table with 130.96 points for a two-day total of 205.45. Akiko Suzuki, the 2012 world bronze medallist, marked the second best free-skate score of 124.43 points to finish second overall with 190.08.

Figure skating: Asada leads Japan sweep at Four Continents

Former world champion Mao Asada led Japan's medal sweep in the women's singles at the Four Continents championships, remaining unbeaten with five wins in the pre-Olympic season. Cushioned by a comfortable lead from the short programme and skating to Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake", the 2012 Grand Prix Final winner topped the free skating table with 130.96 points for a two-day total of 205.45. Akiko Suzuki, the 2012 world bronze medallist, marked the second best free-skate sore of 124.43 points to finish second overall with 190.08.

Figure skating: Asada nails triple axel to lead 4 Continents

Former world champion Mao Asada landed a risky triple axel for the first time in two years to lead Japan's 1-2-3 finish in the short programme at the Four Continents championships Saturday. Skating to the tune of "I Got Rhythm" by George Gershwin, the 2008 and 2010 world champion opened her routine with the highly demanding 3.5-revolution jump before nailing a triple-double combination and a triple loop.
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