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America's Rippon Strikes Gold in South Korea

Adam Rippon of the United States rallied from seventh after the short program to win the men's title at the 2010 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, which concluded today in Jeonju, South Korea.

Rippon of the United State scored a total of 225.78 to win his first ISU Championship title. “I was so emotional [after the free skate],” Rippon said, “because it’s been such an up-and-down year.”

Tatsuki Machida of Japan and Kevin Reynolds of Canada came in second and third, respectively.

Performing to “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” by Samuel Barbe for his free skate, Rippon scored a personal best 156.22 points. He reeled off two triple Axels and five other clean triples, including his trademark triple Lutz with both arms raised over his head. His spins and footwork were superiors as well. His only miscue was a cheated triple Salchow.

The two-time and reigning World junior champion said it was rewarding to win the title, especially after a poor showing in the short program. “I did my best to just forget about what I’ve done earlier this week. … I did my best to get all the levels I could,” he said. “Every spin I was trying to hold, I was landing all the jumps and I was like “OK, all the jumps are over, but you’re still so many points behind, you need all these levels.’ I think so far this is probably my strongest performance in competition.”

Sixth after the short program, Machida also climbed up the ranking to earn a spot on the podium. “Today I felt a lot of pressure and so I’m glad with what I did,” he said. “I am very surprised about the result.”

Machida landed a triple Axel-triple toe loop combination and six more triples in his flawless routine to “Casablanca”. The 19-year-old earned 147.88 points, improving his previous best (117.69) by 30.19 points. His total score added up to 217.48 points.

Reynolds, in first place after the short program, scored 131.39 points for his long program and slipped to third with 212.99 points overall. He opened his program to a Led Zeppelin medley with a solid quadruple Salchow and hit five triple jumps, but the quadruple toe loop was under-rotated and he fell on a triple Axel attempt and a triple flip.

“Obviously I’m a little bit disappointed with my long program today. It wasn’t my best,” he said. “It was a good opening. Towards the end I kind of got stiff and some of the elements weren’t there, but I’m extremely happy with the short program. It was by far my best program. I can be happy with that and I can be happy that I held on for a bronze medal.”

Brandon Mroz of the United States was steady in both segments of the competition and laced foruth overall with fourth 212.68 points. In his free skate, he put his hand down on the quadruple toe loop and stumbled on some other jumps.

Ryan Bradley (USA) nailed two quadruple toe loops and was ranked third in the free skating to move up from eighth to fifth place (212.19).

The twelve medals at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships went to four ISU members. Canada and the USA claimed four medals each: one gold, one silver and two bronzes. Three medals — one gold and two silvers — went to Japan while China earned one gold medal.

To read aboutt the other disciplines click HERE.