Ashley Wagner picked the perfect time for the performance of her career.
Wagner won her first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday in San Jose, Calif., salvaging what was an otherwise dismal night of splats and spills with a majestic rendition of Black Swan. She finished with a score of 187.02 points and then watched as two-time champion Alissa Czisny and Agnes Zawadzki melted down.
“I’m in shock,” Wagner said. “It hasn’t hit me yet.”
Her technical elements were woven right in with her artistic elements, rather than standing alone as individual tricks, and she could have been a swan floating on the lake for how majestically she moved across the ice.
Czisny finished second, and Zawadzki wound up third.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White routed the competition on their way to a fourth consecutive ice dance title.
More figure skating
Italian star Carolina Kostner had a flawless free skate Saturday to win her fourth women’s title in the European figure skating championships in Sheffield, England. The 24-year-old Kostner built on the lead she held after Friday’s short program, finishing with 183.55 points after topping the scores in the free skate with 120.33 in a safety-first routine to Mozart’s “Concerto No. 23.” Kostner also won the competition in 2007, ’08 and ’10.
Finland’s Kiira Korpi, second after the short program, was second with 166.94 points.
Georgia’s Elene Gedevanishvili took the bronze for the second time in three years.
Evgeni Plushenko produced a career-best performance to beat protege Artur Gachinski and win his seventh men’s European title.