SAITAMA. KAZINFORM - Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won Japan's maiden pairs figure skating world championship Thursday, coming a close second in the free skate a day after topping the short program at Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo, Kyodo reports.
Miura and Kihara scored 141.44 in the free skate for a 222.16 total, finishing 4.68 ahead of American rivals Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier on the second day of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Italy's Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii took bronze with 208.08.
Last year's champions Knierim and Frazier received the top free skate score of 142.84 but could not overhaul the Japanese duo, who held a 6.08-point lead after their short program earned a personal-best 80.72 -- the highest for the segment by any pair this season.
Japan's Shoma Uno is set to defend his men's singles title starting with the short program later Thursday in Saitama, which is hosting the world championships for the first time since 2019.