3-time world champion Mao Asada wins Cup of China in return to Grand Prix series

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    BEIJING — Three-time world champion Mao Asada won the Cup of China on Saturday, completing a successful return to the Grand Prix series after taking a year off.

    The Japanese skater led after the short program and was third in Saturday's free skate to finish with 197.48 points, edging out compatriot Rika Hongo who was second with 195.76. World championship bronze medalist Yelena Radionova of Russia was third with 184.28.

    As she did in the short program, Asada opened with her trademark triple axel but fell on the second half of a triple flip-triple loop combination. She landed forward on a triple lutz and was penalized for a late start.

    "I wasn't satisfied today," Asada said. "I feel like there are areas that need working on in the free program but I have taken one step toward the Grand Prix Final (in December)."

    Asada, the 2010 Olympic silver medalist, took a year off from competitive skating but announced in May she would make a comeback. She will next skate in front of home fans at the NHK Trophy starting on Nov. 27 in Nagano.

    Hongo had seven triple jumps but stepped out of a triple loop. Radionova had a strong free skate after finishing sixth in the short program. Her only major mistake was falling on a triple lutz.

    World champion Javier Fernandez of Spain won the men's event with 270.55 points, comfortably ahead of China's Boyang Jin, who was second with 261.23. Han Yan, also of China, was third with 230.33.

    Fernandez, who was first after the short program, executed a quad loop to start his routine. Boyang attempted an ambitious program with a planned four quads but faltered on three of them.

    Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy won the ice dance event, finishing first in the free dance for 173.30 points. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States were second with 169.16 followed by Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin of Russia with 159.00.

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