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North America triumphs; Asia third

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON – Gracie Gold bounced back from a bitter disappointment at the world championships last month to help Team North America win the inaugural Team Challenge Cup on Saturday night.

After dropping from first to fourth following her free skate in Boston last month, Gold scored 142 points, five points superior to her last skate, as North America held off Asia and Europe in the three continent competition.

“It felt great because it just felt more free,” Gold, who had a lackluster short program on Friday, said. “I just thought, ‘Ok that’s like points for the team . . . let’s just have fun.’

“I love team competition. I don’t always see myself as a team player, especially when I was younger. But especially after yesterday when I really kind of dropped the ball, because I was hurting my team. It’s kind of a redemption.”

Team North America finished with 892.42 points. Europe had 848.51 and Asia 820.18.

The top scores in the free skate went to Shoma Uno of Asia and Europe’s world champion Evgenia Medvedeva, both of whom received standing ovations from all the competitors.

Uno, 18, hit a quad flip for the second night in a row for a 192.92, a personal best by 2.60 points, and Medvedeva, 16, was flawless in scoring 151.95.

“I might be lucky that I made it twice in a row, but I’m feeling a little more confident (in that jump),” Uno said. “I was satisfied with tonight’s program, but I can’t be satisfied going into next season.”

Uno and Medvedeva also had the top scores in Friday’s short program. Medvedeva’s combined score of 223.86 points was almost six better than she had in winning the world championship.

“I think that I’m fully satisfied with my performance, because this is the second time I’ve been doing this program since I also skated it at the world championships,” she said. “I think that I’ve done very well. I’ve skated very cleanly and I’m very satisfied with my performance. I’ve done a good job.”

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