Alysa Liu rallies at world junior figure skating championships, earns medal

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U.S. figure skating champion Alysa Liu earned a medal in her junior world championships debut, taking bronze in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday.

Liu, 14, improved from fourth after Friday’s short program by landing two triple Axels in her free skate, totaling 204.83 points. Liu also fell on a quadruple Lutz attempt.

“I was very happy with my placement,” Liu said, according to the International Skating Union. “I don’t think the short program placement should affect how you skate in the free program. I think I kind of left it behind, it already happened and I can’t undo what happened so just skated my free skate,”

Russian Kamila Valiyeva won with a pair of quad toe loops in her free skate. The 13-year-old Valieva’s total score — 227.30 — ranks her fifth in the world this season among junior and senior skaters. A Russian has won nine of the last 10 junior world titles.

Liu, who in 2019 became the youngest senior national champion in history (and repeated in January), is the second U.S. woman to earn a junior worlds medal since Gracie Gold‘s silver in 2012. Ting Cui ended a six-year drought with a bronze in 2019.

This marks the last major competition for Liu this season. She will become eligible for major senior international events in the 2022 Olympic season.

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