Sakamoto three-peats at figure skating worlds as US teen Levito takes silver

Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto is the first women’s figure skater to three-peat as world champion since American Peggy Fleming from 1966 to 1968.

Sakamoto captured gold again at the Bell Center on Friday, moving from fourth place after the short program to the top of the podium with a near-flawless performance.

The 23-year-old led the pack by more than 10 points in the free program, finishing with 222.96 points and receiving a standing ovation from the 6,000 fans in attendance.

Isabeau Levito of the United States – 2022 world junior champion – claimed silver (212.16) for her first medal at a senior world. Chaey-eon Kim from South Korea took bronze (203.59).

Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx placed first in the short program on Wednesday, but fell to fourth after missing her rotation on a double lutz, triple-toe loop combination and then falling on a triple flip.

American Amber Glenn finished 10th (186.53), after finishing ninth on Wednesday.

Earlier Friday, defending ice dance champions and 2022 Olympic gold medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States finished first with a season-best 90.08 in the rhythm dance. Italian Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri came second (87.52), ahead of Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier (86.51).

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko from the United States qualified in eighth place (79.26).

The competition concludes on Saturday with the free dance and the free men’s program.