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Originally published Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 3:40 AM

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American skater Evan Lysacek wins GP final

World champion Evan Lysacek won the Grand Prix final Saturday, becoming the second straight American to capture the figure skating title.

AP Sports Writer


World champion Evan Lysacek won the Grand Prix final Saturday, becoming the second straight American to capture the figure skating title.

In the women's event, Kim Yu-na of South Korea made it a clean sweep for world champions, rallying to win the free skate and claim her third GP title in four years.

Lysacek, who was second entering the free skate, received a season's best 249.45 points to finish ahead of Nobunari Oda of Japan, who was second with 243.36. Johnny Weir of the United States was third with 237.35 points.

Skating to "Sheherazade," Lysacek opened his routine with a triple lutz, triple toeloop combination and followed with a triple axel and a triple salchow.

Lysacek's only major mistakes came when he singled a triple axel and failed to do a double loop at the end of a triple combination jump.

"I'm glad that the improvements I made since Skate America were reflected in today's result," Lysacek said. "I had one glaring mistake today but was satisfied with my overall performance."

Jeremy Abbott of the United States, who won the GP title last year, was fourth with 235.38 points. Daisuke Takahashi of Japan, who was first after the short program, dropped to fifth after an error-filled free skate.

With Saturday's win, Lysacek improved his chances of making the United States team for the Vancouver Olympics.

"In the last Olympics, I was young and really excited," Lysacek said. "I've learned a lot in the past four years and want to take the experience I have gained and put it all into effect in Vancouver."

The top six skaters in the regular season GP standings qualify for the final.

Kim, who was second after the short program, landed four triple jumps to finish with 188.86 points.

"I'm still not completely satisfied my performance," Kim said. "My jumps weren't perfect, but I will use the experience I gained here to build for the future."


Japanese skater Miki Ando, first after the short program, was second with 185.94 points, while teammate Akiko Suzuki was third with 174. Ashley Wagner of the United States was fourth.

Oda and Ando both wrapped up Olympic berths.

"I think I matured a lot at this event," Ando said. "The Olympics are an entirely different stage, but I feel like I gained some confidence here."

In the pairs event, Shen Xue and Hongbo Zhao of China won the gold medal with 214.25 points, finishing ahead of Pang Qing and Tong Jian, who had 201.86 points. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany were third with 200.38 points.

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