PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Mirai Nagasu has become the first American woman — and third overall — to land a triple axel in the Olympics, accomplishing the rare feat in the women’s free skate at the team competition in Pyeongchang.
FULL COVERAGE: 2018 Winter Games on CBSSports.com
The 24-year-old from Montebello, California, skated first of the five women and led off her routine with the triple axel just 21 seconds in. The feat drew huge cheers from the crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada also landed triple axels during the Olympics.
Winter Olympics 2018: How to watch on TV and without cable (online)
Nagasu completed a flawless routine, pumping both fists as she finished and got a standing ovation from the excited crowd. She received a personal-best score of 137.53.
Not long after this performance, Canada clinched the gold medal in the team figure skating competition.
The Canadians have 63 points through the men’s and women’s free skates, with the free dance still to come, but the second-place Russians have 58 — and the most they could earn is four more points.
Russian Alina Zagitova won the women’s free skate, topping even her performance in taking the European title last month with a season-best 158.08 points — more than 20 ahead of Nagasu.
With Zagitova’s flawless performance, the Russians also clinched the silver.
Nagasu’s personal best score narrowly edged out Canada’s Gabrielle Daleman, who had 137.14, for third.
The United States has 53 points, four more than Italy, with the bronze on the line heading into the free dance.