Japan’s Rika Kihira put together a flawless free skate and landed a triple axel to win the ladies’ title on Friday night at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championship.

Kihira was fifth after Thursday’s short program but scored 153.14 points in the free skate and finished with 221.99 points, easily outdistancing Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva by more than 14 points.

Japan’s Mai Mihara was third, and defending champion Kaori Sakamoto fourth.

Americans Bradie Tennell and Mariah Bell were in the top three after the short program but struggled. Tennell was the leader after the short program, but made an error on a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination and finished fifth. Bell, who was third, fell on a triple loop and wound up sixth.

Earlier, two-time national ice dancing champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue had a narrow lead over Madison Chock and Evan Bates following the rhythm dance.

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro of Canada led after the pairs short program. They were followed by two Chinese pairs: Wenjing Sui and Cong Han in second and Cheng Peng and Yang Jin in third. Americans Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc, who won at nationals two weeks ago, were in fourth.

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Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, of the United States, perform during the ice dance rhythm dance competition at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Friday, Feb. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, of the United States, perform during the ice dance rhythm dance competition at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Friday, Feb. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinara, of Canada, perform during the pairs short program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Friday, Feb. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinara, of Canada, perform during the pairs short program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Friday, Feb. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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