Javier Fernandez is first Spanish figure skating World Champion - Emirates24|7

Javier Fernandez is first Spanish figure skating World Champion

Javier Fernandez of Spain competes to win the men's free skating of the 2015 ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, on March 28, 2015. (AFP)

European figure skating champion Javier Fernandez became the first Spanish man to win the world singles title Saturday, overcoming last year's winner Yuzuru Hanyu in dramatic style in Shanghai.

Fernandez, who has twice won the bronze medal at the World Figure Skating Championships, scored 181.16 in the final free skate to give him 273.90 overall, edging Japan's Olympic champion who scored 175.88 and finished second overall with 271.08.

The winner of the final programme with 181.83 points was Kazakstan's Dennis Tan, who finished third overall with a score of 267.72. Fernandez finished second at Saturday's skate, while Hanyu settled for third.

Fernandez nailed a quadruple toeloop before falling on a quadruple Salchow-triple toeloop combination, but continued his performance in assured fashion to clinch his biggest title.

The 23-year-old had finished in second place behind Hanyu in the opening short programme on Friday, despite a clean performance.

But he unseated his training partner under coach Brian Orser as world champion with a programme that dazzled the crowd at Shanghai's Oriental Sports Centre.

Victory will taste sweet for Fernandez, who is a three-time European Champion. He also finished fourth at last year's Sochi Winter Games.

Hanyu, meanwhile, will be mindful that he failed to land a single quadruple jump in his free skate. 
The Japanese 20-year-old was returning to competition for the first time since comfortably defending his Grand Prix Final title in Barcelona in mid-December.

Hanyu underwent surgery for a bladder problem shortly after that victory, and a sprained ankle then kept him from training until earlier this month.

The Shanghai tournament had earlier witnessed Russian teenager Elizaveta Tuktamysheva take gold in the women's singles after convincingly beating her rivals in a remarkable comeback season.

The 18-year-old European Champion scored 132.74 in the final segment to finish with 210.36 overall, some distance in front of second placed Satoko Miyahara (193.60) of Japan and Russia's Elena Radionova (191.47) in third.

The victory marks an incredible turnaround for the teen star, who failed to make the Russian team for last year's Olympics.

"I am full of emotion right now. This is an amazing moment," she said following the win.

Young star

Dancing to ‘Batwannis Beek’ and ‘Sandstorm’, the emerging star of women's skating looked less confident than in her opening short programme Thursday, but still did enough to top the segment, with Americans Gracie Gold (128.23) and Ashley Wagner (127.20) in second and third.

Tuktamysheva was shaky on her opening triple Lutz-double toe loop-double loop combination at the start of her programme, but remained on her feet.

She then nailed a triple Lutz and triple flip before producing another mistake, over-stepping a triple toeloop-triple toeloop combination.

The young star recorded the third highest ladies short programme score in history in the opening round when she became one of only a select few women athletes to perform the risky triple axel jump in competition.

The Russian team was hoping for a clean sweep of the podium in Shanghai after achieving that feat at January's European championships in Stockholm. But the team's bronze medallist at the continental championship, Anna Pogorilaya, finished in 13th overall at the worlds.

Tuktamysheva's win follows her victory at the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona in December. The teen star also edged Radionova into second at that tournament.

At just 12-years-old, she was the runner-up in the Russian Championships, going on to win gold in her first Youth Olympics in 2012.

In 2013, she achieved bronze in the European championships, won the Russian nationals again and was being tipped for Olympic glory.

But she suffered a miserable season last year, with inconsistent results -- including a tenth place finish at her national championships -- leading to her failing to make the Russian team for the Winter Games.
She then suffered a broken foot and was off the ice for three months.
"After that unfortunate season, it was very tough for me," Tuktamysheva said.

"But my coaches helped me a lot and they believed in me even when I did not believe in myself anymore.

"(I) realised that I could go on and this is not the end yet, and I am very glad to be able to overcome this difficult time and come back so strong."
 

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