Carolina Kostner wins figure skating world title

JEROME PUGMIRE AP Sports Writer Published:

NICE, France (AP) -- Carolina Kostner of Italy won the world figure skating title for the first time Saturday, while Patrick Chan won the men's title for the second straight year.

Kostner, last year's runner-up and the reigning European champion, buried her head in her hands at the end of a faultless free skate.

She added sheer grace, and mesmerizing steps and spins, to her flawless jumps. The performance rocketed her up from third place in the short program to her first major gold medal.

Russia's Alena Leonova had led after an innovative and energized short program. On Saturday, she made a slightly awkward landing on a triple lutz but otherwise skated cleanly.

Akiko Suzuki got the bronze for Japan's third medal after Daisuke Takahashi and Yuzuru Hanyu earlier took silver and bronze.