Petrõkina first Estonian to reach figure skating world championships top 10
Skater Niina Petrõkina has made sports history for Estonia by reaching the top 10 in a world championship event, the first Estonian to do so, at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan.
Finishing ninth overall, Petrõkina, 18, said after her effort that she was: "Super happy to have made it into the top ten."
"This means that the team also got second place, which is important for me and for Estonia. That was my minimum goal," she went on, in a press release published by the International Skating Union (ISU).
"I'm happy that nothing really messed up, which was important to me too. Any little mistakes that came out were due to nerves, but I can deal with it. This was only my second world championships; hopefully in the future I'll do better. But the most important thing is that I did my best," she added.
"I learned that I have to prepare even more mentally for the title races than I have done physically. For me, this World Championship proved less nerve-wracking than the Challenger Series Figure Skating events, for instance."
Overall, Petrõkina finished with 193.49 points, to take ninth place, and was only 0.6 points off the eighth placer.
She finished sixth in the short program with a personal record, and made her best result of the season in the freestyle event, earning 125.49 points, which gave her 12th place in that category.
The video of her freestyle performance (with Estonian commentary) is below.
She has also secured Estonia two places in the women's singles event for next year's championships.
Estonia's best result at the event until now had been Jelena Glebova's 13th place, back in 2012.
Skating on home ice, Kaori Sakamoto became world champion for the second year in a row.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte