Although reigning US national champion Gracie Gold held the advantage entering the free skate portion of the ladies' event at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships on April 2, it was, at long last, 24-year old Ashley Wagner's time to shine in the international spotlight.

Ashley Wagner shines like silver

Though Wagner didn't win the gold --that honor went to Russian upstart and Grand Prix Final champion Evgenia Medvedeva, 16, who won the free skate with a record-setting 150.10 and posted a field-best cumulative mark of 223.86 to take the title-- she had the competition of her life and earned the hardware --a silver medal-- to prove it.

She threw downpersonal best marks in short (73.16), long (142.23), and combined(215.39), and ended a 10-year world medal drought for the US women. Anna Pogorilaya, also of Russia, scored the bronze with a 213.69. Mirai Nagasu, who replaced US national silver medalist Polina Edmunds on the competition roster, placed 10th (186.65).

During a post-skate press conference, Wagner said she'd "cherish" her silver medal because she earned it with her own hard work and nothing more. The comments hearken back to 2014, when she placed fourth at nationals but was named over Nagasuto the Olympic team that headed to Sochi.

Gracie Gold struggles

Entering the free skate, Gracie Gold seemed to have a lock on a podium finish, but disaster struck very early in her program when she fell during her opening triple-triple combination.

The smalllead she established by placing first in the short program with a personal best 76.43 evaporated, and Gold fell to just fourth (211.29). Post-competition, the 20-year old skater made no excuses and slammed herself for not performing well enough to medal, telling reporters she was "embarrassed" and "not up there with the rest of the world" in terms of skating quality.

The top 10 women at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships include:

  • 1. Evgenia Medvedeva, Russia
  • 2. Ashley Wagner, USA
  • 3. Anna Pogorilaya, Russia
  • 4. Gracie Gold, USA
  • 5. Satoko Miyahara, Japan
  • 6. Elena Radionova, Russia
  • 7. Mao Asada, Japan
  • 8. Rika Hongo, Japan
  • 9. Gabrielle Daleman, Canada
  • 10. Mirai Nagasu, USA

In addition to Medvedeva, the newest world champions include Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France in ice dancing, Javier Fernandez of Spain in men's singles, and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada in pairs.

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