Miki Ando, skating for those in her wounded homeland, defeated Olympic champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea, prevailing in a duel of exceptional figure skating elegance at a world championships originally scheduled for Japan before it was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in March.
“I was skating for Japan and I never cared about the result,” said Ando, who also won the 2007 world title.
Carolina Kostner of Italy took the bronze. For the U.S., Alissa Czisny finished fifth and Rachael Flatt was 12th.
In ice dance, Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the first world gold medal for their country in the discipline, outpointing 2010 champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. The American sister-brother team of Maia and Alex Shibutani won bronze.