(Saitama) Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto was crowned world figure skating champion for the second consecutive year on Friday in front of her home crowd in Saitama.

Sakamoto edged Korean Lee Haein (220.94 points) with a total of 224.61 points.

In the lead after the short program, the Japanese burst into tears at the end of her performance on the title “Elastic Heart” by Sia.

Third place went to Belgian Loena Hendrickx, reigning vice-world champion, credited with 210.42 points.

For the second year in a row, the competition took place without the presence of Russian skaters, excluded due to the war in Ukraine.