By Yoon Chul
Defending champion Kim Yu-na failed to defend her title finishing second in the ISU World Championships, Turin, Italy.
Vancouver Olympics gold medalist Kim earned 130.49 points in the free skating for an overall total of 190.79.
Instead Winter Games' runner-up Mao Asada of Japan shined in the 100th world championships, Saturday clinching the top podium position.
The 19-year-old Korean was not well-prepared, and despite setting the highest score in the free skating it wasn't enough to overcome her short program score. She was awarded 60.38 points while Asada acquired 68.08.
In order to defend her title, Kim needed a perfect performance, as she managed in the Olympics, but another fall during the free skate dropped her to the silver medal.
In her "Bond girl" routine, Kim was confident of getting her title bid back on track landing her first jump, a triple lutz-double toe loop combination. And she executed a triple lutz and double axel-double toe loop-double loop combination as well.
The spectators applauded Kim as she finished various spins, a spiral sequence and another combination jump.
But the exhausted Kim fell attempting her triple salcho. Though the world No. 1 succeeded with her next triple lutz, she failed to completely turn a double axel.
"These championships were mentally the most difficult for me," Kim told The AFP.
"For the moment, I'm just happy to have finished the season. The morning practice didn't go well, I was worried, I couldn't concentrate. I even thought of pulling out."
Asada was downgraded in her second triple axel. But four triple axels lifted her to top the podium with a score of 129.50 totaling 197.58 - 6.80 ahead of Kim.
"I didn't think I would be sitting here," Vancouver Olympics silver medalist Asada said.
"I had to continue to challenge myself and push myself to try the triple axel. The spirit of challenge has helped me to get where I am today.
"I've done perfectly in both the long and short program. I'm satisfied with this competition and it is a relief after the Olympic Games."
The Japanese skater continued, "I wanted to follow Takahashi's success. I think that Europe is a lucky place for me. Next year the World Championships are in Japan and I think this is a good start to the new season."
Meanwhile, Laura Lepisto of Finland came in third with 178.62 and Mirai Nagasu of the United States, who finished first in the short program with 70.40, came in seventh.
Another Korean skater, Kwak Min-jung, who twice made errors during jumps, scored 73.01 in the free skate and finished 22nd with 120.47.
Figure skating queen Kim will return to Korea and prepare for an ice show, which is scheduled from April 16 to 18.