The 17-year-old, who faltered in the short program a day earlier, redeemed herself for the error-riddled performance by delivering a clean free routine on Sunday when she landed two solid triple axels – her signature jumps.
Kihira received 156.38 points for her free routine, scoring a total of 230.65 points which was higher than Russian rival Alexandra Trusova’s score at the 2020 European Championships, where Trusova won bronze.
Fellow Japanese skater Yokoi Yuhana earned silver with 214.56 points while with Canada’s Madeline Schizas claimed bronze (175.56 points).
However, Kihira’s sum would not be enough to beat two Russian skaters Alena Kostornaia and Anna Shcherbakova, who scored more than 230 points at the continental championship in January.
The Russian trio and Kihira will soon face off at the season-ending would tournament in Canada, which runs from March 16 to 22.