The 2015 world silver medalist Satoko Miyahara of Japan took a narrow lead in the Ladies Short Program at Bridgestone Skate America on Saturday. Teammate Kaori Sakamoto finished second ahead of Canada’s 2017 world bronze medalist Gabrielle Daleman.
Performing to ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and wearing a pink dress, reminiscent of the famous Japanese cherry blossom, Miyahara hit a triple loop, double Axel, level-four spins and footwork, but stepped out of the back end of her triple Lutz-triple toe combination.
The Japanese champion scored a season’s best with 70.72 points.
“I am very happy to get these points, but I am not really satisfied with today’s performance. I still have a lot of things to do and I want to work on them more,” the 19-year-old said.
“My condition and my feeling of skating is getting better and better day by day.”
Sakamoto’s program to ‘Moonlight Sonata’ included a triple flip-triple toe combination, a triple loop, double Axel and two level-four spins. The 2017 World Junior bronze medalist set a new personal best score with 69.40 points.
“Today I was not so nervous and I did a good job. In Russia (at the Rostelecom Cup) I did a good Short Program, but the Free Skating was not good enough. This time, I want to do my best in the long program,” the 17-year-old said.
Daleman opened her routine to ‘Habanera’ from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ with a big triple toe-triple toe that was worth 10.50 points alone, but she stumbled out of her triple Lutz.
The reigning world bronze medalist recovered to land a double Axel and picked up a level four for her step sequence and two spins to earn 68.08 points.
“Today’s program is definitely a step up performance-wise,” the 2017 Four Continents silver medalist said. “I worked very hard on my performance side. The technical side, there is a lot of improvement to be done, so I’m ready to go home the day after tomorrow to work harder and be prepared for the next time.”
Bradie Tennell (USA) is in fourth place on 67.01 points, a personal best score. Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS) follows in fifth on 66.28 points. The 2016 world silver medalist Ashley Wagner (USA) underrotated two jumps to finish sixth (64.12 points).
Polina Tsurskaya (RUS) fell on her triple loop and stumbled on her double Axel to place eighth (63.20 points).
Bridgestone Skate America is the sixth and last event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and provides the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December.
The top six skaters/couples in each discipline qualify for the Final. The global prize money for the Grand Prix is US$ 272,000.
Full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2017/18 are available here. Follow the discussion on social media by using #GPFigure #FigureSkating.