The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2014 concluded in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, Saturday with the Ladies Free Skating and Exhibition Gala.
Kanako Murakami (JPN) claims gold
Kanako Murakami of Japan claimed the gold medal. Teammate Satoko Miyahara rose from fourth to take the silver medal and the bronze went to Zijun Li of China.
Skating to “Papa Can You Hear Me”, Murakami landed a triple toe-triple toe combination, triple Lutz and four more triples. The three spins and the footwork merited a level four and the 19-year-old set a new personal best score with 132.18 points for herself. Overall she accumulated 196.91 points to win her first senior-level ISU Championship title. “This is an important competition and winning here means the next step for me”, Murakami commented. “I was able to do the best performance that I can do at the moment. At all other championships I have been to my score wasn’t as high as I expected, even if I didn’t make mistakes. I know I still have some problems I need to fix, but I was very glad I came here to Four Continents”, she said.
Miyahara delivered a strong performance to the Flamenco piece “Poeta”, nailing seven triples including a triple Lutz-triple toe and a double Axel-triple toe combination. The 15-year-old earned a level four for two spins and posted a personal best score of 126.26 points. With a total of 186.53 points she jumped on to the podium in her debut at the ISU Four Continents Championships. “This event I was the most nerve-wracking for me”, she admitted. “I know this will be a great start for the next season. Today’s performance made me gain confidence. I didn’t care about my placement. Being second doesn’t really matter to me, the most important thing was to do the best I could”, she added.
Li’s program to “Coppelia” featured five solid triples as well as level-three spins and footwork. Although she improved her seasons best significantly with 118.72 points, it was not enough to hold on to second place with 181.56 points overall. “I missed the first triple-triple combination, and the landing of the double Axel was shaky. I have to say I was still not in my best condition. I would like to make sure to bring out the best side of me at the Olympics”, the 17-year-old noted.
Haruka Imai (JPN) slipped from third to fourth at 175.40 points. Courtney Hicks (USA) moved up from seventh to fifth (169.99 points) and Hae Jin Kim (KOR) finished sixth (166.84 points).
For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.fc2014.com.