The 2016 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continued in Taipei, Chinese Taipei, Saturday with the Pairs and Ladies Free Skating.
Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) skate off with gold
Wenjing Sui/Cong Han of China skated off with the gold medal. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA) claimed the silver medal and the bronze went to Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin of China.
Sui/Han’s performance to “Samson and Dalilah” was highlighted by a quad twist, quad throw Salchow, a triple toe-double toe and three level four lifts, but Sui missed the side by side triple Salchow. The World silver medalist posted a new personal best with 143.40 points and racked up 221.91 overall to win their third Four Continents title after 2012 and 2014. “We didn’t have systematic training coming into this. My partner fell on a throw jump which hurt her and she got sick with the flu. Once we got to Taipei we adapted quickly to the weather and the atmosphere and we recovered. However, I think that we only showed 50 percent of our level. We didn’t get the high levels a usual and we had problems with the side by side jump. We hope we can prepare well for Boston”, Han commented.
Skating to “Elizabeth the Golden Age”, Scimeca/Knierim produced a level-four quad twist, side by side triple Salchow and triple toe-double toe as well as throw triple flip and Salchow. The 2014 Four Continents bronze medalists improved their previous personal best significantly and got 140.35 points. With a total of 207.96 they moved up from third to second. “To finally get that done feels great. It’s been so long and this is such a great boost for us going into Worlds. We showed what we can achieve. Even today there were some little mistakes, but we weren’t thinking about a score that high, even with a clean program. It’s just amazing”, Knierim said.
Yu/Jin’s program to “Humility and Love” included a triple twist, throw triple Salchow and difficult lifts, but she fell on the throw triple loop. The two-time World Junior Champions scored 122.34 points and moved up from fourth to claim the bronze in their debut at the ISU Four Continents Championships with 187.33 points. “There were some mistakes and the jumps affected the flow. Also the speed was affected after the fall. We will go back and try our best to prepare for the World Championship. My partner was injured and then she got sick we were behind in our preparation”, Jin explained.
Tarah Kayne/Daniel O’Shea (USA) pulled up from seventh to fourth place (182.02 points) followed by Lubov Iliushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) with 179.67 points and Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran (USA) with 175.08 points. 2015 World and Four Continents Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN), who stood in second place following the Short Program withdrew from the competition as she suffers from a stomach flu.
Satoko Miyahara (JPN) takes gold
Satoko Miyahara of Japan took the gold medal and her first ISU Championship title. Mirai Nagasu earned the silver medal and Rika Hongo claimed the bronze.
Skating to “Un Sospiro” by Franz Liszt, Miyahara reeled off seven triple jumps including two double Axel-triple toeloop combinations and collected level fours for her spins and footwork. The 2015 World silver medalist posted a new personal best with 142.43 points and totaled 214.91 points to take the gold. “In the first half of the season I was happy with my performances, but I had a lot of second places. I also twice was silver medalist at Four Continents. So coming into this competition I was aiming to win. I’m pleased I met my goal and it gives me a good feeling heading into Worlds”, the 17-year-old Japanese Champion said.
Nagasu put out a strong performance to “The Great Gatsby” as well that featured a triple flip-triple toe and five other triples as well level-four spins. The 2011 Four Continents bronze medalist scored 127.80 points and accumulated 193.86 points to move up from third to second place. “I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t skated like this in a long, long time. It’s taken a lot to get me back on the podium and I’m so grateful to my team and support group who have gotten me here. I hope to only improve and continue on this track of improvement”, Nagasu noted.
Hongo fell on her opening triple flip-triple toe combination, but rallied back to land five triples in her routine set to “Riverdance”. She was ranked fifth in the Free Skating with 117.51 points but nevertheless pulled up from fourth to third at 181.78 points. “Last year I participated for the first time at Four Continents and I finished third. This time I’m glad I made it back on to the podium again, but I’m not completely satisfied with my performance. I think I have many things to improve and I can do much better”, the 19-year-old commented.
So Youn Park (KOR) finished fourth at 178.92 points. Gracie Gold (USA) was ranked third in the Free Skating and pulled up from ninth place to fifth (178.39 points). Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) moved up from 11th to sixth place (175.63 points).
The ISU Four Continents Championships 2016 conclude Sunday with the Men’s Free Skating and the Exhibition Gala. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and the official event website http://www.fcc2016taipei.com/, Hashtag: #4CCTaipeiCity