The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015 continued in Shanghai, China, on Thursday with the Ladies Short Program.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia skated to a strong lead in the Ladies Short Program followed by her teammate Elena Radionova. Japan’s Satoko Miyahara finished third.
Performing to “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel, Tuktamysheva nailed a triple Axel, triple Lutz, triple toe-triple toe combination and picked up a level four for two spins and the footwork. The reigning European Champion posted a new personal best of 77.62 points, the third highest score achieved in the Ladies Short Program so far. “When I landed the triple Axel, I got goosebumps and I thought – is this a dream or did I really just do the triple Axel at the World Championships? I had to pull myself together after this and I was very focused or the triple Lutz and the triple toe-triple toe. It was the first time for me to do a clean short with the triple Axel. It was a risk to do the triple Axel in the short program, but figure skating has to evolve”, the ISU Grand Prix Final Champion noted.
Radionova’s Flamenco program featured a triple Lutz-triple toe, a triple loop, double Axel as well as three level-four spins and a level-four step sequence. The two-time World Junior Champion scored 69.51 points.
“I am very pleased with my performance and that I was able to overcome myself and land all my jumps in my debut at the World Championships”, the European silver medalist commented.
Miyahara landed a triple Lutz-triple toe, a triple flip, double Axel and completed level-four spins and footwork in her routine to “The Magic Flute” to earn a personal best of 67.02 points. “I am very happy to get my best score at my first worlds. My goal of coming here was to receive a personal best score for both short and free program. I was happy that I was able to achieve that in the short program. Being in third place as a result of that came as a surprise”, the two-time Four Continents silver medalist told the press. She celebrated her 17th birthday on the day of the Short Program.
Kanako Murakami (JPN) came fourth at 65.48 points followed by Rika Hongo (JPN) with 62.17 points and Zijun Li (CHN) with 61.83 points. Kerstin Frank (AUT) withdrew before the Short Program citing a stomach flu. Overall 35 Ladies competed in the event and 24 reached the Final.
Ladies short program
Polina Edmunds (7th place, 61.71 points)
(on short program) I’m very happy that I was able to skate well and put out a clean program. I put out that triple Lutz-triple toe and did it well. It shows that I have high difficulty and I’m showing it at worlds.
(on win at Four Continents) It gave me a confidence boost of assuring myself that if I skate well, I can be on top and place well. I carry that with me. I know that if I skate two clean programs, I can be rewarded for it.
(on goals and future) I know I can accomplish a lot in this sport and win if I keep skating well. Here at worlds, I’m happy I started out well with all of the difficulty with my triple-triple. I want to show the judges I’m capable of being on top.
Most of all, I want to skate two clean programs here and I’m halfway there today.
Gracie Gold (8th place, 60.73 points)
(on short program) It was not great. It was hard. I had mistakes that cost me many points. I need to take a deep breath. Tomorrow is a day off competition, which I like. I need to practice and get ready for the free program. I know I can be in the top ladies and I have to prove that in the long. The score was OK considering that I had the mistakes.
(on this season) It’s been a hard year for me. I have been training clean programs, clean short and clean long. I’m training well and I’m in good shape. I’ve had a tough here, the hardest I’ve had in my skating career. I’m only 19 so it hasn’t been that long but we’ll have to start fresh next year.
Ashley Wagner (11th place, 57.81 points)
(on short program) Today was not so great. It’s tough skating last. The long is a new day. Preparation was good, I had an off day. I feel like anything I say right now is going to sound like an excuse and that was an excusable performance for someone at my level.
To be sitting in 11th place, when I’m a national champion is a tough spot to be in. This is another bump in the road. Saturday I have nothing left to do but prove that I belong at these World Championships. I have nothing to lose.
Pairs free skate
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier (12th place, SB 61.32 + 111.19 = 172.51)
(on free skate) Denney – It wasn’t our best at all. For it being our first worlds, it’s all a learning experience. We are grateful to have the experience of our first worlds. Our skate could have been much better.
Frazier – Anyone would be disappointed to come in well-trained and not put out the free skate they know they could. It’s been a great season overall but today we didn’t get into the way we normally perform this program. It’s disappointing.
(on goals going forward) Frazier – This season has been a big step up. We got a medal on the Grand Prix and made the World Team. The step now is to perform better at each competition. Cleaner programs, better elements, higher program components.
Denney – We want to incorporate more difficult elements and more innovative programs.
Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim (7th place, SB 65.56 + 120.25 = 185.81)
(on free skate) Knierim – We performed as if we were tired. There were good parts but we had some technical errors. The quad twist was great. We are really happy about that. We’re not thrilled about the other errors but we feel we did represent Team USA well.
(on future) Scimeca – We can improve on every aspect of our skating. There are no limits to our potential. We are going to work on our interpretation and skating skills. We need to be more consistent on our elements. We have them, we need to do them. We want to continue to be U.S. champions and make the 2018 Olympic Team.
(on World Team Trophy) Knierim – We’re totally down to go there.
Scimeca – We’re hoping we will be selected. It gives us another opportunity to skate clean programs.
photos Janos Schmidt