Mai Mihara (JPN) strikes gold

- Gangneung, Republic of Korea

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2017 continued in Gangneung, Korea, Saturday with the Pairs and Ladies Free Skating. The Four Continents Championships 2017 serve as a test event for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.                                             

4CC-Day3-Ladies-Mai-642576458Mai Mihara (JPN) strikes gold

Mai Mihara of Japan came from fourth place to strike gold in what was her debut at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. Gabrielle Daleman of Canada earned the silver medal and Mirai Nagasu (USA) pulled up from fifth to claim the bronze.

Skating to “Cinderella”, Mihara reeled off a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, a double Axel-triple toe, four more triples as well as two level-four spins to score 134.34 points for the Free Skating, improving her personal best by almost ten points. The 17-year-old Japanese totaled 200.85 points to take the title in her first ISU Championship. “At first I was quite nervous, but I started with a smile and I think I was a very beautiful Cinderella by the end, so I feel glad about that. At first I thought I should do my best to finish the competition with the best I have and I felt the same during the program and at the end I was proud of myself”, the National bronze medalist said.

Daleman, who had won the Short Program, started well into her routine to “Rhapsody in Blue” with a triple toe-triple toe combination and four more triples. However, she singled a loop and stumbled on a double Axel. The National silver medalist set a new personal best with 128.66 points for herself, was ranked third in the Free Skating and slipped to second at 196.91 points overall. “It feels very good to win my first (major) international medal at the Four Continents event. I worked very hard and long hours for it. Of course it’s hard, because I didn’t have the performance I wanted here but I’m very happy with what I got”, the 19-year-old commented.

Nagasu’s delivered a strong performance to “The Winner Takes It All”, nailing seven clean triples and three level-four spins to achieve a personal best of 132.04 points. The 23-year-old accumulated 194.95 points to win her third medal at Four Continents following a silver in 2016 and a bronze in 2011. “Last year I won the silver medal, but I think this year the bronze means more to me. The performance I was able to put out tonight was just amazing. It felt magical. These are the moments we work so hard for every day. For it to come to fruition has been very gratifying”, Nagasu shared.

Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) dropped from second to fourth after making several errors (184.17 points). Dabin Choi (KOR) moved up from sixth to fifth (182.41 points) and Mariah Bell (USA) finished sixth (177.10 points). Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) struggled with her jumps and plummeted from third to eighth (176.65 points).

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2017 continue Friday with the Free Dance and the Men’s Short Program. For more information, full entry lists and results please see:

www.isu.org and the official event website https://www.hellopyeongchang.com/FigureSkating/en/sub/index  Hashtag: #4ContsFigure

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