Montreal, Canada


   Loena spin

Loena Hendrickx (BEL) soared to the top of the standings with her Women's Short Program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal on Wednesday © ISU

Two-time World medallist Loena Hendrickx (BEL) grabbed the lead in the Women’s Short Program as the ISU World Figure Skating Championships continued Wednesday in Montreal (CAN).

Loena Hendrickx (BEL) comes out on top in Short Program battle

The Women's Short Program was a high-level competition with no room for error.

ISU European Champion Loena Hendrickx of Belgium tops the standings, followed by Isabeau Levito (USA) in second and 2023 World silver medalist Haein Lee of Korea in third. Two-time and reigning ISU World Champion Kaori Sakamoto of Japan surprisingly placed fourth. 

Hendrickx put out a confident performance of her Disco style program to “I’m nin’alu” and “Living for Love” that featured a triple flip-triple toe combination, double Axel, triple Lutz as well as level-four spins and footwork. The two-time World medalist set a new personal best of 76.98 points.

“I had a rough time coming here with my (hip) injury, and I had to make changes to my training as I was restricted in my training, but I think that I dealt with it in a smart way and was able to give it my best today,” Hendrickx told the post-event press conference.

“I must confess that I made my program easier with the jump combination in the first half instead of the second half. But it also gave me more pressure because I had never done this combination in competition before. It’s my first time competing in Canada. I performed shows, but never competed here. I was very excited. The crowd loved me and I loved the crowd.”

Performing to “Nella Fantasia”, Levito landed a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, double Axel, triple flip and difficult spins and footwork to score a personal best with 73.73 points.

Isabeau Levito

Isabeau Levito (USA) celebrates her second-place finish in the Women's Short Program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships © ISU

“The goal is to be on the podium hopefully. For that I need a clean skate. I think I can do it. I’ve been skating clean every day during practice. I don’t know why I wouldn’t be able to do it in competition,” Levito said.

“(Having a clean Short Program) really helped my confidence. I feel like I thought I was losing the confidence, the part of me that rises to the occasion under competition and pressure. I know I am a strong competitor inside. It’s really good to have that coming back again.”

Lee completed a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple flip and double Axel in her “Mermaid” program that she brought back after using a different program at the ISU Four Continents Championships.

“I love the Mermaid program. For the other program, I thought it was hard to express my movement so I changed my program. I worked on my Mermaid program in Canada with Lori (Nichol) so I wanted to skate the program in Canada. Before the competition I was trying not to think about the result or the score. The audience gave me so much good energy and that was one of the reasons that I skated well. After Four Continents, I wanted to skate for myself and my motivation is myself. I was trying to skate and to train for myself, that’s why I’m getting better and skate as well as I did.”


Haein Lee (KOR) is third after the Women's Short Program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal © ISU

Sakamoto wobbled on her triple Lutz and lost some precious points even though she hit the triple flip-triple toe combination. She had to settle for 73.29 points, but less than one point separates the skaters ranked second to fourth. It’s only a little over three points to first place, so the Olympic bronze medalist will fight for the podium and the title in the Free Skating on Friday.

“I want to be a three-time World Champion so I want to keep the focus I have right now and put out the very best performance in the free program."

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Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) is just shy of the podium after the Women's Short Program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal © ISU

Young You (KOR), the 2020 Four Continents silver medalist, was fifth with a season’s best performance of 67.37 points. The 2024 Four Continents silver medalist, Chaeyeon Kim (KOR), capped a strong showing of Korean women by placing sixth at 66.91 points. Reigning ISU Four Continents Champion Mone Chiba (JPN) singled her Lutz and finished 13th (62.64 points).

Schedule of the event

The schedule of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships is as follows:

Wednesday, March 20:         Pairs & Women's Short Programs
Thursday, March 21:             Men's Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Friday, March 22:                  Rhythm Dance & Women's Free Skating
Saturday, March 23:              Free Dance & Men's Free Skating
Sunday, March 24:                Exhibition Gala

For full entries and results, please see the ISU event page and the official website. Follow the discussion on social media using #WorldFigure and #FigureSkating. 

Where to watch the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2024:

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Geo-restrictions will apply in markets where TV rights are in place. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.

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