World silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan edged ahead of China’s World bronze medalist Boyang Jin in the Men’s Short Program at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei on Thursday. Keiji Tanaka (JPN) follows in third place.
Uno, drawn to skate last out of the 30 competitors, opened his program to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with a quad flip, but then reduced his combination to a quad toe-double toe. He then hit a triple Axel and collected a level four for his spins, but the footwork garnered only a level two. The Japanese champion scored 100.49 points.
“I thought I did a good job on my jumps today, but I stumbled a little on the connecting steps," Uno said.
"My legs were a little weak so I thought I should do a quad-double combo instead of a quad-triple combo. But once I did my quad it wasn’t so bad. So I should have been more confident about it. I felt I was cautious in my program and I want to be stronger in the free skating.”
Jin hit a big quad Lutz-triple toeloop combination right out of the gate and followed up with a quad toe and triple Axel in his martial arts-inspired routine to “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”. He also produced two level-four spins and a level-four step sequence to post a personal best of 100.17 points, just 0.32 behind Uno.
Having missed the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final with foot injuries last month, the two-time World bronze medalist was pleased with his form.
“The performance was not perfect, but after the injury I think I achieved good scores. This year is an important one and I have more motivation after the injury,” Jin said.
Tanaka gave a solid skate to the bluesy “Memories” by Gary Moore, landing a quad Salchow, triple Axel and triple flip-triple toe on his way to a personal best of 90.68 points.
“It wasn’t 100 per cent, but my jumps were successful and it was a plus for me to be able to achieve this in a big event. I am not satisfied with my spins, though. I want to land all my quads before the Olympics," Tanaka said.
ISU Grand Prix finalist Jason Brown (USA) stepped out of his triple Axel to finish fourth on 90.68 points. Han Yan (CHN) fell on an underrotated quad toeloop but landed the triple Axel and jump combination to place fifth (84.74 points). Max Aaron (USA) is ranked sixth on 84.15 points.
The ISU Four Continents Championships 2018 continue Friday with the Pairs and Ladies Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see the ISU website and the official event website. Follow the discussion on social media using the Hashtag #4ContsFigure.