The husband-and-wife team of Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto danced their way to gold in Osaka ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Japanese Champions Misato Komatsubara/Tim Koleto dominated the Ice Dance competition at the ISU Grand Prix NHK Trophy in Osaka (JPN) on Saturday, claiming gold a mammoth 22 points ahead of silver medalists Rikako Fukase/Eichu Cho of Japan. Japan’s new team of Kana Muramoto/Daisuke Takahashi settled for third place on their competition debut.
Komatsubara and Koleto dominated the Free Skating on Day 2 of the NHK Trophy ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Komatsubara/Koleto delivered an enchanting performance to “Une histoire d’amour”, producing level-four twizzles, lifts and a level-four spin. The midline step sequence merited a level two while the one foot step sequence was rated a level two for her and a level three for him. The husband-and-wife team scored 108.29 points which added up to 179.05 points overall and thus turned their love story into gold at NHK Trophy.
“I am very happy and proud we skated two powerful programs,” Komatsubara shared. “Yesterday, the distance between us was what we worked on and we discussed it although the morning practice didn’t go that well. So we are being more professional,” she added.
“It was difficult to do on-line (training) lessons and we want to work harder but it felt great,” Koleto pointed out.
Fukase and Cho left the audience "Feeling Good" with their silver medal routine ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Performing to “My Funny Valentine” and “Feeling Good”, Fukase/Cho picked up a level four for the twizzles, two lifts and the spin. The National silver medalists were awarded 94.43 points and overtook Muramoto/Takahashi with a total of 157.89 points.
“All the lifts went well, but we made some mistakes we should never make. Being in a real competition was great for us,” Fukase noted. “It was a pretty good performance for us, but we do have some parts to work on. With the Nationals coming up soon we will work hard to improve,” Cho commented.
Muramoto and Takahashi performed a ballet-inspired routine to take the bronze medal ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Muramoto/Takahashi delivered a balletic dance to “La Bayadere” by Leon Minkus. The 2018 ISU Four Continents bronze medalist and her partner picked up a level three and four for their combination lift and another level three for the stationary lift. The only major glitch came when Takahashi, the 2010 ISU Single Skating World Champion, stumbled on the twizzles. With a Free Dance score of 93.10 points, Muramoto/Takahashi just slipped behind Fukase/Cho at 157.25 overall.
“We are happy to have made our debut,” Muramoto said. “We were calm but made mistakes we never do, so there are many things to work on, but I feel that we can do better in the next competition. We are a team that has just started. We are all excited and coaches are telling us that we will bring a new breeze into this world so we are just excited to have started”, she continued.
“In today’s Free Dance, I made a mistake and I hate that,” Takahashi admitted. “Even in practice I don’t make such a big mistake on the twizzle and other mistakes in the transitions. So I guess that is what the competition means.”
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020
· ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final postponed
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final that was to be held as an Olympic Test Event on December 10-13 has been postponed. The ISU, in consultation with all stakeholders and considering the pandemic developments, is evaluating the continuation of the 2020/21 season.
About ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known a s the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six invitational international senior events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Due to the current situation, the usual selection criteria do not apply. Please see the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page for further information.