Ashley Wagner takes first international gold, renewed Caroline Zhang shines with bronze
By Vladislav Luchianov
U. S. National Champion Ashley Wagner won the gold medal at the 2012 Four Continents Championships. Japan’s Mao Asada claimed the silver, another American lady Caroline Zhang earned the bronze.
In my preview of contenders for the Four Continents I wrote that Mao Asada will headline the competitions AS WELL AS Ashley Wagner. I also know that lots of people thought that everything is clear with ladies event. Not so fast!;) Ashley was definitely inspired of her victory in San Jose at the 2012 U.S. national championships and yesterday evening in World Arena she put out an excellent performance to “Black Swan”, reeling off six clean triples and three level – four spins.
It was 100% her day – wonderful interpretation of the theme from the famous movie, great passion which charges everyone on the stands and a strong confidence. These are just some of many things achieved by this lady during this season. She was always a big fighter on the ice but this season she decided to do much more. And she did it! Ashley posted a new personal best score of 128.34 points and earned 192.41 points in total. This is her first international title.
“Overall I am pleasantly surprised with how this weekend went. It’s a great build on top of my nationals performance and hopefully I can keep on this upward trend,” Four Continents champion said to the press. “Going into Worlds we just need to work on getting the Axel toe and the triple flip – triple toe consistently in the program. I think that’s the most crucial thing for me to have.” she noted.
Mao Asada opened her free skating to “Liebestraum” with a triple Axel, but it turned out underrotated. She went on to produce two triple flips, a double Axel – triple toe and triple loop, and difficult spins. Japan’s skater scored 124.37 points for this program and 188.62 points overall.
Mao Asada showed an amazing, elegant and strong performance. Yes, there were mistakes but as we all know she never give up. She said that we will see triple Axel in her programs and we saw it. Mao never afraid to take risks and that’s why this event can be considered as a test competition to her. The main will be at Worlds.
“My goal for this competition was to land the triple Axel and I am happy that I did that. But I lost a lot of points on other jumps. For the World Championships I want to include the triple Axel in both short and long program and avoid the little mistakes and minuses on my jumps.” two-time World champion said.
Caroline Zhang. This girl deserves a great respect. She had very difficult times, she had a real fight for the confidence, and she received lots of sceptical views to her skating. In spite of this she made just wonderful revival this year. Tons of everyday’s work bring first results – the bronze medal.
Skating to the Allegretto from Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Caroline completed five triple jumps and two double Axels. American skater picked up a personal best of 117.44 points and earned 176.18 points overall.
“There were a lot of things that I did differently than my previous long programs so I’m really happy with how I did,“ Zhang said. “It feels great. It just gives me more motivation to keep working and help me get an even better one next year.“ she continued.
Four Continents 2012 – Ashley Wagner, FS
Four Continents 2012 – Mao Asada, FS
Four Continents 2012 – Caroline Zhang, FS
2012 Four Continents Championshps – All medalists
1. Ashley Wagner (USA) 192.41
2. Mao Asada (Japan) 188.62
3.Caroline Zhang (USA) 176.18
1. Patrick Chan (Canada) 273.94
2. Daisuke Takahashi (Japan) 244.33
3. Ross Miner (USA) 223.33
1. Wenjing Sui / Cong Han (China) 201.83
2. Caydee Denney / John Coughlin (USA) 185.42
3. Mary Beth Marley / Rockne Brubaker (USA) 178.89
1. Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir (Canada) 182.84
2. Meryl Davis / Charlie White (USA) 179.40
3. Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje (Canada) 163.26