Japan confirmed ladies domination in Osaka
By Vladislav Luchianov
Two-time World champion Mao Asada won her third title of the Four Continents Championships with a total score of 205.45 points.
Her teammates Akiko Suzuki (190.08) and Kanako Murakami (181.03) took silver and bronze respectively.
Thus, Japanese skaters confidently kept the podium occupied by them in the short program.
In the first half of her program to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Mao Asada looked a little bit too concentrated and that is understandable. She had very serious rivals and there was also a general pressure of high level competition.
After the strong execution of the technical part, which included her trademark triple Axel, performed with a little mistake, Asada began to feel herself more free and demonstrated to numerous public of ice rink in Osaka her jewelry mastery in components.
The inspiration did not leave the athlete up to the final chord of music. After her performance there were no doubts about the winner’s name. Now, when in her technical arsenal reappeared the triple Axel, she became even more dangerous, in the competitive sense of this word, to any of other top world skaters.
An interesting fact is how gradually and slowly Mao increased her sporting shape, especially in the technical part. For example, during the last several months she included a triple Axel at the trainings but in a competitive program it appeared only in this championships. All this points to a very careful attention to the training period, as well as to the tactics and strategy of this skater and her coaching staff.
No less inspired was Akiko Suzuki in her very beautiful program O, from Cirque du Soleil, by Benoit Jutras. Not everything turned out the way she wanted to, but even small technical errors aren’t affected the general mood and big impression of her performance.
Kanako Murakami proved to all once again, that she is no longer the little lady, which some people considered her until this season. She was unable to avoid little mistakes too, performing her free skating program to the music of Astor Piazzolla. However, the passion that she demonstrated in combination with a very soft and plastic choreography earned her a well-deserved bronze medal.
Pairs: 1. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) – 199.18; 2. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) – 196.78; 3. Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA) – 170.10.
Ice Dance: 1. Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) – 187.36; 2. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) – 184.32; 3. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) – 160.42.
Photo: Hiroyuki Nakamura