Miki Ando shows strong character at Sectionals

Miki Ando

By Vladislav Luchianov

Last weekend in Japan was held the Eastern Sectional Championships, in which were selected top five skaters to compete at the 2013 Japan nationals.

This tournament has attracted international media attention due to the participation of a two-time World champion Miki Ando, who recently returned to the big sport. After two years of absence and five months after giving birth, Ando returned to competition at the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy where she won the silver medal behind Russian senior debutant Elena Radionova.

The Eastern Sectionals champ has turned out extremely difficult for the famous Japanese figure skater. She was only 13th after disastrous short program with only 41.97 points, and many were convinced that most likely this is the end for Ando.

However, those, who rushed to strike out Miki from the list of favorites, quite strongly were mistaken. She managed to significantly improve her final result, performing strong her free skate program to The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky.

She opened the program with a solid triple Lutz, which was followed by another five triple jumps, including triple Salchow – double toe combo,  and two double Axels. Two of her triples were performed at the second part of Ando’s performance. It should be noted that the Japanese athlete increased the tempo from one element to another, demonstrating that she intends to fight to the very end. She totaled 105.24 points for her free skate.

Though, she still has to improve the levels of her spins.

Following the results of Eastern Sectionals, Miki Ando managed to finish second with a total of 147.21 points and has been qualified for the 2013 Japan national figure skating championships, which will be held from December 21 – 24, 2013 in the city of Saitama.

“I went out on the ice tonight knowing that this would be my last competitive race in Japan. I tried not to think too much about the thirteenth place in the short program, because thoughts of self-accusation do not matter at all – it is counted only a try to do your best as an athlete,” Ando said at a press conference.

“Today I have improved a lot in comparison with yesterday’s performance. I can only say that I felt amazing but I hope to skate much better.” Japanese skater added.

Speaking to the media, Miki Ando has confirmed her intention to participate at the 2013 Ice Challenge competition, which will be held from November 19–24 in Graz, Austria.

Photo: JDP

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