The Four Continents Championships continued today, Feb. 20, with the pairs and ladies free skate. After winning two consecutive silver medals at this event in 2014 and 2015, Japan’s Satoko Miyahara rose to the occasion and captured the gold in the ladies event. Chinese team Wenjing Sui and Cong Han claimed the title in the pairs event after a beautiful performance.
Reigning national champion, Gracie Gold was in ninth place after her lowest scoring short program in three years. She came back strong in the free skate and finished in fifth place, missing the podium but regaining at least a small amount of confidence. “I feel okay about it,” Gracie Gold said according to a U.S. Figure Skating media release. “It was a respectable performance, and at least the quality of what I did was nice. I came into this competition knowing that I’ve had a lot of struggles with the event. I don’t feel as comfortable with this event as I do for a lot of the other competitions, with the amount of time between competing at Nationals and competing here. I came here knowing I feel this way and I wanted to see how I could do with that. Knowing that I can skate a free program at least that well, after what happened in the short, I feel hopeful about Worlds.”
Many expected to see Gracie on the podium, but instead it was American Mirai Nagasu who shined brightly in this event, putting out a beautiful performance in her short program and her free skate, which earned her the silver medal. Nagasu landed a wonderful triple flip-triple toe combination and continued skating brilliantly from there. “I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t skated like this in a long, long time,” Mirai said. “It’s taken a lot to get me back on the podium and I’m so grateful to my team and support group who have gotten me here. I hope to only improve and continue on this track of improvement.” Nagasu has competed at this event twice, once in 2011 where she won the bronze and also in 2014 when she placed tenth. Sadly though, Mirai will not be competing at the World Championships as she came in fourth place at Nationals this year.
In the end it was world silver medalist Satoko Miyahara who stole the hearts of the crowd and judges with a season’s best score of 142.43 finishing with an overall score of 214.91. Miyahara, has been increasingly consistent this season and will now go into the World Championships with another gold medal under her belt. Satoko’s teammate, Rika Hongo was in fourth place after the short program. She delivered an exciting performance to Riverdance in the free skate which earned her the bronze medal.
Canadian pair team Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were in second place after the short program, but had to withdraw as Duhamel came down with the stomach flu. This team was one of the favorites, having won the event back in 2013 and in 2015. With Duhamel and Radford sidelined the door was wide open for Wenjing Sui and Cong Han. They opened with a nice quad twist and despite Sui falling on the side-by-side triple salchows, gave a great performance that allowed them to take home the gold.
American team Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim came out with a strong free skate that included a large quad twist and they won the silver medal. “I was personally struggling coming into this event,” Alexa confessed. “I lost a lot of confidence after Nationals and had a hard time even showing up here, to be honest. Doing this free skate was a real testament to our character, so I feel great going into Worlds.” Alexa and Chris received the largest free skate score of their career earning a total of 140.35 points, which was quite exciting for them. Chinese team Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin, skated well and won the bronze medal. Americans Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea had a strong showing and despite Tarah fighting some illness they finished in fourth place.
The Four Continents Championships wraps up tomorrow, Feb 21 with the men’s free skate. The U.S. men will have to work hard to dig themselves out of the pit from the short program, Patrick Chan will strive to make his mark, while the youngsters try to land as many quads as possible. It will certainly be an exciting event as they battle their way to the podium.
Ladies free skate results:
1. Satoko Miyahara JPN – 214.91 WATCH NOW
2. Mirai Nagasu USA – 193.86 WATCH NOW
3. Rika Hongo JPN – 181.78 WATCH NOW
4. So Youn Park KOR – 178.92 WATCH NOW
5. Gracie Gold USA – 178.39 WATCH NOW
6. Kaetlyn Osmond CAN – 175.63 WATCH NOW
7. Kanako Murakami JPN – 175.12 WATCH NOW
8. Da Bin Choi KOR – 173.71 WATCH NOW
9. Na Hyun Kim KOR – 170.70 WATCH NOW
10. Zijun Li CHN – 167.88 WATCH NOW
11. Alaine Chartrand CAN – 165.73
12. Karen Chen USA – 161.52
13. Kailani Craine AUS – 157.82
14. Veronik Mallet CAN – 155.98
15. Amy Lin TPE – 155.61
16. Ziquan Zhao CHN – 147.79
17. Brooklee Han AUS – 135.75
18. Michaela Du Toit RSA – 121.12
19. Lu Zheng CHN – 118.73
20. Maisy Hiu Ching Ma HKG – 115.10
21. Katie Pasfield AUS – 95.78
22. Thita Lamsam THA – 89.59
Pairs free skate results:
1. Wenjing Sui/Cong Han CHN – 221.91 WATCH NOW
2. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim USA – 207.96 WATCH NOW
3. Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin CHN – 187.33 WATCH NOW
4. Tarah Kayne/Daniel O’Shea USA – 182.02 WATCH NOW
5. Lubov Iliushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch CAN – 179.67 WATCH NOW
6. Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran USA – 175.08 WATCH NOW
7. Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim PRK – 157.24
8. Vanessa Grenier/Maxime Deschamps CAN – 148.82
9. Sumire Suto/Francis Boudreau Audet JPN – 145.33