2018 World Championships
Grand Prix Final Champion Nathan Chen (USA) jumped to gold
going with six quadruple jumps at the ISU World Figure
Skating Championships 2018 in Milan (ITA) on Saturday,
becoming the first American man to win the title and any
World medal since Evan Lysacek took gold in 2009. The 2018
Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan pulled up from
fifth place to repeat as World silver medalist and
Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada claimed the bronze.
Skating to “Mao’s Last Dancer” and “Sacre du Printemps”,
Chen reeled off a quad Lutz, quad flip-double toe loop, quad
flip, quad toe loop and quad toe loop-triple toe as well as a triple
Axel and a triple flip-single loop-triple Salchow
combination. The only glitch came when he stepped out of the
sixth quadruple jump, a Salchow. The U.S. Champion collected
a level four for his spins and footwork and set a new
personal best of 219.46 points in the Free Skating to total
“It’s just a dream come true, it’s something I have wanted
to achieve my whole career and I’m just so glad I was able
to do it,” Chen said about winning. “I was kind of checking
what everyone was doing on Jackie Wong’s Twitter so I was
sort of updated on what was going on. It gave me the
opportunity, the chance. Of course I don’t want to see my
competitors fail or do badly, I want them to be pushing me
and pushing each other, but I’m glad I was able to do what I
needed to do and I felt the audience really wanted a good
performance and they motivated me to do it,” the 18-year-old
Chen, who landed a six quads, earned a personal best of 219.46
points in his free skate clinch his first World medal, securing his title by nearly
48 points. He is the first U.S. man to be World champion
since Evan Lysacek accomplished the feat in 2009.
The United States also earned three sports for next year’s
World Championships with an 11thplace finish by
Chen went undefeated during the Grand Prix season, won his
second consecutive U.S. title in January and won the bronze
medal in the Team Event at the Olympic Winter Games
Uno landed a quadruple-double toe loop combination, a triple
Axel, triple Axel-single loop-triple flip as well as three
more triples. However, the Olympic silver medalist, who is
handicapped by an ankle injury, struggled with his other
quads, falling three times. The Japanese Champion scored
179.51 points which added up to 273.77 points overall.
“My foot felt better than yesterday. It was hard to bring it
in a good condition. I did mistakes in the beginning, but I
am satisfied that I finished the free skate like this. In my
recent practices, my quad loops and flips were rather rough
but still I decided to go for them and I didn’t do so well
but I came back in the end of the program really nicely, so
I am satisfied with my result today,” Uno told the press.
Kolyada’s program to Elvis Presley songs featured a
quadruple toeloop, two triple Axels as well as two more
triples and level-three spins, but he fell on the quad Lutz
and the second quad toe loop. The two-time European bronze
medalist earned 172.24 points and was ranked fourth in the
Free Skating. Overall he slipped from second to third at
“I am happy with the short program, but in the free
obviously I made mistakes. But I enjoyed performing my
program, the presentation,” Kolyada commented. “The last
time a Russian man medaled at Worlds was Artur Gachinski in
2011. We need to raise the level of men’s skating in Russia.
I think this (medal) will be a positive experience for me
and the other guys,” he added.
Alexei Bychenko (ISR) pulled up from seventh to fourth for a
career-best result at the World Championships on 258.28
points. “This season was hard, there was a lot of stress, a
lot of preparation, and what I did today is not exactly what
I expected but anyway I fought for every element. Anyway, I
am very glad with my result. Each season I try to beat my
previous result and I am really proud of myself and my
team,” Bychenko shared.
Kazuki Tomono (JPN) was ranked third in the Free Skating
with a clean performance to ‘West Side Story’ that included
two quadruple Salchow. Overall he moved up from 11th to
fifth place in his debut at the ISU World Championships. “It
is the first time to be at such a big competition for me and
I learned a lot from it, I become more confident. I had
already had the experience to skate as a substitute so I was
prepared to such a situation after Yuzuru (Hanyu) and
Takahito (Mura) withdrew. I was very lucky to be here and
here I came as the substitute but I want to be a real and
dignified representative of Japan,” Tomono noted. Deniss
Vasiljevs (LAT) pulled up from ninth to sixth on 254.86
The 2017 World Junior Champion Vincent Zhou (USA), who stood
in third following the Short Program, faded to 14th after
numerous errors (235.24 points) and two-time World bronze
medalist Boyang Jin (CHN) plummeted from 4th to
19th (223.41 points).
PyeongChang 2018 Olympic silver
medalists Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron of France
reigned supreme in the Ice Dance event at the ISU World
Figure Skating Championships 2018, taking their third World
title setting new highest scores. Madison Hubbell & Zachary
Donohue (USA) danced to the silver medal, their first World
medal while Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje returned to
the World podium for the first time after 2015 and earned
their third medal.
Papadakis & Cizeron delivered
a beautiful dance to Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’,
effortlessly completing intricate footwork and innovative
lifts. The four-time European Champions, collected a level
four for all elements and 30 perfect 10.00, including 10.00
from all nine judges for performance. The French Champions
set a new highest score in the Free Dance with 123.47 points
and overall with 207.20 points.
“We’re really happy about what
we did today, of course because of the scores but before
that because of the feeling we had on the ice. We had so
much fun and felt like we had so much control of what we
were doing. It was one of the first times we achieved such a
level of quality in our program and the connection was
incredible between the two of us and with the public. The
atmosphere around us felt like a special moment,” Cizeron
shared. “It is a beautiful victory, it’s cool. We are very
proud of this third gold medal. I think this will be one of
the moments for us to remember, we beat three world records
– in the short, the free and overall,” he added.
Hubbell & Donohue’s sultry
Blues to ‘Make It Rain’ featured seven level-four elements
as well and the U.S. Champions achieved a new personal best
with 116.22 points. They totaled 196.64 points to win their
first World medal. Hubbell & Donohue won their first
U.S. title in January.
“Zach and I are obviously very
pleased. We’ve never been on a World Championship podium
before and to be here after this tough season is just a
great way to finish. We feel we have done a lot of work
tackling our demons and fear and all the what ifs that go
through our minds. We’ve had a history of making errors and
giving up place so today’s performance met our goal of
keeping in the moment, keeping the connection, and believing
what we did was enough. It turned out it was so we are
pleased and looking forward to the future,” Hubbell told the
post-event press conference.
This is the fourth consecutive season
that the United States has won a world medal in the ice
It’s going to take a little bit of time to sink
in,” Hubbell said. “We’re just really proud with how far we
have come and the performance we were able to give under
that pressure of skating last. It was a great audience and
we’re really excited that this is our start to the next four
Dancing to ‘Je suis malade’,
Weaver & Poje put out an emotional performance, earning a
level four for the lifts, twizzles, spin and diagonal
footwork. With a personal best of 114.04 points, the
Canadians were ranked third in the Free Dance, but held on
to third place on 192.35 points overall.
“I don't have words for this
moment. The program went by so fast and before we knew it we
were climbing the podium,” Weaver said. “We’ve had a very
difficult season riddled with injuries and with some of the
lowest lows of our career, so it’s remarkable that we can
end on this high note with our favorite program and probably
the best performance we’ve had. So we have nothing but joy
to share today,” she continued.
2014 World Champions Anna Cappellini
& Luca Lanotte (ITA) skated to ‘Life Is Beautiful’ and
missed the podium by just 0.27 points to come fourth on
192.08 points with the third-best Free Dance.
“Whatever the result, today was
probably the biggest emotion we have ever had skating. Today
we gave all we had to each other. We never imagined when we
were children that we would arrive so high, to get so far,”
Lanotte commented. Two-time World medalists Madison Chock &
Evan Bates(USA) placed fifth with ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon
and Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier (CAN), who interpreted a
James Bond theme, were sixth (186.10 points).
Madison Chock & Evan Bates finished fifth, while
Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean Luc Baker finished tenth.
The United States
earned three sports for next year’s World Championships w.
Papadakis & Cizeron Sparkle in Short Dance, Set
Not only the sequins sparkled when 2018 Olympic silver
medalists Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron of France
took the ice for the Latin Short Dance. The two-time World
Champions won the first segment of the Ice Dance competition
at the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships with a new record score. Madison Hubbell & Zachary
Donohue (USA) came second followed by Canada’s two-time
World medalists Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje.
Dancing to ‘Shape Of You’ and
‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran, Papadakis & Cizeron
produced difficult footwork and a straight line lift and
picked up a level four for the side by side step sequence,
the twizzles, pattern dance step sequence and the lift. The
Rhumba Pattern merited a level three. With 83.73 points, the
four-time European Champions broke the Short Dance record
set by Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (CAN) at the Olympic Winter
“We had a really good feeling on
the ice today, it felt really special to be back in Milan
after five years when we were here for Junior Worlds, and
the crowd was amazing,” Cizeron shared. “We really needed to
be supported today when the season has been so demanding so
it felt really good to have that support. We had a great
time today and it feels really good to end the season on a
note like this,” he added.
Hubbell & Donohue’s performance to
Samba and Rhumba was highlighted by well synchronized
twizzles, intricate steps and a curve lift. The U.S.
Champions earned a level four for all elements to achieve a
new personal best of 80.42 points, breaking 80 points for
the first time.
“Many teams throughout this event
achieved a season’s best which was wonderful to see,
especially after a demanding season and many of us coming
off the Olympics not long ago, but Zachary and I definitely
wanted to not just wait till Worlds but go home after the
Olympics and keep improving,” Hubbell noted. “We put out an
incredible performance and we are very proud to achieve a
clean protocol with all level 4s. We really feel we gave our
best performance today,” she continued.
“We’re overjoyed honestly,” Donohue said. “This performance
is everything we’ve been wanting to put out all season. It’s
a culmination of a lot of hard work and creative
intelligence from [Marie France Dubreuil] and [Patrice
Lauzon]. Our dedication showed through on the ice today and
we’re really proud of it.”
Weaver & Poje delivered a strong
performance to Bolero and Mambo, collecting a level four for
four elements and scoring a personal best with 78.31 points.
“We're so happy with our
performance today. We seem to have bookended our season with
this short program. It started out great, then a bit of a
dip and now, what a way to finish the season with a Personal
Best. We know we have great chemistry and we want to
highlight that because it's what makes us special,” Weaver
told the press.
The 2014 World Champions Anna
Cappellini & Luca Lanotte (ITA) are less than point behind
in fourth place on 77.46 points, which was a personal best
score. “It was a great performance, we tried to give
everything to the crowd, that's why we are here because we
want to skate for people, for Italy, for our fans and we
really love it and love to bring our performance to the new
level,” Lanotte said. Two-time World medalists Madison Chock
& Evan Bates (USA) came fifth (75.66 points) followed
by Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier (CAN) on 74.51 points.
Madison Chock & Evan Bates (USA) earned a season best 75.66
points and are in fifth place.
“It felt great,” Chock said. “We had a lot of fun out
there. This was definitely our best performance all year so
it’s really nice to cap off the end of the season this way.”
Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker (USA) placed 15th in the
Short Dance. Hawayek had a fluke fall midway through the program.
“We weren’t nervous at all,” Hawayek said. “Both of us felt
really great heading into the competition. Warm-ups,
practices and everything have been great. Unfortunately, my
blade hit something on the ice and it just stopped so I got
up and kept going. I was really proud of the way that we
performed after that.”
Canada Takes Ladies Gold for First Time in 45 Years
2018 Olympic bronze medalist Kaetlyn Osmond came from fourth
place to take the first World title for a Canadian Lady in
45 years at the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships. Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi and Satoko
Miyahara claimed the silver and bronze medals in an eventful
competition that saw Russia’s Olympic Champion Alina
Zagitova dropping off the podium. For the first time since
2013 no Russian Lady was on the podium.
Osmond, who skated first in the
last flight, opened her powerful program to ‘Black Swan’
with a triple flip-triple toe loop combination and went on to
complete a triple Lutz, loop, flip and triple Salchow-double
toe-double loop combination. The only glitch came when the
2017 World silver medalist stepped out of the double
Axel-triple toe loop combination. The Canadian Champion
collected a level four for her spins and footwork and scored
150.50 points. Overall she racked up 223.23 points. Osmond
is the first Canadian Lady to become World Champion since
Karen Magnusson in 1973.
“It (winning) never crossed my
mind until it actually happened. My goal here was to skate
clean and I was able to do that. To make the podium was my
ultimate goal but I never thought that being champion was
possible,” the 22-year-old said. “That was probably the
hardest long program I’ve done all year. It was a great
mental focus for me to be able to do that and I’m just
really happy that I was able to end my year with two clean
long programs,” she shared.
Higuchi produced seven clean
triples including two triple Lutz-triple toe loop
combinations as well as two double Axels and level-four
spins in her James Bond routine to pull up from eighth place
after the Short Program. The 17-year-old earned 145.01
points which added up to 210.90 points.
“After the mistakes in the short
program I was determined to give everything that I did in
practice in the free, and I think I did that today so I was
very pleased. It gave me a lot of confidence that I was able
to show everything I had at the end of the season,” the
two-time World Junior bronze medalist told the press. “I
wish I had been able to show a better short program but it
was a very good experience for me.”
Performing to ‘Madame Butterfly’,
Miyahara hit five clean triple jumps as well as difficult
spins and footwork. However, the 2015 World silver medalist
fell on a double Salchow. The Japanese Champion scored
135.72 points and remained in third place on 210.08 points.
“After finishing my free program I
didn’t expect to get this bronze medal so it is very
unexpected, but I also think I was stiff and the jumps were
small so again I think I have to do more, I have many things
to do,” Miyahara noted. “I want to be a skater that moves
people’s hearts. Of course it is necessary to skate perfect
programs so I need to work hard. Other things I think I have
to work on is more like dances, ballet, everything,” she
Short program leader Carolina
Kostner (ITA) slipped to fourth place after she fell on a
triple Salchow and stumbled on a single Axel (208.88
points). “I was concentrating 100% on my skating and the
elements but the rhythm felt a bit off and I didn't feel as
comfortable and confident as in practice and so I made
mistakes. I tried my best. I couldn't do more. To me
it is a great achievement and I'm grateful to the Italian
crowd for how much they have learned about the spirit,”
Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova (RUS)
missed three jumps and dropped to fifth place (207.72
U.S. Champion Bradie Tennell (USA), earning
131.13 points in the free skate, moved up one
spot to sixth place on 199.98 points in her Worlds debut.
“I feel really good about that performance,” Tennell said.
“I went out there and I just wanted to enjoy myself and
skate a clean program and I feel like I did that.”
2017 World bronze
medalist Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) finished seventh (196.72
Mirai Nagasu earned 122.31 points on Friday night for
187.52 overall points. It caps off a season that started
with the U.S. International Classic in September and
included an Olympic bronze medal.
“I feel really good. It was a long season for me but I
wanted to finish it off strongly and I did my best to do
that today,” Nagasu said. “I think we could all say that
[the season] was a very difficult but rewarding journey and
I’m glad to have finished it the way that I did. I think I
finished strong and although I may have dropped a couple of
places, I’m happy with how I skated.”
Mariah Bell earned 115.25 points in the free skate for
174.40 overall. She finished 12th overall.
“Overall, I’m bummed with the performance because the
beginning wasn’t as it was planned but fighting through to
the end is a great takeaway for me. I wanted to use this as
a opportunity just to keep training to the end of my season
and ultimately finishing that program was [something I take
Dabin Choi (KOR) withdrew
from the competition due to equipment failure as her right
skating broke was broken. Choi stood in 21st place
following the Short Program.
Nathan Chen Takes Lead in Men’s Short Program
Grand Prix Final Champion
Nathan Chen (USA) grabbed the lead in the Men’s Short
Program over Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada at the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships Thursday.
2017 World Junior Champion Vincent Zhou (USA) is currently
‘Nemesis’ by Benjamin Clementine, Chen nailed a quad
Lutz-triple toe, a quad flip and triple Axel and collected a
level four for two spins and the step sequence. The U.S.
Champion earned 101.94 points.
“I’m very happy with
the way these World Championships started, especially after
having two such rough short programs at Olympics. It’s been
great to have the opportunity to try the short program again
and I hope to redeem myself. Ultimately, I’m proud of what I
did here,” Chen said. “I am just going into the free wanting
to be as clean as possible. In terms of what I’m going to
do, that is a conversation with my coach. Things can change,
we still have a day in between, which gives me time to
really think about it,” he continued.
“Compared to the Olympics,
this program was a lot better and I’m much happier,” Chen
said. “It is definitely a little bit of redemption. It was a
huge improvement off of what I did [in PyeongChang]. It
wasn’t clean or perfect and that’s what I really want, but
as of right now I’ll call it a success.”
Kolyada’s program to
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featured an excellent
quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop, triple Lutz, triple Axel
as well as level-four spins and footwork. The ISU Grand Prix
Final bronze medalist scored 100.08 points.
“I did everything I
planned to, we made the program a bit easier and I did it
well, so I was pleased. I was in a fighting mood, it all
felt good, I did everything I know how to and I did it
well,” the two-time European Champion noted.
“I will do the same
content (in the Free Skating) as I did at the Olympics. In
order to get to the podium, you should not think about
making the podium, you just do your job,” he added.
Zhou landed a quad
Lutz-triple toe loop, a quad flip and triple Axel in his
routine to ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol to post a personal
best of 96.78 points.
The score beat his previous personal best by more than ten
“I came here to skate
a clean program. I did just that, and being in the top three
is the icing on the cake,” 17-year-old Zhou, the youngest
man in the competition, shared. “It’s very important not to
focus on placement, just on how I skate myself because
that’s what I can control. In terms of quads I will keep it
consistent with the Olympics. I’ve been training some good
programs so I look forward to showing you that in the free.”
“Coming into this event,
I’ve been training extremely well and I came here to do a
job and I’ve been doing it so far,” Zhou said. “I look
forward to continuing this in the free skate. It felt
amazing out there. I’m really happy to have finally put out
a clean short program on international ice. ”
2017 World bronze
medalist Boyang Jin (CHN) ranked fourth after under-rotating
his quad toe loop, but he completed a quad Lutz-triple toe
combination (95.85 points).
2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN), who battles an ankle injury, came fifth. He
produced a quad toe loop and triple Axel, but reduced his
combination to a shaky triple Salchow-double toe loop to score
“Sadly, I am injured,
but then I don’t feel any pain today so I didn’t know what
was going to happen during the short program so I made the
jumps a little bit easier. But with everyone’s support I
think I did really well and, hopefully, we can keep this
momentum going for the free program,” Uno said. Keegan
Messing (CAN) placed sixth with a strong skate and 93.00
Max Aaron earned
79.78 points and is in 15th place.
“It was a tough program, but
given the time that I had to train, I did my best,” Aaron
said. “I have no regrets. I’m really here to help support
[Nathan and Vincent]. If something were to go wrong,
hopefully I could sneak in and help get the United States
three spots, but I’m pretty confident that those boys are
going to lay it down and hopefully bring home two World
medals. I’m like the support dog. I just want to help them
out as much as I can and have the best skate I can.”
Mesmerizing Savchenko & Massot
(GER) Strike Gold Setting Record Scores
Olympic Champions Aljona
Savchenko & Bruno Massot of Germany added the World gold medal
to their impressive resume, setting new record scores en
route and winning with 20 points to spare.
Russia’s two-time European Champions Evgenia
Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov claimed the silver medal. Vanessa
James & Morgan Cipres of France earned the bronze, their first
Savchenko & Massot
turned in a mesmerizing performance to ‘La Terre Vue du Ciel,’
reeling off a huge triple twist, a throw triple flip, triple Salchow-double toe
loop-double toe loop combination, side by side
triple toe as well as spectacular lifts and spins. As the
music built, the audience grew louder and louder until they
crowd erupted in cheers and a standing ovation at the end.
Savchenko & Massot set a new record score in the Free Skating
with 162.86 points and also broke the record for the total
score with 245.84 points. The German Champions collected 21
perfect 10s in the components for performance, composition
and music interpretation. Savchenko now is a six-time World
Champion, three-time Olympic medalist and one of the most
decorated figure skaters in the history of the sport.
“It was tough, but we
were focused and did everything. We tried to enjoy it even
more than at the Olympic Games, but it was different. I was
really focused on the elements. At the end, I kissed the ice
and thanked the ice,” Savchenko said.
“Physically it was
hard. We were tired, we didn’t have much of preparation, and
so we really did it thanks to mental strength, with our
hearts as we really wanted to give a good performance for
our families that are sitting up there in the stands. It was
hard, but it was magical,” Massot added.
Tarasova & Morozov, who
had drawn to skate last, turned in a strong performance of
their Boogie Woogie program that included a quadruple twist,
throw triple Salchow and loop as well as difficult lifts.
However, Morozov doubled the side by side Salchow and
struggled with the toe loop combination. The two-time
European Champions scored 144.24 points and totaled 225.53
points to win their first World silver medal, upgrading from
the bronze they had a year ago.
“We are glad that we
were able to deal with the stress and the tiredness. Not
everything worked out in the program, but we tried hard and
we gave a 100 percent. We were able to redeem ourselves
after the unsuccessful performance in Korea,” Tarasova
James & Cipres opened
their emotional program to ‘Sound of Silence’ with a triple
twist and a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination,
but then James crashed badly on the throw triple Salchow.
She recovered instantly and the French team made no further
mistake, hitting a triple Salchow, throw triple flip and
level-four lifts. The 2017 European bronze medalists set a
season’s best of 143.04 points and accumulated 218.36 points
“Finally a dream came
true. We are just happy. We weren’t expecting to medal at
Worlds yet this season, at Europeans yes and at a Grand Prix
Event and we also wanted to go to the Final. Today is just
like a gift. There hasn’t been a medal for France in the
Pairs event (at World Championships) in 18 years,” Cipres
told the press.
Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander
Enbert (RUS) came fourth with a solid performance, scoring
207.88 points. Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise (ITA)
finished fifth on 206.06 points and Kirsten
Moore-Towers & Michael Marinaro (CAN) pulled up from 10th to
sixth at 204.33 points.
Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim (USA) earned
112.49 points for their free skate, totaling 182.04 overall
to finish the competition in 15th place.
that happens,” Chris Knierim said. “Ice is slippery and
sometimes you don’t get it all right when you’re out there
for four minutes. It’s hard [to have a result like this],
especially leaving a program like that, it’s not what we
wanted to do. Alexa is a fighter and she fought through it
Scimeca-Knierim & Knierim needed to place no lower than
10th, after Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomay (USA)
did not qualify from the Short program, to preserve two
spots at Worlds for next season. Thus, the U.S. will
be sending only one pair to Saitama next season.
The black cloud that envelops U.S. pair skating grows and
grows, and there is no silver lining. None.
Kostner Leads Ladies Event
Italy’s 2012 World Champion Carolina Kostner wowed the
home crowd with a personal best performance as the ISU World
Figure Skating Championships 2018 opened Wednesday with the
Ladies Short Program in Milan, Italy. Kostner upstaged
reigning Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova of Russia, who came
a close second. The 2015 World silver medalist Satoko
Miyahara of Japan ranked third in the first segment of the
Thirty-seven Ladies competed in the Short Program and the
top 24 advanced to the Free Skating on Friday.
Kostner gave a mesmerizing performance to ‘Ne me quitte
pas,’ hitting a triple flip-triple toe loop, triple loop,
double Axel as well as level-four spins and footwork. The
2014 Olympic bronze medalist posted a personal best of 80.27
“I am amazed and happy any joyful to be here. For me it’s
a big honor, like a big cherry on the cake,” the five-time
European Champion shared. “I already felt amazing even
before my performance because skating in my home country is
so, so special and so emotional. You could feel the silence,
you could feel the tears. I could feel the support and the
passion. I remember, 15 years ago when I started to compete
internationally, nobody came to watch Figure Skating in
Italy and now we fill up this big venue,” she continued. “I
hope I’ll be able to show all the elements and want to show
how much I love skating (in the Free Skating),” the
multiple-times Italian Champion concluded.
Zagitova’s program to ‘Black Swan’ featured a triple
Lutz-triple loop combination, a triple flip and a double
Axel. The European Champion collected a level four for her
spins and footwork as well to score 79.51 points. “I am not
that happy with my performance today. The combination
(triple Lutz-triple loop) could have been better and I felt
I was tight overall in the program,” the 15-year-old
admitted. “It was hard to get back into the training
process. After the Olympics, we had a lot of events going
on. Carolina Kostner is my idol, I am looking up to her and
I am very happy for her that she was able to do her best
Skating to ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, Miyahara completed a
triple loop, double Axel and exquisite spins. However, the
Japanese Champion under-rotated the back end of her triple
Lutz-triple toe loop combination. She earned 74.36 points.
“The first Lutz-toe I got stuck, so it was not my best jump.
I thought I could not get high points like today, but I’m
really happy today with the performance,” Miyahara told the
post-event press conference. “(After the Olympic Games) I
took a couple of days to rest my body and then I started to
practice as usual. Physically my body is ready and mentally
I’m very excited to come here,” she added.
The 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)
stayed in medal contention in fourth place on 72.73 points.
She had stumbled on her double Axel in her Edith Piaf
routine. “Overall it wasn’t my best and it wasn’t the way I
wanted to finish my short program this year but I’m happy.
I’m still in a good spot and I’m still happy that I can
fight in my long program and to see what happens,” Osmond
ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalist Maria Sotskova (RUS)
sits in fifth with 71.80 points followed by 2017 World
bronze medalist Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) with 71.61 points.
Bradie Tennell led the way for the United States with a
68.76-point, seventh-place short program. Her “Taeguki”
short program was clean in her World Championships debut.
“This is my first World Championships so to go out there and
put out a program like that, I’m very proud of myself,”
Mirai Nagasu earned 65.21 points in her opening skate at the
competition, placing her in ninth heading into Friday’s free
“It’s just been a very long season,” Nagasu said. “I’m just
happy to be here at the World Championships. I know I’ve had
a very long career, but I haven’t been to many World
Championships because it’s hard as a U.S. athlete to stay on
top for so long. I wanted to skate to the best of my ability
and I was really able to focus on the performance aspect and
my components were really awarded today. I had a great time
Mariah Bell, who was added to the Worlds roster just last
week, after Karen Chen withdrew and Ashley Wagner declined
an invitation to replace Chen, is in 17th place with 59.15
“That wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” Bell said. “This is
another learning experience for me. I’m going to learn what
I can and move on.”
With a total placement total of 16 for Tennell and Nagasu,
the U.S. ladiem ust move up a total fo three places to
preserve three spots on the U.S. World Team for next
Aljona Savchenko & Bruno Massot (GER) Shine in Pairs Short
Olympic Champions Aljona Savchenko & Bruno Massot of
Germany shone in a high level Pairs Short Program
at the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday.
Twent-eight Pairs competed in the Short Program and sixteen qualified
for the Free Skating.
The Germans edged Russia’s two-time
European Champions Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov by
1.69 points to take the lead. The 2017 European bronze
medalists Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres of France came
Savchenko & Massot put out an entertaining program to
‘That Man’ by Caro Emerald that got the crowd going right
away. The 2017 World silver medalists opened with a big
triple twist and followed up with a triple Salchow, throw
triple flip and a spectacular lift. They picked up a level
four for five elements to set a personal best of 82.98
“The goal was to do a clean short program, because that
was missing this season,” Savchenko commented. “It is
important for us to do our job. This is a new competition,
it’s the World Championship. We are Olympic Champions, but
the Olympics were yesterday. We put our Olympic gold medals
aside and focus on this competition,” she added.
“We skated exactly like we wanted and we can be happy to
share this with the fans who came here to see us and didn’t
have the chance to come to Korea,” Massot noted.
Skating to ‘Piano Concerto No. 2’ by Sergei Rachmaninov,
Tarasova & Morozov produced a high triple twist, side by
side triple toe loop and a huge throw triple loop. The
Russian Champions as well earned a level four for the twist,
death spiral, pair combination spin, lift and footwork and
posted a personal best score of 81.29 points.
“We are happy with our skate, in the last competition of
the season and after the Olympic Games it is very hard but
we are happy we can do our short program like that after
this whole season” Morozov said. “We are here to get revenge
after the Olympics, definitely. But let’s see what happens
tomorrow, we don’t think about it, we just do it.”
James & Cipres’ program to ‘Let It Rain’ included a
triple twist, difficult lift and throw triple flip, but
James stumbled on the triple Salchow. The French earned
“I was very positively surprised (to be in third), it
wasn’t a clean program but we gave it all, we really fought
for the program and we skated it with our heart from the
beginning until the end. This score is our seasons’ best
with mistakes, so this shows we’re able to skate with the
“big kids” I guess,” James told the press.
“Honestly speaking, we had a bad preparation. I injured
my neck doing a lift in practice a week after the Olympics.
I couldn’t skate for a week and a half, so Vanessa worked a
lot by herself,” Cipres revealed. Cipres strained his
neck twice during this period, prevntinh him form being able
to move his head freely without pain.
Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert (RUS) came fourth
with a solid performance to ‘Summer of 42’ and remain within
striking distance to the podium on 74.38 points. To the
delight of the home crowd, Nicole Della Monica & Matteo
Guarise (ITA) placed fifth (72.53 points). Cheng Peng & Yang
Jin (CHN) round up the top six with 71.98 points.
Alexa Scimeca-Knierim & Chris Knierim
are the top American team after the pairs short program.
Skating to “Come What May,” the duo earned 69.55 points and
are 11th heading into Thursday’s free skate.
“We’re very proud of it,” Scimeca-Knierim said. “We’re happy
that we did our hard elements. There’s G.O.E. (Grades of
Execution) that we can improve on. We’re happy to be here,
but we wish we could have broken 70 [points]. We were so
close. That was a goal of ours.”
Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomay earned a season’s
best 61.48 points, but finished 17th and did not qualify for
the free skate.
“We feel great. That’s the bottom line,” Bartholomay said.
“We got a season’s best. We missed a couple levels but
yesterday we just had the worst luck. [Being in the first
group], there are so many good teams skating after it and we
were pretty dejected from that yesterday. So to bounce back
and have a clean warm up and a clean practice and a season’s
best, we’re over the moon.”
Scimenca-Knierim & Knierim must finish one place higher for
the U.S. to retain two World Team spots for next season.