Monday, 18/6/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today


For the second straight week, a Japanese man took first place at a GP event, and neither is Yuzuru Hanyu. The Olympic and World gold makes his 2014-15 GP debut at Cup of China next week.

Tatsuki Mura (JPN) placed 2nd in the short, but the Phantom of the Opera slipped into first with a technically based free program. The opening two quads – one in combination – earned over 28 points plus he completed six clean triples, The 2014 Four Continents champion wants to strengthen his skills to compete with the other Japanese men.

“At home I am also working on the quad Salchow and quad Lutz,” said Mura.  “At the moment, they are not stable enough for competition.”

The free (173.24) and total (255.81) scores were personal bests.

Javier Fernandez (ESP) showed signs of a summer spent touring more than training.  He stumbled on all three quads, earning 15 technical points less than Mura.

“I fought through my program; it was certainly not my best day,” commented Fernandez.

The 2014 World bronze medalist who definitely wants to represent Spain at the Final in Barcelona, claimed silver with 244.87 total points,

Max Aaron (USA) vaulted from 5th to take home the bronze medal. The Gladiator opened with a solid 4Sal+2T, but stumbled on the second quad. The Colorado Springs based skater did five clean triples including two Axels. After the competition, Aaron evaluated his work.

“My event didn’t go perfectly, but I came here to build up the confidence that I struggled with and lost last year. It’s a work in progress,” said Aaron. “I’m feeling like my normal self, and I can take on the top men now.”

The reining US bronze medalist earned a 231.77 total score.

Stephen Carriere (USA) was 4th, just .10 behind Aaron.  The 2007 World Junior Champion opened with a 4T, followed by five clean triples. His step sequence to Clair de Lune earned a Level4, but one sloppily executed combination spin received only a Level1.

“I’m not happy with my spins, but I was glad I was able to keep it together for the rest of the program,” said the Boston College student.

Carriere’s past two US Nationals had dismal results with 10th place finishes at both. The 2014-15 season began differently with a gold medal at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy and personal best scores of 80.33 (Short), 151.34 (Free) and 231.67 (Total) at Skate Canada.

Two-time World Junior champion, Adam Rippon (USA), had a disappointing competition. He landed in 11th place after singling the 3A and popping the combination in the short program.  The California based skater redeemed himself in the free, with a 7th place artistically performed program to “Piano Concert No. 1” by Liszt. The Axels again proved his nemesis, but his three spins and step sequence earned Level4. He finished 10th with 201.92 points.

“I know it wasn’t my best, and it wasn’t the way I’ve been training,” commented Rippon. “I will put this behind me.”

The men next compete at the following:

Takahito Mura – NHK Trophy

Javier Fernandez – Rostelecom Cup

Max Aaron – Rostelecom Cup

Stephen Carriere – Rostelecom Cup

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