Thursday, 23/3/2017 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

Polina Edmunds glides into first in Seoul

SHORT PROGRAMS:

Satoko Miyahara (JPN), Gracie Gold (USA) and Rika Hongo (JPN) won the short program medals. Polina Edmunds (USA), Zijun Li (CHN) and Alaine Chartrand (CAN) round out the top six.

 

FREE PROGRAMS:  

Polina Edmunds (USA) sprinkled pixie dust and flew across the ice from 4th place to the top of the podium while magically skating her “Tinker bell” program.

The Californian posted a new season’s best with 122.99 points to claim gold.

“This is my first international competition with two clean programs, so I’m very happy about that,” beamed Edmunds.

Last season was magical for the high school junior. She won silver in her senior US Nationals debut, and then competed in the Olympics. In May she turned sixteen and soon fell prey to every teenager’s rite of passage – adolescence.

“Puberty is upon me,” she said back in January prior to the 2015 US Nationals. “I have to adjust my balance, coordination, center, weight, everything as I go from a girl to a woman.”

Edmunds was asked at the post awards press conference about the growth spurt that had caused earlier adjustments in her skating.

“I had trouble earlier in the season with nerves and handling the different coordination. I think now I’ back to a straight level for where I am in my body. Now it’s mental to do clean programs.”

Sakoto Miyahara (JPN) slipped from the lead to 2nd with a dainty performance to Miss Saigon. She struggled with several jumps, but the spins earned Level4.

The reining Japanese champion critiqued her program.

“I didn’t have enough speed, and I feel sorry I couldn’t put out everything I have.

I have to go with more speed and more power. I hope to improve myself a lot towards worlds.”

Rika Hongo (JPN) remained in 3rd place with a feisty skate to Carmen in her Four Continents debut. The Rostelecom Cup gold medalist completed five clean triples; two spins earned Level4.

Hongo was disappointed she fell short of the score she had set for herself.

“I was able to get confidence because I skated clean in both short and free, however, I didn’t get 180 points which was my aim. To achieve this score, I have to improve several details,” commented the eighteen-year-old.

Gracie Gold (USA) plummeted from 2nd to 4th, with a 5th place in the free program. The US National silver medalist opened with a 1Lz+2T worth 1.87 points. Gold completed four clean triples; the footwork and spins earned Level4.

“It was a difficult competition for me. I skated poorly in both segments of the competition. I’m sorry about that,” said Gold

Zijun Li (CHN) placed 4th in the free program skating to “Moon River” choreographed by Lori Nichol. Li opened with a 3Lz+3T combination, then followed with four more clean triples. The three spins were Level4.

“I am quite satisfied with today’s performance because I landed my elements. Maybe at the end, I ran out of energy a little,” said Li.

She was asked about the crying when she exited the ice.

“I thought that one year ago I was at the Olympic games and it was a tough season for me. I was sick. I had problems with my technique. I changed coaches. So I was just relieved it went well today,” she smiled.

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