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The graceful Miki Ando wins Gold at the Figure Skating World Championships

The graceful Miki Ando wins Gold at the Figure Skating World Championships

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Miki Ando won Gold for Japan and this graceful figure skater once more was extremely artistic. The favorite in many eyes was Kim Yu-Na from South Korea but with both being far from their impervious best then artistry was going to count. Therefore, not surprisingly the elegant and stylish Miki Ando came out on top.

Last year Kim Yu-Na was beaten by Mao Asada but this year she had to come second best to Miki Ando. Also, with the young Kanako Murakami from Japan also arriving on the scene, then this young lady may emerge to also become a potent force in figure skating.

Japan had three ladies in the top eight in the world and this bodes well for the future of Japanese figure skating. Therefore, it was great to see Miki Ando claim top place and despite not being at her very best it was more than good enough to claim first place.

Kim Yu-Na who looked so strong when she won the coveted Olympic gold medal in 2010 was given another reminder of the strength of Japanese figure skating. Last year she was second best to Mao Asada during the world championship and this year she had to play second fiddle to Miki Ando.

Another delighted lady was the composed Carolina Kostner from Italy because she moved up from sixth after the short program and finished third. Her bronze was well deserved and Alena Leonova from Russia and Alissa Czisny from America also performed with great credit with Alena Leonova coming fourth and Alissa Czisny was one place further back in fifth.

Mao Asada did improve from the short program and she moved up to sixth place overall but she clearly was never at the races after the short program because it appeared that her usual zest and majesty was missing.

Neither Miki Ando or Kim Yu-Na were at their best and Kim Yu-Na will have better days in the future whereby she will remind the world of her Olympic performance but for now she needs to regain the explosive passion that was missing in this world championship.

Therefore, with much emphasis being put on gracefulness, artistry, and poise; then this played to the strength of Miki Ando.

Overall, it was a fascinating event because no figure skater was head and shoulders above the others and the finishing points tally is evidence of this.

Carolina Kostner will clearly go home happy and Kanako Murakami also will gain tremendously from her performance.

The gold medal in the end was decided by style and panache therefore the writing was on the wall because you will not find a more exquisite and artistic figure skater than Miki Ando.

Well done to Miki Ando and congratulations to Japan for having three skaters in the top eight in the world.  (please visit)

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Japan


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Miki Ando is 2nd after the short program at the Figure Skating World Championships

Miki Ando is 2nd after the short program at the Figure Skating World Championships

Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

Miki Ando

The 2011 Figure Skating World Championships is firmly underway and for Japanese figure skating then it is hoped that Miki Ando can push Kim Yu-Na from South Korea all the way.

Mao Asada who is the defending champion gave a disappointing performance and currently she lies in seventh place.  However, it is too early to right Mao Asada off but for her to take first place then clearly Miki Ando and Kim Yu-Na would have to collapse dramatically.

The Russian ice skater, Ksenia Makarova, gave an assured performance and the crowd in Moscow was clearly pleased.  Her flamenco routine was full of energy and her triple toe was executed eloquently.   

Ksenia Makarova commented that “I was able to put out a really strong program and I got a season’s best.  So I’m very happy with that.”

The watching crowd was clearly waiting to see Kim Yu-na and expectations are very high in South Korea.  Her initial wobble was overcome because apart from missing her opening tripple lutz by stepping out Kim Yu-Na then grew with poise and strength.

Kim Yu-Na overall performed highly and the judges have her in first place after the short program and for many people she is the favorite to win.  However, Miki Ando is intent on pushing Kim Yu-Na all the way and others like Alissa Czisny and others are waiting in the wings.

Alissa Czisny who lies fourth after the short program gave a very good performance and she is pleasing on the eye and her only concern was a less than perfect landing on a triple flip.  However, given her last two performances at the World Championships during the short program then this was a big improvement.

Alissa Czisny commented that “I was nervous going into the short program today.  My last two world championships short programs weren’t so great and I wanted to go out and skate my best.”

Japan’s best hope, it appears, is Miki Ando, after the disappointing short program by Mao Asada.  Like usual, the gracefulness of Miki Ando shone out and her panache and style is clearly visible. The artistry of Miki Ando when she is in perfect condition is a wonder to behold and it is very difficult for other ice skaters to compete with her in this area of ice skating.

Miki Ando gave a conservative approach to the opening short program and played it prudently.  Therefore, she opted out from doing a triple-triple combination and instead did an easier triple-double. 

Miki Ando was clearly focused on easing her way into the competition and she stated that “My triple-triple wasn’t good when I got here…and in the short program it’s really important not to miss any jump.”

Alena Leonova pleased the home crowd alongside her compatriot, Ksenia Makarova, by giving a good performance.  Her energetic polka was appreciated and she flowed well and clearly Alena Leonova will be pleased by her opening short program.

Unfortunately, Carolina Kostner from Italy made a mistake on her triple flip and she crashed to the ice but Carolina Kostner is a composed skater and still managed to finish sixth.

Mao Asada and the American, Rachael Flatt, both disappointed and they seem to be some way of the pace.  However, you can never write off a defending champion and Mao Asada will be hoping to climb up the leader board.  

Given her capabilities, then it is clearly within the reach of Mao Asada but top spot will be difficult after her opening performance because she seemed to lack confidence.

The performance today will be telling and it is hoped that Miki Ando will be at her brilliant best because Kim Yu-Na is a fantastic skater. 

If they slip up then other highly skilled skaters are waiting in the wings and Mao Asada who is a little enigmatic, will hopefully move up the leader board.

It is also hoped that Kanako Murakami will learn greatly from the current world championship because time is on her side.  Therefore, Kanako Murakami is part of the future of figure skating in Japan and you have many future high expectations to come from Kanako Murakami.

One thing is for sure; many people in Japan will be watching because Japanese female figure skaters are amongst the best in the world. (please visit)

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Japan


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