Miki Ando is 2nd after the short program at the Figure Skating World Championships
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
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.
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