Shoma Uno wins Four Continents with comeback skate

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

For Japan’s Shoma Uno the hardest part at the Four Continents Saturday night was the waiting.

Uno, the Olympic silver medalist, skating first in the final group, posted a season’s best free skate mark of 197.36 for a total score of 289.12 to move into the overall lead.

Uno then waited backstage at Honda Center for another 40 minutes while the final four skaters, three of whom started the night ahead of him, competed.

None of them threatened Uno.

China’s Boyang Jin was second with an overall score of 273.51. Vincent Zhou of the U.S., the leader after the short program, lost any chance of holding on for the gold medal when he bobbled a jump combination midway through his free skate and had to settle for the bronze medal with a 272.22 mark.

Jason Brown of the U.S. was fifth at 258.89 with Tomoki Hiwatshi, a 19-year-old from New Jersey, eight at 236.79.

Uno’s training coming into Four Continents had been limited by injury. Even so he trailed Zhou by less than nine points after the short program. Uno wasted little time cutting into that gap, landing a quad flip and then quad toe-loop to open his free skate and never looking back, collapsing to his knees at the end of the program.

“I was like ‘oh, I really did it,’” he said.

Read more about Shoma Uno wins Four Continents with comeback skate This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Rika Kihira takes Four Continents title with monster free skate

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Andrea Montesinos Cantu of Mexico, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Andrea Montesinos Cantu of Mexico, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alaine Chartrand of Canada, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alaine Chartrand of Canada, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Isadora Williams of Brazil, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Isadora Williams of Brazil, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Amy Lin of Taiwan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Amy Lin of Taiwan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Hanul Kim of South Korea, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Hanul Kim of South Korea, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alisson Krystle Perticheto of Philippines, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alisson Krystle Perticheto of Philippines, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Yi Christy Leung of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Yi Christy Leung of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Chen Hongyi of China competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Hongyi Chen of China, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Hongyi Chen of China, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Chen Hongyi of China competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Chen Hongyi of China competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan competes in the Free Skating event before finishing second in the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan competes in the Free Skating event before finishing second in the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan competes in the Free Skating event before finishing second in the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira (L) of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

of

Expand

ANAHEIM — Japan’s Rika Kihira won the Four Continents women’s title Friday night at Honda Center with a dominant performance full of confidence and elegance, re-establishing herself as the favorite at next month’s World Championships in her home country.

Kihira, 16, vaulted from fifth place after a rough short program Thursday to claim her second major title of the season, opening her free skate with a triple axel/triple toe-loop combination and never really touching down until she posted a 153.14 score for the night and an overall mark of 221.99.

Bradie Tennell of the U.S., Japanese champion Kaori Sakamoto, and Team USA’s Mariah Bell, first, second and third respectively after the short program, all had major jumping issues and finished off the podium.

Instead, Kihira was joined on the podium by Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva and Japan’s Mai Mihara.

Tursynbaeva was training at a Moscow shopping mall before moving to Toronto in 2015 to train with Brian Orser, who coached 2010 Olympic champion Yuna Kim. Tursynbaeva returned to Russia last spring, joining Olympic champion Alina Zagitova in Eteri Tutberidze’s Sambo 70 training group.

Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.

On Friday, she joined Zagitova among the Worlds medal contenders, finishing with an overall score of 207.46. Mihara was right behind in third at 207.12.

Bell, skating second to last in the night’s final group. fell on her second jump, a triple loop, and spent the rest of the program fighting to salvage the routine, finishing with an overall score of 193.94 for sixth place.

Tennell finished one spot ahead of her at 202.07 following a free skate undermined by four under-rotated jumps.

Tennell’s missteps set up a potential replay of December’s Japanese Championships, where another big Kihira free skate (155.01) was not enough to overcome a poor short program and knock off Sakamoto.

But this time Sakamoto veered off script when she popped the first segment of what was supposed to be a double axel, triple toe-loop, double toe-loop. The mistake dropped her to fourth at 206.74.

While Kihira’s short program remains an issue, Friday only re-enforced her big point potential in the free skate. Only Zagitova and Kihira have posted bigger free skate and overall scores than Kihira’s Friday marks. And both Kihira scores are significantly higher than what Russia’s latest star, Sofia Samodurova (213.84/140.96), and Zagitova (198.34/123.34) posted in going 1-2 at the recent European Championships.

Powered by WPeMatico

Evgenia Medvedeva answers doubters with world record skate

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Perhaps only one person at the Gangneung Ice Arena was less than impressed by Evgenia Medvedeva’s world record-setting Olympic debut Sunday morning (Saturday night PDT).

Medvedeva.

“I know what I can do better,” Medvedeva, Russia’s 18-year-old World champion, said after the women’s short program portion the team competition . “On a scale of five, I’d give myself a four, maybe a bit less, a four minus a quarter.”

A section of Russian fans were more impressed, holding up “10” signs at the end of a performance that reminded anyone who saw it why Medvedeva has dominated international figure skating for the past two season and resoundingly erased any doubts about the fitness of an athlete who was in a cast with broken foot less than four months ago.

Medvedeva’s world record short program score of 81.06 re-established her as the gold favorite in the women’s competition later this month and propelled her Olympic Athletes from Russia squad into first place in the team competition.

Canada would regain the team lead later Sunday on the strength of Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford’s first place finish in the pairs free skate. With the men’s and women’s free skate and ice dancing’s ice dance remaining Monday, Canada leads the team event with 45 points, followed by OAR (39), the U.S.  (36) and Italy (35).

“I prepared for these Olympics like for like for a celebration,” Medvedeva said.

Sunday wasn’t so much an Olympic coming out party as a reminder why Medvedeva in many people’s minds is the only skater worthy of being mentioned in the same conversation as South Korea’s Yuna Kim as the greatest women’s skater of all time.

But it was an event that was far from certain, even given Medvedeva’s domination, in October when cracked the metatarsal bone in her right foot.  The injury kept her out of this season’s Grand Prix final and the Russian championships. She was named to the OAR team only after finishing second to countrywoman Alina Zagitova at the European Championships in late January.

“I have waited for these Olympic Games,” Medvedeva said. “For sure I really wanted to come here.”

Unlike Friday’s men’s short program, Sunday’s event was marked by exceptional performances even before Medvedeva took the ice.

U.S. champion Bradie Tennell post a season’s best short program score of 68.94.

Bradie Tennell, of the United States performs in the ladies single figure skating short program in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bradie Tennell, of the United States performs in the ladies single figure skating short program in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

“It hit me when I finished,” Tennell said. “I looked up and I could see the (Olympic) rings. And I thought ‘wow, you just did that on Olympic ice. That’s pretty cool.’”

Even so the score was only good enough for fifth place at the end of the day. Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond is third (71.38 ) with Satako Miyaharo fourth (68.95).

The foursome, however, were merely warm-up acts for the sport’s leading lady.

In winning last season’s World Championships, Medvedeva became the first woman to win consecutive World titles since Michelle Kwan of  the U.S. did so in 2000 and 2001, setting world records for free skate (154.40) and overall scores (233.41).

A month later she shattered three major barriers in women’s skating at the World Team Trophy event, becoming the first woman score more than 80 points in the short program (80.85), the first over 160 in the free skate (166.46) and the first to crack the 240 mark for an overall score (241.31).

But amid doubts about her fitness, Zagitova, Medvedeva’s 15-year-old training partner and the World junior champion, emerged as the new Olympic favorite.

That all changed back to form Sunday morning.

It wasn’t just that Medvedeva was more convincing than her peers in landing her triple jumps. The Russian’s artistry and speed served as reminders why she was undefeated for two years before losing to Zagitova last month.

She hit a triple flip, triple toe loop combination early on, then hit a triple lutz and about axel, her athleticism tied together with a graceful showmanship.

With Zagitova expected to skate for the OAR in the women’s free skate portion of Monday’s team finale, Medvedeva has another eight days to regroup before the women’s short program next Tuesday.

“Today was a personal experience for me and a lesson,” she said. “That is valuable experience as the most important part, the individual competition, is still to come.”

Powered by WPeMatico