We take a quick look back at what happened in the world of skating over the course of the past week.
Uno Takes First National Title In Absence Of Hanyu
Just two days before this season’s Japan Figure Skating Championships began, Yuzuru Hanyu announced his withdrawal due to a bout of influenza. This left the door wide open for Shoma Uno to claim his first national title, although he went about it the hard way. Errors on both quadruple jumps in the short program left him in second place going into the free skating. However, he was head and shoulders above the rest of the field in the free and in the end won by over 30 points. Keiji Tanaka bagged his first nationals medal when he moved up to second overall, while Takahito Mura, who had been the overnight leader, dropped down to third. Hanyu, Uno and Tanaka will represent Japan at the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland in March 2017.
Satoko Miyahara was crowned Japanese champion for the third year in a row. The 2015 World silver medallist was dominant in both segments of the competitions and eased to victory in Osaka. Wakaba Higuchi repeated her feat from last season in finishing second. Mai Mihara made the podium for the first time after ranking second in the free to move up from fifth after the short to third overall. All three ladies were named to the 2017 Worlds team.
Sumire Suto and Francis Boudreau Audet won the pairs title for the second year running. In the ice dance event, Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed also picked up their second consecutive national gold.
Russian Nationals Produces Few Surprises In Chelyabinsk
Mikhail Kolyada confirmed his position as the leading Russian male singles figure skater with his first national title. Alexander Samarin placed second to earn his first national medal. Maxim Kovtun rallied from seventh after the short to pull up to third. All three men are heading to the European Championships in the Czech Republic next month.
The ladies title went to Evgenia Medvedeva for the second year in a row. The World champion won both the short and the free. Recent winner of the Junior Grand Prix Final Alina Zagitova came second and Maria Sotskova third, the first national medals for both skaters. Medvedeva, Sotskova and Anna Pogorilaya, who finished fourth in Chelyabinsk, were selected for Europeans.
After being sidelined for the season so far, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov emerged victorious in a close contest with Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov in the pairs event. Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert rounded out the podium. All three couples will compete at Europeans.
Following a turbulent 2016, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev racked up their sixth national title. Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin recorded their highest placements at Russian Nationals in taking the silver medal. A tight race for bronze saw Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov capture bronze and the final berth for Europeans.