Shoma Uno takes top spot after a very tight men’s short programme competition.
Hello, my name is Holly Price and I am going to be taking you through all the action happening in Tokyo this evening for the men’s short programme figure skating competition. This is the first day of competition in Japan for the fourth round of the ISU Grand Prix. This is a lot of the competitors second and final assignments so they will be looking to have a solid performance to get themselves into the top six and get a spot in the Grand Prix final.
All times shown are local to Tokyo, Japan.
6:38PM– 20 minutes before the start of the event.
Here you can find the line-up for the event.
Matteo Rizzo and Kao Miura are the only skaters to be competing in their first assignment for the ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition so both of them along with Tomoki Hiwatashi and Camden Pulkinen are on 0 points so far.
A reminder of the points system:
The skaters will only receive these points once they have completed their short programme and free skate which they will compete in tomorrow.
Vincent Zhou will be one to watch today as he is already on 15 points after placing 1st at the skate of America competition. Yuzura Hanyu was also supposed to be competing today and would have been another skater to keep your eye on but he had to pull out due to injury.
7:03pm– The first group of skaters enter the rink as they prepare to start their warm-ups. They are given six minutes to warm-up before the first skater who will be Kao Miura has to take his starting position.
19:12– The 16 year-old Kao Miura representing Japan takes his starting position. He starts strong completing his first quad jump with great height, although he does have a slight wobble on his next jump which he does well to recover from. The triple axel is completed nicely as he completes all of the big jumps that are in his programme and he can now focus on completing the rest of the routine strongly, which he does.
19:16– Kao must have felt high pressure having to go out first but he managed to hold his nerve. He looks relived to have made it through the skate and happy with his performance, there are a few parts of the skate that could do with some work such as making sure his spins don’t travel so much but for such a young age it is a performance to be proud of.
19:18– The scores are in Kao receives a 76.62 overall and 39.47 for his technical score.
19:19– Next up is Sota Yamamoto who is skating to Yesterday performed by Michael Bolton. This routine has a more lyrical feel to it, but he gets through the whole routine without a hitch. He nailed the routine and the crowd are behind him as he gets a large round of applause. The triple axel was definitely one of the highlights as it was performed so cleanly, which was a common theme throughout the whole routine.
19:25– Sota gets his seasons best score with an 86.05, the judges also seemed to appreciate his presentation which they gave a 38.96. He is now in 1st place
19:26– Now we have Tomoki Hiwatashi. It is a good routine but he misses out his combination jump so he will lose marks for that, he only managed to do a double toeloop at the start of his combination so it would not have counted for anything anyway. It is a big shame as it was such a good start.
19:31– Tomoki is in 3rd place as he receives an overall score of 72.36. He could have possibly challenged Sota for 1st if he had of got his combination so he will be disappointed with that.
19:32– It is now Camden Pulkinen’s turn and he will be skating to Come What May. It is a shaky start for Camden and it all starts to unravel as he attempts his triple axel but ends up taking what looks like a nasty fall. He still manages to put in a good performance for the rest of the routine but the opening minute will have let him down.
19:37– It is tough to take for Camden as he recieves a score of 55.53 which includes the 1 point deduction for the fall. This puts him in 4th place
19:38– Makar Ignatov is now up next. He already has 9 points to his name which go towards him finding a spot in the ISU Grand Final, he is definitely within a chance of getting one of those top six spots so he really needs this routine to go well. The last technical element of the skate is a grade 4 change foot spin combo which brings to the routine to an outstanding end. He definitely has kept himself within contention of getting into the top six and possibly winning the event this weekend.
19:45– The judges seem to be just as impressed with this routine as I was as they give him a score of 90.54 which is Makar’s seasons best and it puts him into 1st place.
19:45– The second group now make their way out onto the rink for the warm-up.
19:53– Vincent Zhou starts this group, he won the skate of America competition and will be looking to repeat that impressive performance here again today. His fly camel spin is awarded a grade 4 which is no surprise as this whole routine is being completed to such a high standard. He completes the routine with a grade 4 step combo and a grade 4 change foot spin combo. He is the first skater to receive a level 4 for their step combination which he was given almost 20 points for.
19:58– So close to recieving 100 points but it is just shy as he gets 99.51 which is his seasons best as well. He is now the skater in 1st with a 9 point gap to Makar Ignatov.
19:59– Nam Nguyen has a tough act to follow but he makes his way onto the ice. He finishes the routine well with a grade 4 change foot spin combo but it is a frustrating performance for Nam. He was very talented at such a young age but it looks like he has started to struggle now he is in with the seniors.
20:07– Nam gets a score of 64.28 which puts him in 6th place out of 7. It is really the technical score that lets him down which is a 27.39. He is going to have to really fight tomorrow in the free skate if he wants to progress up the rankings.
20:08– Junhwan Cha is now up performing to Fate of the Clockmaker. He puts out a very impressive performance with great choreography. He performs the routine with high energy and great speed across the ice. There is not much more that could have been asked of him.
20:11 – The judges give him a score of 95.92 which is his seasons best and 2 points off of his career best. He is now in second place.
20:12– Alexander Samarin now makes his way onto the ice. He just about manages to pull off his triple axel as he comes out of it slightly unbalanced. He is another skater who gets a grade 4 for their step sequence which will boost his score slightly. He will be left feeling slightly disappointed with that routine and the mistakes he made.
20:18– Alexander slots into 5th place with a score of 84.32
20:19– The penultimate skater Shoma Uno now starts his routine. He completes his combination jump which is a quad toeloop and a double toeloop confidently although the judges would have been hoping for a triple toeloop on the end instead of the double. His step sequence isn’t as strong as skaters like Vincent Zhou and Alexander Samarin but he will still be happy with a grade 3, especially because his other components have been so impressive. It is a routine that he can be very happy with.
20:24– Shoma Uno gets 102.58 even with the jump combination not being at its best he manages to get into 1st place.
20:25– The final skater Matteo Rizzo starts his routine. This is his first assignment so he will be hoping to start his ISU Grand Prix campaign strongly. The triple axel is completed without fault and the crowd are now on his side as well as they start to clap along to the music. You can really see his performance shining through, he is making this routine his own. It is an excellent way to end the short programme.
20:32– The final score for tonight’s event is a 84.78 which puts Matteo in sixth place.
So that is the end of tonight’s men’s short programme. It ends with Shoma Uno on top, but it is still all to play for tomorrow with the men coming back to compete their free programme. Thank you for joining me throughout that exciting event and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.