2021 World Figure Skating Championships Mar 24, 2021 22:06:02 GMT
Post by Admin on Mar 24, 2021 22:06:02 GMT
Crowded at top: Leaders separated by less than 3 points
While it's Shcherbakova who leads after the short program, anything is possible in the free, especially after exquisite short programs from both Kihira and Tuktamysheva.
Shcherbakova, in her senior worlds debut, scored 14.07 points off of her difficult triple Lutz-triple loop combination, which she said was the focus of the program for her.
"In general the whole skate was full of nerves," she told reporters in Russian after her skate. "I had to watch every move, in general I am very satisfied that it all worked out. I am most satisfied with my [combination], it was the hardest jump in my program, and the most important one."
Shcherbakova spoke about getting back in shape after being off ice during the pandemic: "We had two months training at home. I understood that I needed to train as hard as I could. ... Without ice there are no chances to be in perfect shape. I was happy to come back to it. It was more difficult to get back into good shape."
Her combination gave her the cushion she needed, while the judges also awarded her in the program component marks with a 37.14, the highest of any skater. It's a surprising "win" in that department over Kihira, who scored a 35.40 in program components.
"Undoubtedly, the performance of the day," said Meryl Davis, the Sochi 2014 Olympic champion in ice dance. "From her fingers to her toes, Anna's elegance was on full display throughout that short program. From the moment she hit that opening position, there was a confidence to her performance and it was such a pleasure to watch."
Kihira's skating was not to be discounted, either. The Japanese star, still just 18 herself, hit her trademark triple Axel - though it received a quarter-rotation call - before hitting a triple flip-triple toe in combo (also called for a q) and triple Lutz. Her program proved mesmerizing, coach Stephane Lambiel saying to her as she left the ice, "Wow, you are a fighter."
Added Davis on Kihira: "Rika is such a brilliant skater and has set herself up really nicely heading into the long. She's expected to incorporate a quad Salchow into her free, the goal for Rika will be to maintain focus and composure as she pushes herself technically to challenge for that top spot on the podium."