[Recap] Four Continents Championships 2017: Ladies

Ladies

To everyone’s surprise, the ladies event was one hot mess. Trust us. Almost every single skater had to at least fall, or at least make mistakes that clean skates were scarce throughout the whole event. Was this the sacrifice for the men??? Some ladies took advantage of this… circumstance, and catapulted themselves to the top of the podium. We would also like to acknowledge the presence of Queen Yuna who awarded the ladies’ medals.

One of us actually competed there, and we are happy to say she delivered the surprise of the century by winning the gold. Joking aside, Mai Mihara (JPN) continues to impress in her senior debut season. She was tagged as a dark horse coming into the competition. She skated two flawless programs, including a personal best free skate that assured her of the victory. This is going to be a confidence-booster for her heading into the World Championships. Other skaters better watch out for this one.

This competition has been some sort of validation for Gabrielle Daleman (CAN). She has shown constant improvement all season long. She was in first after the short program, but then she made several costly mistakes in the free skate, thus slipping to third for that segment and second overall. This is still enough to show that she can be a dark horse at Worlds.

Despite being sadly left off the World team once again, Mirai Nagasu (USA) showed why she is still one of USA’s top ladies by winning the bronze medal. Though far from perfect, both her programs showed that Nagasu shouldn’t be written off just yet. She won’t be heading to Worlds, but this should be a confidence-booster for her as she looks to return to the Olympics next season.

Medal favorite Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) did decently in the short program, putting her in second heading into the free skate. However, she made too many costly mistakes that cost her a spot on the podium, despite relatively high PCS. Meanwhile, a new short program for Da Bin Choi (KOR) brought out an artistic side to her that most people didn’t know, (or in our case, forgot), even existed. She scored personal bests in this event, and her fifth-place finish here was a confidence booster at the Asian Winter Games where she won gold.

Meanwhile, Mariah Bell (USA) didn’t skate her best, but at least it wasn’t too much of a disaster compared to some of the other ladies in the field. Meanwhile, it was good to see Zijun Li (CHN) enter the competition with a more technical content than in the past. Although also not her best, her seventh-place showing here was enough of a morale booster heading into the Asian Winter Games and won the silver medal there. Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) also could have placed higher if not for a few costly mistakes in her Four Continents debut. She made up for it with the bronze medal at the Asian Winter Games a week after. Meanwhile, podium-contender Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) and last year’s bronze medalist Rika Hongo (JPN) both made too many mistakes to be in contention for the podium to end up in ninth and tenth, respectively. We’re looking forward to see Higuchi bounce back for Worlds and for Hongo to get a nice long vacation before preparing for the next season.

It was also nice to see Alaine Chartrand (CAN) show some semblance of the confidence she had last season. The way she attacked her programs was reminiscent of her old self, and we’re hoping she will be better than ever next season. Meanwhile, we would also like to commend Chloe Ing (SNG) for a decent Four Continents debut. Although her jumps weren’t there, her musicality managed to win the crowd over. That spiral can go on for days, we’re telling you! We wish her the best of luck at Junior Worlds.

As this part of the competition was a major splat-fest, heart-breakers in this competition include Karen Chen (USA), Amy Lin (TPE), Kailani Craine, and Na Hyun Kim (KOR). All four ladies had lovely programs, however falls and other costly mistakes prevented them for scoring higher. We would also like to wish Na Hyun Kim a speedy recovery after she withdrew from the free skate and from Worlds (to be replaced by Da Bin Choi). Meanwhile, we wish the other three ladies the best of luck at Worlds (as well as Junior Worlds in Amy Lin’s case)!

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