Mao Shimada (JPN) nails quad toe to retake World Junior Champion crown

Mao Shimada (JPN) claimed her second consecutive ISU World Junior title as the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships continued in Taipei City (TPE) Friday with the Junior Women’s Free Skating.

Mao Shimada (JPN) shines golden again

Mao Shimada of Japan claimed her second consecutive ISU World Junior title and hit a perfect quadruple toeloop en route to gold. Korea’s Jia Shin skated to her third ISU World Junior silver medal while newcomer Rena Uezono of Japan rose from eighth to earn the bronze in her Junior World debut. 

 Gold medalist Mao Shimada (JPN)at the Junior Women’s Free Skating ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

Shimada opened her elegant program to “Benedictus“ with a triple Axel, but stepped out of it. Unfazed, the two-time ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion went on to nail a perfect quadruple toe that made her coach Mie Hamada jump as high as the boards. 

A smile lit up the face of the young skater as she reeled off seven triple jumps, including two triple-triple combinations, and her trademark excellent spins. The 15-year-old posted a season’s best of 145.76 points and racked up 218.36 points to come from second and grab the gold. 

Shimada 1

Mao Shimada (JPN)at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Chinese Taipei © ISU

“Last year I had won all my competitions even though it was my first year of juniors,” the Youth Olympic Games Champion commented. “I had a fresh feeling going into the competition, but I was a little nervous as I have won last year. 

“Before the competition I tried to make sure I make myself calm. Of course I’m happy for my second title, but I did make a mistake on the triple Axel which I haven’t made this season. But I was happy I was able to land quad toe after that,” Shimada continued. 

Skating to “Not About Angels”, overnight leader Shin produced another beautiful performance that was highlighted by seven triple jumps and two level-four spins. She only slightly wobbled in her final combination spin. The Youth Olympic Games silver medalist achieved a personal best score of 138.95 points and totaled 212.43 points to take home her third consecutive World Junior silver medal. 

Jia Shin

Jia Shin (KOR) takes silver at the Junior Women’s Free Skating at ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

“I am very honored to win my third silver medal at Junior Worlds,” Shin shared. “I got a lot of experience this year, I did a lot of competitions and I think that experience has made me stronger. I am very happy with my result today and this year’s third silver medal is the most impressive for me.

“My happiest moment was the point when I landed my last triple Lutz. Going into my choreo sequence I was thinking I’m doing good,” she added.

Uezono stood in eighth place following the Short Program where she had stumbled on her combination.

Uezono

Rena Uezono (JPN) takes bronze at the Junior Women Free Skating at ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Chinese Taipei © ISU


In the Free Skating, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist did not put a foot wrong and hit seven clean triple jumps in her routine to “Pray” and “Mechanisms”. The 13-year-old collected a personal best with 132.74 points and jumped on to the podium with 194.70 points. 

“After the short program I was able to switch my feeling and I was able to grow from this,” Uezono told the press. “I was able to have a good experience at this competition and I also found new things to work on. 

“For next season, during off season, I want to work on that and I’ll probably get a new program and want to work on that as well.” 

The level of competition was high. Iida Karhunen (FIN) came fourth with another strong performance on 186.32 points. Ikura Kushida (JPN) slipped from third to fifth after falling on two jumps (180.97 points). Anastasia Brandenburg (SUI) came in sixth place at 177.36 points. 

See the full results here.

Schedule of the event

The schedule of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships is as follows:


Wednesday, February 28:        Junior Pairs & Junior Women’s Short Programs
Thursday, February 29:            Junior Men’s Short Program, Junior Pairs Free Skating
Friday, March 1:                       Junior Rhythm Dance & Junior Women’s Free Skating
Saturday, March 2:                   Junior Free Dance & Junior Men’s Free Skating
Sunday, March 3:                     Exhibition Gala

For full entries and results, please see the ISU event page and the official website. Follow the discussion on social media using #WorldJuniorFigure and #FigureSkating. 

Where to watch the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2024:

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Geo-restrictions will apply in markets where TV rights are in place. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.

Subscribe to the Skating ISU YouTube Channel to receive alerts when the live streams start and when new videos are posted. 

(Source: ISU Skating News)

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