Yuma Kagiyama (centre) claimed a landslide win on his ISU Grand Prix debut in Osaka ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Reigning ISU World Junior silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan smashed the competition to win by nearly 50 points at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating NHK Trophy in Osaka (JPN) on Saturday. Japan’s Kazuki Tomono claimed the silver medal and Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda of Japan captured the bronze.
Kagiyama (centre) finished almost 50 points clear of the rest of the field ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Kagiyama was stunning in his program to the “Avatar” soundtrack, nailing a quad Salchow, quad toe-triple toe, quad toe, two triple Axels and three more triples as well as three level-four spins. The 2020 ISU World Junior silver medalist racked up 188.61 points and netted 275.87 points overall to strike gold in his senior-level ISU Grand Prix debut.
“This was my first big senior competition and being in first place really builds my confidence. I think it is a good step for the next competition,” the 17-year-old said. “The program was not perfect yet. In the Lutz-loop (combination) I popped the second jump. I need to practice more for the next competition.”
Kazuki Tomono claimed the third-best Free Skating score to finish second overall ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Tomono’s expressive program to “Moulin Rouge” featured a quad Salchow-double toe, a triple Axel and two more triples as well as difficult spins. However, the ISU World Championships competitor doubled two jumps and singled an Axel. He got the third-best Free Skating score with 143.35 points and remained in second place at 226.62 points total.
“The practice and the warm up felt good, but at the end I was not aggressive enough,” Tomono observed. “I was too careful and jumps ended up as doubles. I need to trust my training more. I want to be more confident and for that I need to train harder,” he continued.
Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda delighted the audience with a James Bond-themed routine ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Skating to a James Bond Medley, Honda popped his first Axel into a single but recovered to complete seven triples. The Japanese Junior Champion was ranked sixth in the Free Skating with 138.34 points, but held on to third place at 217.56 overall.
“I was surprised I was third yesterday and today I know that if I am in first after my performance, I would make the podium. My Free was not that great but I was surprised again,” the 18-year-old commented. “I didn’t really worry about the placement today. I just wanted take in the atmosphere here with the audience.”
Keiji Tanaka (JPN) missed the podium by just two points to come in fourth place at 215.52 points. ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Shun Sato (JPN) moved up from seventh to fifth place on 214.75 points ahead of Kao Miura (JPN), who came from eighth to sixth and ranked second in the Free Skating (210.53 points)
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020
· ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final postponed
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final that was to be held as an Olympic Test Event on December 10-13 has been postponed. The ISU, in consultation with all stakeholders and considering the pandemic developments, is evaluating the continuation of the 2020/21 season.
About ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known as the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six invitational international senior events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Due to the current situation, the usual selection criteria do not apply. Please see the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page for further information.