The Japanese Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara flew over the short program of the pairs event of the World Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday, organized in front of their public in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
They made an almost perfect copy rewarded with a score of 80.72 points - a new record for the Japanese couple, recent winners of the Turin Grand Prix final and the Four Continents Championship.
The reigning world champions, the Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, are relegated to second place with a clear gap (74.64 points), followed by the Italians Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii (73.24 points).
We had set ourselves the objective of reaching 80 points for the short program this season, so we are really super happy to be able to achieve this in the final competition
” of the season, declared Ryuichi Kihara.
A mistake during a routine jump cost Knierim and Frazier dearly on Wednesday.
It's the kind of mistake that doesn't happen often, but sometimes when it does, it can be a little disturbing
," commented Brandon Frazier.
The American couple refuses to give up but will absolutely have to perform well on Thursday during the free program.
Anything is possible
,” assured Alexa Knierim.
Ranking of the pairs event after the short program:
1. Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN) 80.72 points
2. Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA) 74.64
3. Sara Conti/Niccolo Macii (ITA) 73 .24
4. Deanna Stellato-Dudek/Maxime Deschamps (CAN) 72.81
5. Emily Chan/Spencer Akira Howe (USA) 70.23
13. Camille Kovalev/Pavel Kovalev (FRA) 61.07
16. Oxana Vouillamoz/Flavien Giniaux (FRA) 58.12