The 22-year-old figure skater and five-time Australian Champion finds himself in medal contention in a hot field after placing 3rd in the short program overnight with a PB of 76.36 – an increase of almost three points.
In a display of increasing mental strength, Kerry found the quad toe jump when he needed it in competition, even though the difficult element had eluded him in practice.
“I’m happy I did the quad, because I haven’t done any since being here (in Zagreb),” he said.
Not only did he land a text book quad, Kerry achieved all Level 4 spins with positive Grade of Execution points and that is definitely a step in the right and smart direction. The only hiccup was an over-rotated triple axel.
Kerry wants more.
“I felt as though I did everything but it was all sloppy so that’s a bit of a downer.”
Finding perfection is the ultimate quest for all top athletes. Overcoming injury is also part and parcel of the elite sportsperson’s life. Brendan Kerry is no exception, having struggled with Achillies tendonitis since March and during his two Grand Prix events.
“It feels good to come off a really bad GP season and get it all together headed into Championship season,” Kerry said.
The race for the medals in Zagreb will be very tight.
Currently leading the pack is the talented but often inconsistent Israeli Daniel Samohin on 82.35. Bunched up within just three points after Samohin are all top flight competitors in Messing (Canada), Kerry, Boychenko (Israel), Dolensky (USA) and world medallist Denis Ten (Kazakhstan).
The medallists will be the smart and brave in equal measure.
The free program at the ISU Zagreb Challenger begins at 1am Sunday (AEDT)