17-year-old Cheltzie Lee overcame nerves to break into the top ten at an ISU Championship for the first time, with an error free short program followed by a strong showing in the free scoring 127.90 points. Perth girl, Jamie Nobbs, whose parents represented Australia at the Olympics in Hockey, placed 19th.
Coach, Kylie Fennell, who was unable to travel to Taipei, is happy with Cheltzie's tenth place but says more work needs to be done.
"Breaking into the top ten at an ISU Championship has been Cheltzie's goal but it doesn't stop there. The past six months have been difficult with a flare up of an old back injury after the Olympics but it was the freak knee injury in August last year that really set her back," Fennell said.
"Saying that, the injury probably occurred at the best possible time as Cheltz needed to focus on her HSC studies. We now have four weeks to prepare for the World Championships and Cheltzie has higher level triples that she wants to incorporate into her programs. It was a matter of getting this first performance under her belt after one year away from competition of any sort."
The Four Continents Championship was Cheltzie's first event since the World Championships in March 2010 and prevented her from defending her national title last December.
Japan's Miki Ando easily won the event with a breath-taking short program and triple jump laden free performance amassing 201.34 points. The Silver went to compatriot, current World Champion and Olympic Silver medallist, Mao Asada. USA's Mirai Nagasu took the bronze.
The Men's title was won by defending champion Diasuke Takahashi. Australian Champion Mark Webster finished in 16th place, landing his first triple axel and a berth to the World Championships to be held in Tokyo in mid March. Australian youngster, Brendan Kerry finished in 18th.
Skating against Olympic and World Champions, ice dancers Danielle O'Brien and her partner Greg Merriman skated to a career best ninth place with a total of 104.69 points. The event was won by US Champions and Vancouver Olympic Silver medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Australia's team for the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships next month in Tokyo, Cheltzie Lee, Danielle O'Brien, Greg Merriman and Mark Webster all come from NSW, and are supported by the NSWIS as AIS/OWI Scholarship holders.