The Four Continents Championship attracts the best from Japan, USA, Canada, China, South America and South East Asia prior to the World Championships in Shanghai next month.
Kailani’s stunning debut showcased her exuberant flair and crowd-pleasing presentation that was not lost on the judging panel, even though she skated second in the 19-strong field.
As a previously unranked world skater, Kailani was determined to prove she had the goods to step up from the junior ranks with a new maturity and increased speed that opened with a triple lutz. She backed up with a triple loop combination, double axel and three high-scoring spins in the 2.50minute program to Flamenco Fire.
“I was very excited to be skating against some the world’s highest ranked skaters in a major senior championship event,” Kailani said. “There were some minor mistakes but overall I am happy with what I was able to put out.”
“I am very grateful to have a supportive crowd and I enjoyed performing for them and for those watching live back home in Australia.”
“Most of all, I gained experience and knowledge in a high pressured senior championship event that will help me in the future and I hope to produce a solid performance in the free skate tomorrow.”
Leading the short program is 16-year-old Satoko Miyahara from Japan on 64.84, Gracie Gold from USA in second with 62.67 points and Rika Hongo placing third on 61.28.
Sochi Olympian Brooklee Han had a rough night, turning out of her opening triple toe and falling on the triple loop later in the program, finishing with 40.68 points and placing 18th.
The free program on Sunday afternoon will determine the final standings.