Her final free program at the prestigious championship event included six triple jumps, two double axels and all Level 4 spins, earning her 94.25points in a world-class field that saw Polina Edmunds from USA win the title with 184.02 points followed by Satoko Miyahara and Rika Hongo from Japan.
Hailed as the new kid on the block - Kailani’s style, maturity and showmanship impressed ISU officials enough to be invited to skate in the gala later that evening. In true Aussie style, Kailani kissed a giant blow-up kangaroo for the cameras before entertaining the crowd with more of the attacking style that she has quickly become known for since starting out in the lower junior competition less than two and a half years ago.
“I was extremely proud of my performance, achieving what I set out to do,” she said.
“One of the highlights of my career was the honour of being selected to skate the exhibition gala, where I made lots of new friendships,” she said.
“The support from back home is humbling and I want you all to know that I will work extremely hard to make everyone proud.”
“This is going to be a great year. I’m looking forward to my next event, the Junior World Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, in March.”
In September last year Kailani won the Junior Lombardia Trophy in Italy and backed it up with a silver in her first-ever senior event last month at the Mentor Nestle Cup in Poland.
That the youngster, who has 19.5k followers on Instagram, has made an incredible impact in such a short time is not surprising to the figure skating community who have watched her rapid rise through the ranks.
“Kailani is a true Inspiration to all who know her on and off the ice. What a fantastic start to the season,” said Vancouver Olympic coach, Kylie Fennell.
Legendary US coach Christa Fassi of Olympic Gold Medallists Dorothy Hamill, John Curry and Robin Cousins works with Kailani in Los Angeles along with Tiffany Chin. Mrs Fassi congratulated the young star on facebook saying “Great performance, congrats Kailani.”
Parents Stephen and Katrina, who travelled to Seoul with Kailani and her coach, George Galanis said they are thrilled.
“We always tell Kailani to go out and give a good show. It was an awesome finish to the Four Continents Championships tonight in South Korea. We are very proud,” they said.
Kailani says she will be looking for selection to the World Championships, but the next stop is the Junior World titles in Tallinn, Estonia in early March.
Also competing for Australia was 2014 Sochi Olympian, Brooklee Han. Han finished the free program in 17th place, an improvement from her short program where she was ranked 18th.