The first event of 2019 on the IBSF World Cup tour has taken place in Altenberg, Germany, with Australia's leading Skeleton athlete Jackie Narracott finishing in 15th place.
The result is a personal best for Narracott on the track, eclipsing her previous best result of 17th in the previous two seasons she competed in Altenbeg.
After the race Narracott was happy with her result.
"Another race, another best performance, another layer of confidence."
"Stoked with 15th, my best ever in Altenberg, in my 30th World Cup race."
The next stop on the World Cup tour is also in Germany, with an event in Königssee on January 12.
IMAGE - Thumbs up from Jackie after Altenberg © Jackie Narracott Instagram
The Australian women’s bobsleigh team of Bree Walker (pilot) and Jamie Scroop (break woman) made their World Cup debut at the IBSF event in Innsbruck, Austria.
Finishing in 13th, the field was exceptionally tight with the Aussie girls only 1.72 seconds behind first place after two runs of competition.
The event was the last of the season for the Bobsleigh team, highlighted by two European Cup podiums and making their World cup debut.
The Australian Figure Skating Championships took place during November 30-December 7 at Macquarie Ice Rink in Sydney.
Congratulations to the following athletes crowned Senior Australian Champions:
Pairs - Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor
Ice Dance - Chantelle Kerry and Andrew Dodds
Ladies - Kailani Craine
Men - Brendan Kerry
Greta Small has commenced her 2018-2019 campaign competing in the Alpine Skiing World Cup events in Lake Louise, Canada.
Small's best result was 45th in the Super-G in a field of 54 racers.
She also competed in two downhill events, finishing 46th on day one, and 48th on day two.
The ladies World Cup tour now heads to St Moritz, Switzerland, for Super-G and Slalom events on December 8-9.
Lillehammer (RWH) Australian Breeana Walker made sports history in Lillehammer (NOR) as winner of the first ever races in the coming Olympic discipline Women’s Monobob.
Following a training week with coaches and sleds provided by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation IBSF, twelve rookie bobsleigh pilots from seven nations competed in Lillehammer Olympic Sliding Center on November 4-5.
Breeana Walker won the first race with an advantage of 0.51 seconds ahead of Margot Boch from France. Karlien Sleper (NED, 1.01 seconds back) finished third.
In the second Lillehammer race, winner Breeana Walker led Karlien Sleper (0.38 seconds back) and Margot Boch (0.60 seconds back) to rank two and three, respectively.
The next IBSF Women’s Monobob training and race event is scheduled for November 13-19 in Park City (USA).
In July 2018, the International Olympic Committee IOC decided to include Women's Monobob in the Olympic program. The Monobob women will make their first Olympic appearance at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing (CHN). ©RWH2018
Results Race 1 Lillehammer
Results Race 2 Lillehammer
After a long season, Australia’s Olympic figure skaters have one more major event on their calendars this week before they can rest easy.
Kailani Craine, Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Brendan Kerry have arrived in Milan, Italy for the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships this week.
With many PyeonChang medallists either retiring, injured or electing to miss the final event, the chance to move up the rankings is a prime target for the Aussies.
First to compete on Tuesday in the women’s short program is Kailani Craine who is still on a high from her 17th place in PyeongChang.
“This whole experience has been everything I hoped for and more,” she said in PyeongChang. “I just wanted two clean skates and I did that.”
Pair skaters Katia Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor, who placed 16th at last year’s World Championships, were disappointed not to have made the free program in PyeongChang after a strong short program placing 18th.
“We’re doing normal comp prep, running programs and doing simulations,” Windsor said from Moscow where they have been training for the past ten days.
“The ice is good and we are skating two hours a day. I’m coping with it (away from home) better than I used to but not coping with the cold. Everything else is OK.”
“We definitely want a PB and to get through the short clean,” he said.
Technically the pair have the arsenal to move them upward and have been working on the performance side.
“I’ll have to find more feeling within myself to a certain extent. Part of it is enjoying the program and sport and not doing it just for the sake of it – otherwise you never get that extra percent.”
For Katia, the past three years since her father passed away in January 2015, has seen many changes.
“2015 was so hard for me because all year was awful after my father passed away in January. December 1st was Dad’s birthday and then on December 2nd Nina told me about Harley and that was the day we started skating together.”
“Then it was Australia by January. It’s so different (to Russia). Like night and day.”
“Of course I never thought about Olympics. I didn’t think I’d go because it was such a short time since we started.”
The rise of Australia’s first pair team to win a Junior World Championships, place 16th at Worlds last year, a Senior Challenger event and be crowned as Junior Grand Prix champions last December and qualify for PyeongChang is only just sinking in.
“The pressure (in PyeongChang) wasn’t more than I expected. We skated well but the scores were not so good. We did a lot of work and it was a big experience for us.”
“Olympics is in my heart. I take all of the emotions from PyeongChang and they will be forever in my heart.”
“The Opening was so exciting. So cool and amazing. When you are watching on TV it’s different. It’s not like this when you go by yourself,” she said.
My mum and family were watching and I was so long time on the TV!”
Katia’s mother, also named Ekaterina did not travel to PyeongChang to watch her daughter but may consider Beijing. Although Katia is not so sure.
“Mum can’t watch because she really worries when we do elements. She watches the video after.”
After a few weeks back in Sydney, the duo headed back to Moscow for more training with coaches Andrei Pachin and Andrei Hekalo.
“The throws are good in Moscow,” Alexandrovskaya said. “In training today we did a clean full long program.so, I’m very happy.”
“It’s been a long season. I am waiting for this rest. I will go back to Moscow from Milan and have a big rest. Mentally and physically I am really tired because this season started in September. There’s a holiday with mum to look forward to.”
Brendan Kerry has an opportunity to march up the world rankings with two of the three Olympic medallists (Hanyu and Fernandez) out of the world championships.
Kerry’s PyeongChang Olympics with a stellar short program and final 20th place delivered the redemption he was seeking from Sochi and admits to feeling more confident with his skating now.
“Since coming back from the Olympics I’ve felt very stress free on the ice,” Kerry said.
“Usually I wake up and know how many days until I leave for the next comp. Headed into worlds I just wake up and am like OK, time to get ready and head to the rink.”
“I’m pretty exhausted mentally as the past four years have been for one moment and now - it’s passed,” Kerry said.
“So - it’s a really strange feeling heading into this worlds. I feel confident about how I’m going to skate though - that’s exciting. However, I am definitely ready to have some downtime at the end of this season before the next four year run.”
The 2018 World Figure Skating Championships in Milan begin this Wednesday with the women’s short program followed by the pairs short.
SBS Australia are live streaming the entire event. Check your local guides for more information.
Results and more information can be found here
Kailani Craine has finished her first Olympic campaign with another strong skate and a new season’s best in the Free program.
The 19-year-old waved at family members as she stepped on the ice, looking relaxed and at home on the world’s biggest stage.
“My legs were shaking a bit as I waited to get on, but once I was out there it all felt really natural – I was just so excited to be out there again,” Craine said.
“I wanted to really enjoy this whole experience and I did that.”
Craine opened with a triple lutz – double toe loop combination, before successfully executing all twelve of her elements.
“This whole experience has been everything I hoped for and more,” she saidsaid. “I just wanted two clean skates and I did that.
“This whole event has been a dream come true and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m just so happy and proud.”
Skating to a mix from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, Craine sparkled in a new outfit.
“I got my dressmaker to make me a new outfit for this routine and I couldn’t have felt better out there, I felt so good.
“And to have my family here and my teammates, it has honestly been such a wonderful experience.”
Craine ended her Olympic debut ranked 17th overall. Alina Zagitova - who is only 15 years-old - and Evagenia Medvedeva, two Olympic Athletes from Russia, won gold and silver, and Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond won bronze.
Craine’s score of 111.84 was a new season's best, taking her total combined score from the two programs to 168.61, and will give the young skater confidence as she looks ahead to the future.
“I hope to be back in four years time and I’m going to work so hard to be even better next time,” she said.
“I’ve learnt so much from watching the top girls here and made so many friends.
“I'm so inspired I just can’t wait to see what the future brings.”
Olympic debutant Kailani Craine has sailed through to the free skate of the Ladies Figure Skating, after a stunning short program which included a strong double axel and triple-double jump combination.
The 19-year-old impressed with her trademark artistic skills, performing to ‘dream a little dream of me.’
“That was great, that really was a dream,” Craine said immediately after her performance.
“My main goal was just to have a clean skate and get through to the free skate and I’ve done that so I can’t ask for much more.
“I’ve been feeling good the last few days and it’s felt like everything just went right for me, so I’m glad I was able to go out and do that.”
The Newcastle native was supported in the crowd by her parents, and skating teammates.
“The fans were amazing and I loved looking up and seeing the Aussie colours in the stands,” she said.
“Having mum and dad here was amazing. I really felt like they were out there skating with me.
“They’ve been on this journey with me from the very start and this is very much their Olympics as much as mine.”
Carine’s score of 56.77 saw her qualify straight through to Friday’s Free Skate.
There's no doubt Australian figure skater Brendan Kerry has earned his place at the height of his sport, taking on the men's free skating event with a jam-packed program, that included two triple axels.
Overcoming a slight hesitation on his opening jump Kerry cemented his place in the top tier of international figure skaters, finishing 20th with a total score of 233.81.
"I wanted to make the most of this skate," Kerry said. "I wanted to go for everything."
"I was over-thinking as I went into my first jump, but I got it together.
"I wanted to go for my quads though because I know I can do them."
Skating to a mix of 'Shine on you crazy diamond' and 'Money,' the 23-year-old pushed through some early nerves to prove he can now mix it with the best in the competition.
"My whole feeling at these Olympics has been pretty relaxed, pretty chilled," he said.
"It feels like I've at least made up for that bad skate at Sochi. So that feels pretty sweet."
Kerry, who finished his short program in 16th place, with a technical score that had him at 13th, said he now plans on working on his performance and musicality.
"It feels amazing knowing that my technical score has improved so much," he said.
"If I can get my program component score up a bit more I think my overall score will keep improving."
The Sydney-born skater earned a score of 150.75 for his free skate, equalling his season best.
Kerry will now focus on the World Championships next month, before planning out his next four-year campaign, with his sights firmly set on making his 3rd Olympic Games in 2022.
He was here to prove a point, and Australian figure skater Brendan Kerry has well and truly done that.
A strong short program which included a powerful opening quad toe loop jump has seen the 23-year-old skater move straight through to the free skate event tomorrow, finishing in 16th place with the eighth highest Technical Score.
“It feels great, it feels freaking awesome, I’m not going to lie,” a beaming Kerry said. “I needed that skate.”
Skating to Everyone Wants to Rule the World, Kerry showed he was no longer the anxious Olympic debutant of four years ago, and instead, has well and truly etched his name into the top tier of international men’s skating.
“I was nervous, of course, but I knew I just needed to stay relaxed and do what I’d been doing in my practices.”
“I’m a much stronger skater than I was at Sochi and this time it felt like I actually deserved to be here, so I came in with a very different mindset.”
It’s been a long road to redemption for the former Sydney skater, who now trains in New Jersey with Russian coach Nikolai Morozov.
“After my first Olympics I knew I had to make some big changes,” he continued.
“I looked at what the elite skaters were doing and I decided I wanted to really go for it.”
Kerry needed a place in the top 24 to move through to tomorrow’s event, and his score of 83.06 – a new season best saw him guaranteed a place in that top group.
Australian pairs skaters Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya have made history, after performing their short program at the Gangneung Ice Arena on February 14.
With a strong skate that included a huge opening triple twist, Windsor has become the first Indigenous Australian to compete at the Winter Olympics.
“I was starting to feel a bit nervous last night,” a beaming Windsor said. “But I’m really happy with that. Yeah, that was amazing.”
The team skated second, posting a score of 61.55 – just below their seasons best.
“We feel good, happy,” Alexandrovskaya said.
They needed to finish in the top sixteen in their field to move through to tomorrow’s free skate, and while they completed a clean program, they finished in 18th place, just out of free skate contention.
“I don’t know how I’m meant to feel at the moment,” Windsor said. “I’m so happy to have skated at my first Olympics but I wanted to make it to the free skate.”
The 21-year-old was supported by his mother Josie in the stands, while his father and skating friends watched from back home.
“It felt good to have the support,” Windsor said. “It’s pretty special knowing so many people were cheering me on.”
And it wasn’t just the Aussies who were backing the historic skater – with Windsor getting swamped with international media requests as soon as he left the ice.
“The attention has been amazing and I just hope I’ll be a bit of a role model now,” he said. “Hopefully more Indigenous kids get into winter sports.”
The duo will enjoy supporting the rest of the Australian Team at the Games, before heading to Moscow to prepare for the World Championships.
She may have waited all her life for this moment, but Aussie figure skater Kailani Craine admits it’s taken her a while to settle in to the Olympic Village.
“It didn’t actually sink in for a few days,” Craine said.
“I felt so excited when I arrived, but then it was all a bit hard to believe. I ran around meeting lots of people and trying to see everything, but it still didn’t really feel like it was all real.
“My first practices were a bit shaky too, and my skating wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. I just felt a bit strange.”
But the 19-year-old said the privilege of marching in the Opening Ceremony, helped to ground her to reality.
“I was sitting in the bus with my teammates on the way to the mountain, and I looked at them and saw they were all dressed in the same uniform and it suddenly hit me.
“I let out a little yell of excitement. I was like ‘I’m actually here.’”
“Walking in to the stadium for the Opening Ceremony was everything I hoped for and more. I can’t actually describe how amazing it was.”
Since then, Craine says she’s settled down, and is getting into a good rhythm.
“It was like I needed the Opening Ceremony to wake me up a bit,” she said. “Now I realise I’m actually at the Olympics and this is the only thing I’ve wanted my whole life and I’m going to make the most of every single day.”
The Newcastle skater has also been helped by the arrival of her coach, Los Angeles based Tiffany Chin, who flew in last night.
“I’m so happy to have Tiffany with me now, and just having her on the barriers to remind me of little things to help my technique. Everything is feeling a lot better.”
She’ll also be joined by her parents and her grandparents in a few days, something she says will aid her motivation to perform.
“I really feel like it’s all of us out there competing, not just me. My family has sacrificed so much for me to do this and they’ve been on this journey every step of the way, so it won’t be just me out there on the ice, it will be all of us.”
Craine will skate her short program on Day 12 (February 21), and her free skate on Day 14 (February 23).
ith just two days to go until Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya make history in the pairs figure skating, here’s what you need to know about the event, so that you can cheer loud and proud for our Aussies.
Pairs teams perform similar elements to single skating – such as jumps, spins and footwork – but they have to be done in unison. They also throw in some crazy acrobatic tricks, just for good measure.
Some of the moves that are unique to pairs skating include twists, throw jumps and twist lifts, and yes, there is a move called ‘The Death Spiral.’
The Death Spiral is one of the easiest elements to spot in the routine; it involves the male partner holding the hand of the female partner while she is fully extended away from him, pivoting around in an almost horizontal position, with her head scarily close to the ice. Thankfully no one has died doing a death spiral, as far as we know.
Just like in singles skating, pairs skaters perform two programs – a short program and a free skate.
The short program lasts a maximum of 2 minutes and 50 seconds, and has 7 required elements.
The free skate can last between 4:20 and 4:40 and is physically much more demanding, with a maximum of 12 elements.
For each performance, teams are giving a Technical Elements Score – which is basically a mark that reflects how difficult their elements were and how correctly they were performed – and a Program Components Score.
The Program Components Score consists of skating skills, transitions, performance, choreography and interpretation.
Both scores are combined to get a final mark.
Now to some expert commentary from our Aussie team:
“You have to be strong," said Harley Windsor.
Australia’s first Indigenous Winter Olympian admits he wasn’t quite ready for the transition from singles skating to pairs skating when he first trained with Katia:
“I just didn’t have the muscles for it. I didn’t know how much stronger you need to be to lift a partner above your head, and to hold some of the positions. I really had to work on my fitness.”
“We are just friends” – Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya
While it’s true plenty of Olympic Ice Skating Pairs are couples in real life – take the USA team this year as an example – just as many are not. And Katia would like everyone to know that she and Harley are definitely NOT an item. “We are friends. We sometimes can fight on the ice. But we leave it on the ice.”
Windsor and Alexandrovskaya skate their short program on Day 5 (February 14).
When Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Aleksandrovskaya take to the ice it’s them against the world.“It’s just us, we only think of us,” Windsor said. “We block everything else out.”
Their extraordinary journey – from complete strangers who lived on the opposite sides of the world, to Winter Olympians in just two years – is one that has seen the international skating fraternity sit up and take notice.
“It’s taken a while to get used to all the attention,” Windsor said. “I’m still learning how to speak to the media, how to tell my story without letting my inner bogan come out too much.”
Thankfully there was no sign of that ‘inner bogan’ when the team took to the ice for their first Olympic practice session today - a light session that saw their remarkable unison on display once more.
“It was pretty good today,” Alexandrovskaya said. “We did what we wanted. It was good.”
And, it’s been good since the start of the couple’s unlikely pairing in Moscow, at a trial session set up by Windsor’s coaches.
“I was ready to quit when I suddenly got a call saying there were some partners available in Russia,” Windsor said. “Within a week I had my Visa and flew over there. I had no idea what to expect but I wanted to give my skating career one more chance.”
“I was meant to try out with three different girls, but I trialled with Katia first and I knew I didn’t need to try with any others,” Windsor said. “We just clicked straight away.”
But their staggering rise through the ranks – which saw them claim the Junior World Championship Title in Taipai last year – hasn’t been without a lot of hard work, sweat, and tears.
“At first I found the move to pairs skating really hard,” Windsor said. “I was a singles skater before, and I really didn’t have the muscle strength for it.”
“For the first three months I’d finish training and just be completely exhausted. There was one day I tried to drive myself home and I was so tired I couldn’t even lift my arms to hold the steering wheel.”
“And I’ve never trained so hard before. Some days we do seventeen run throughs of things. Katia likes working hard, she’s used to training really intensely. It’s been a lot of work.”
But there’s no doubt the work has paid off, with the pair ready to make their Olympic debut, and Windsor set to etch his name into the history books – as the first Indigenous Winter Olympian.
“I really want to be a role model,” the 21-year-old said. “My Aboriginal heritage is part of who I am and I’m really proud of that. It will always be a part of me.”
And, while the young team are keeping their goal – a top 12 finish – realistic for this Games, Windsor says there’s no limit to how far this unlikely pairing might go.
“I think we will definitely have another one or two Olympics in us, and we will be aiming for a Grand Prix medal and maybe even an Olympic medal one day. This is just the start for us.”
Windsor and Alexandrovskaya compete their short program on Day 5 (February 14).
Watching Brendan Kerry take to the ice at PyeongChang, it’s obvious that the Sochi Olympian has changed.
“I feel in control this time around,” the 23-year-old said after an impressive training session.
“I’m just more comfortable.”
Kerry’s Olympic debut ended in heartache, with the then 19-year-old admitting he was overawed by the scale of the event, the media attention, and the crowds.
“I just wasn’t ready for it all,” Kerry said. “It was like I just couldn’t process it properly.”
But it’s a very different Kerry who’s skated in to Korea and he’s ready for his chance at redemption.
“There’s not that initial spark of excitement like the first Olympics, but I prefer it this way. I know what I can enjoy and what I need to wait for until after the event,” he said.
“Last time I spent my first few days running around, checking out all the venues, trying to meet everyone and get to all the events. This time I realise there’s no rush – I can do all that after my competition.”
The new and improved figure skater has also proved he isn’t scared of big decisions, changing coaches to Russian Nikolai Morozov just four months ago.
“I’ve made some big changes, but I had to,” Kerry said.
“I feel good about everything I’ve done. I’m in a good head space.
“My training has completely changed and I’ve learnt how much dedication it takes in all areas of life to be an elite athlete. When I went to the first Olympics I was like, ‘I go to the rink, I warm up, I skate, maybe I cool down and then I leave’. Now I know how important off-ice fitness is, I watch my diet, and I don’t go out all the time. I’m much more committed this time.”
He’s also committed to some of his favourite mottos, such as “pain is only temporary”, with the 23-year-old sporting numerous fresh tattoos.
“Since Sochi I’ve got, I think, maybe twelve tattoos,” Kerry laughed.
“I just used them as a way to remind myself of what’s important to me, and to keep me motivated to keep going.
“My favourite is the one on my forearm, it’s got four lines and the initials of all my sisters. My family is important, I always remember where I come from.”
And there’ll be plenty of family support in the stands – his mother, Monica MacDonald, who was her son’s former coach and a Winter Olympian is already here and his father will fly over in a few days.
“It’s great knowing they’re here and I have that piece of home with me,” Kerry said.
“Mum is the reason I started skating and dad has always been a big part of my life, so it means a lot that they’ll be here.”
While Kerry pushed hard to include three quad jumps in recent competitions, he plans on scaling it back for these Games, focusing instead on having two clean skates.
“I know I’m more than capable of doing the three quads but I know the best thing for myself will be to take that bit of stress off and just skate a really strong free program,” he said.
“I know what I’m focused on – I’m here to do a job.”
Kerry will skate his short program on Day 7 (February 16), and his free program on Day 8 (February 17).
FIGURE SKATING: Many consider it the most glamourous sport of the Winter Olympics program, and Australia’s figure skating hopeful Kailani Craine is more than ready to take centre stage.
“I am so excited to be here, I really can’t put into words what this means to me,” Craine said.
“This is the one thing I’ve wanted all my life and now I’m here.”
It’s been something of a fairytale rise through the ranks for the Newcastle teen. Craine started skating when she was eight, and quickly realised her potential.
“I just fell in love with the sport straight away, and that made all the hard work so much easier. I just really love what I do.”
But the four-time Australian Ladies Figure Skating Champion admits her hardest task lies ahead – her goal is to rank in the top 24 of the short program, to qualify for the free skate.
“I really, really want to be there for the free skate, I’m just so excited about that routine,” Craine said.
“I’m feeling good. I’m even getting my dressmaker to design a new costume for that program so I’m really hoping I get to wear it.
“I know that if I throw down a solid performance and have a clean skate it will be enough to get through. I just can’t let the little things slip.”
And speaking of slipping, the 19-year-old says she won’t let the fear of falling even enter her mind.
“I only focus on my technique, and I never doubt myself,” she said.
“I’ve waited so long for this moment, and I’m going to give it everything. I’m just so excited and I really just can’t wait to get out there.”
Her choice of music in the short program – ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ – is perhaps fitting then, as Craine waits to skate her dreams into reality.
Craine competes in the Ladies Short Program on Day 12 (February 21). The free skate will be held on Day 14 (February 23).
In his last event before PyeongChang, Sochi Olympian Brendan Kerry has finished 13th at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei, Taiwan.
Performing his free program, the 23-year-old opened with a flawless quad toe but incurred a landing deduction in his second quad.
Multiple landing errors on easier triples proved costly for Kerry who said that he was “pretty disappointed” with his performance.
“I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’ve even done one in practice that bad to be honest,” he said.
“But I’d rather do it now and know exactly what I have to improve on before the Olympics.”
China’s Boyang Jin won gold with 300.95 points while Japan’s Shoma Uno finished second with a total of 297.94.
Meanwhile America’s Jason Brown, who finished fourth in the short program, took bronze with a score of 269.22.
Andrew Dodds, who also competed in the ice dance with partner Chantelle Kerry, finished the day in 21st place with 177.81 points and though exhausted said that he was happy with the results.
It’s a long week, no one has ever done this before at a championship event doing two disciplines so it’s a challenge,” he said.
“Yes there were things that I missed out on and I can do a lot better but even that was a season’s best so it’s just building and I’m happy that I’ve got a season’s best at every time I’ve been out this week so that’s all I can ask for.”
Australia’s Figure Skating duo Harley Windsor and Ekaterina ‘Katia’ Alexandrovskaya have finished 6th at the Four Continents Figure skating Championships in Taipei, Taiwan.
The pair were the last to skate in the Free Program on Friday after claiming a silver “small medal” earlier in the week following the Pairs Short Program.
Windsor doubled the opening salchow then rallied for the triple double double combo. A lift later in the four-and-a-half-minute skate did not eventuate, interrupting the flow of the pair’s program.
“It just wasn’t our day,” Windsor said.
“We’re going to Japan after this so we’re just going to have to put our heads down and train just like we would every other competition again. It’s in the past now so there’s nothing we can do about it.
“We just have to try and take the good away from this competition. Obviously, there were a lot of mistakes in the free but we did a good short so if there’s anything we can take away from this it’s just some of the good elements that we did do and just focus on our preparation into the next one.”
Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea, who were third in Wednesday’s short dance, won gold with a total segment score of 128.68 while their fellow Americans Ashley Cain and Timothy Leduc claimed silver with a combined score of 123.85.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim claimed the country's first ISU Championship medal after taking bronze.
Following the women’s free program on Friday night, Sochi Olympian Brooklee Han finished 14th and said that while she “left a few points on the table” she was “feeling pretty good” after returning to the ice after battling an injury for most of the season.
“I had some silly mistakes, especially on the triple toe which I can do in my sleep,” Han said.
“I’ve been jumping and doing triples for about a month so, with that being said, I’m really happy with how it went.
“The triple Lutz is the last jump that I’ve added back in and that only happened a week-and-a-half ago and I can’t really train that as much as I would like based on doctor’s orders at the moment.
“I was just really focused today and wanted to put out a good solid program and I felt for the most part I did that, I was happy with how it went overall.”
Japan dominated Friday night’s podium, with Kaori Sakamoto winning gold, Mai Mihara silver and Satoko Miyahara taking bronze.
Newcastle native Kailani Craine, who will compete in her first Olympics next month, said that Friday’s free program was “definitely not my best performance” after finishing 16th but added that she was feeling positive for PyeongChang.
“I thought I would score higher but, you know, what can you do?” she said.
“I guess that they’re just making me work hard for next time and that’s ok, this competition was a competition to iron out the wrinkles in my skating.
“I really want to be perfect for the Olympic Games and if this is what it takes me to just push that extra level then that’s ok because I really want to do my best at the Olympics.”
The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continue tomorrow with the men’s free program. For results click HERE or follow OWIA on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE for live updates.
Sochi Olympian Brendan Kerry has delivered his best short program performance since last March’s World Championships with two quads and a triple axel at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei.
The 23-year-old finished 9th on Thursday and after a “horrendous” performance at Nationals and an “awful” Grand Prix, he said he was happy to “come back here before the Olympics and dust the rust off” ahead of PyeongChang.
“I feel really good for free,” he said.
“This competition I’m trying a really different approach, I’m trying not to come here and do a tonne of programs and overwork myself like I usually would at home training.
“I’m trying to relax, I got in a little bit later than everyone else, missed my first practice. I’m feeling fresh, if at this point the work isn’t done I’m kind of stuffed no matter what so I figure just keeping my legs fresh getting ready would be the way to go.”
Current leader and Olympic podium favourite Soma Uno from Japan won gold with a score of 100.49, just 0.32 points ahead of China’s Boyang Jin who claimed silver while bronze was taken by Uno’s fellow countryman Keiji Tanaka with a score of 90.68.
While there is still the final free program to be skated on Saturday, small medals are awarded after the short program at ISU Championship events.
Kerry’s fellow Australian Andrew Dodds finished 18th after competing in the Ice Dance free program with partner Chantelle Kerry earlier in the day.
Despite being “completely exhausted” the 26-year-old said that he was feeling ready for Friday’s practice before hitting the ice again in the free program.
“I’ve had a bit of a calf injury at the moment so [I just need to] take care of myself so I’m ready to go on Saturday, he said.
Mark Webster opened with a triple axel and completed his triple flip combo but had trouble with the Lutz, finishing 28th.
Earlier in the day, 2016 Ice Dance Champions Matilda Friend and William Badaoui were back on the ice for their free dance scoring 58.96 in a program that the pair feel “is a lot more suited to us”.
“We feel a lot more comfortable doing it and we feel like it shows off our strengths in skating a lot more than the short dance and I think the score kind of reflects that and shows where we can be,” Friend said.
“Considering the setback we had, if we can be at this point in our free dance now then it’s looking promising for the future.”
“We were really proud of that skate, as soon as we finished we knew that we did the most we could on the ice and we really pushed it and when we got off and we saw the scores today we were happy with them,” Badaoui added.
“It was a surreal moment for both of us sitting in that kiss and cry and seeing the scores because three months ago I was in bed with the cast on.”
Dodds and partner Chantelle Kerry felt “settled” after finished thirteenth following the free program with a score of 115.62.
“We felt easy, we felt the ice pretty well,” Dodds said.
“All the elements went well, we got a few calls for the levels on some elements that we can work on. We’ve got a competition next week so we’ll have another shot to get them.
“We were aiming to get the qualifying scores for Worlds here, we were 0.4 off it. With a few extra practices and feedback on that, we should be good to go for next week. We’re pretty happy [but] like always we’re going to be disappointed when we just miss out on something.”
The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continue until the 27th January. For results click HERE or follow OWIA on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE for live updates.
Figure Skating duo Harley Windsor and Ekaterina ‘Katia’ Alexandrovskaya have made history at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei, Taiwan after becoming the first Australians to receive an ISU Senior Championship medal.
The current Junior World Champions claimed a silver "small medal" following Wednesday’s Pairs Short Program and while they’re no strangers to making history, their focus for the time being is purely on their skating.
Whilst there is still the final free program to be skated on Friday, small medals are awarded after the short program at ISU Championship events.
“People keep saying that we’re making history for Australian figure skating, I don’t think I’ll really appreciate everything until after the season and I’ve had time to relax and let everything really sink in,” Windsor said.
“For now it’s just skating, just focusing on that rather than trying to think about all the other achievements that we’ve done.”
Despite feeling “a little bit nervous” ahead of Wednesday’s competition, Windsor and Alexandrovskaya gave a superb short program and were just 0.31 points behind American gold medallists Ashley Cain and Timothy Leduc who finished with 66.76.
“You have all the nerves and stuff before comp warming up and then you go through your routine but once you step on the ice, we’ve done a clean short program a thousand times,” Windsor said.
“We weren’t tired at all during that Short Program and that’s a good indication for the Free, I remember at the beginning of our season during our Short Program half way through I was tired.”
2016 Ice Dance Champions Matilda Friend and William Badaoui were back on the ice on Wednesday just three months after Badaoui broke his fibula.
“Rehab hasn’t been easy but with Till and all the support that I have, it’s been amazing. Everyone’s helped me through it so much because it’s a pretty rough thing to go through,” Badaoui said.
Despite finishing in 14th place after their short program, Friend said that the results weren’t going to faze them.
“We felt really confident going into it,” she said.
“We were really excited to be competing again and when we finished the program we were really happy with it and how it all went.
“We didn’t get a couple of levels that we were hoping to get on some of our elements so that brought the scores down quite a bit but we always came into this comp not worrying about what we were going to get in terms of scores so we’re really happy with our attitude going into it and how it turned out.”
In their first “big international” as a dance team, fellow Aussies Chantelle Kerry and Andrew Dodds said that they’re using each competition as a learning experience after finishing the day in 13th place.
“We are frustrated with some of the calls that we were given but that’s normal, you’ve just got to work through it. We know that we can do the stuff, we just have to get feedback and see how we can go from there,” Dodds said.
“Every competition we’ve ended with a PB scores so we’re getting there, moving up each time. That’s all we can ask for, we’re a new team.”
“We’re definitely feeling more settled each comp we go to so to come out at the biggest comp we’ve done since we started dance and to actually feel pretty settled skating together, taking our time is good,” Kerry added.
In the women’s Short Program, Brooklee Han placed 13th while Kailani Craine finished 16th.
“Today definitely wasn’t my best performance,” Craine said.
“I made a big mistake on my triple-triple combination jump and I’m really disappointed in that because I felt really confident going into that in the short program.
“Some of the calls I’ll have to go back and have a look at, I missed some levels so I’ll just have to go and have a look at that and just improve. It’s good that I’ve had this now instead of finding this out at the Olympics!
“It’s a really good practice run now and I can just improve.”
For Sochi Olympian Han, who has been battling an injury for most of the season, Wednesday’s performance was an opportunity to get back onto the ice.
“I was happy with the performance of the program, I felt like my combination was the best that I have done this season in my short program,” she said.
“It was disappointing to miss some of my events in the middle of the season and then of course to miss Australian nationals in my home state of Queensland and I really wish that I could have gone to that but I was happy to get back out there again today.”
The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continue until the 27th January. For results click HERE or follow OWIA on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE for live updates.
Australia’s figure skaters are preparing for their last opportunity to test their programs ahead of the PyeongChang Games at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei, Taiwan this week.
Among the first to be selected for the Olympic Team, wonder pair Harley Windsor and Katia Alexandrovskaya capped off 2017 winning the Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.
The current Junior World Champions, who have now won a total of five international victories and one third place podium result, said that they we’re feeling “ready for the competition”.
“Our session just now was relatively good and in the morning it wasn’t bad either,” Windsor said.
“We normally skate really well if we do a comp and then another not long after. It’s worked alright for us this season so I guess this will just be like a practice for us for PyeongChang.
“We had a big gap in between the Junior Grand Prix Final and this so we felt like this was sort of necessary to do before the Games.”
The pair, who will make their first Olympic debut in February, are unsure of how to feel about the looming Winter Games.
“We’ve never been and we don’t know how to feel because everyone’s told me that it’s not like a normal Junior or Senior World Championships … it’s the Games,” Alexandrovskaya said.
“There’s certainly a lot more hype around it but it’s our first one so I don’t really know what I’m meant to feel or how I’m meant to react to it,” Windsor added.
Fellow Aussie Kailani Craine, who wrapped up 2017 by winning her fourth consecutive national title at the Australian Figure Skating Championships in December, said Four Continents is her ideal Olympic test run.
“This competition for me is just a practice for the Olympics so hopefully I’m not really changing anything between the two competitions,” she said.
“I plan on doing my triple-triple combo in the Olympics so I really want to try and get that out there one more time, I’ve done it in the past two competitions but getting one more run at it will be good and just practicing the programs another time.
“I’m so excited, I could go tomorrow. It feels like it’s coming so slow but I’m sure it’ll come right around the corner. I’m really excited and I Want to do well at this competition so I can go back to Australia, back home, and have a few days before I leave for Korea.”
Sochi Olympian Brendan Kerry, who previously said that “being selected for the Olympic team again is a huge motivation” for championship events, will also compete in Taipei.
"4CC isn't so much a practice run for the Games as it is a testing event," he said.
"I really want to see what's ready and what needs work before the Games so I can go out and do two clean skates come PyeongChang.
"My biggest focus at this event is for the Short Program to go out with 2 quads. The Free I'm focusing a lot more on being strong the whole way through rather than trying to save myself for the ending."
The large Australian team also includes 2014 Sochi Olympian Brooklee Han in Ladies, dancers Matilda Friend and William Baddoui plus Chantelle Kerry and Andrew Dodds. Joing Brendan Kerry in the men's are Andrew Dodds (competing dance and mens) and Mark Webster.
The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships kick off on Wednesday 24 January with the pair and women’s short programs. For results click HERE or follow OWIA on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE for live updates.
Wonder pair Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor have capped off an incredible year by winning the Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.
The current Junior World Champions, who have now won a total of five international victories and one third place podium result, always believed they could win the prestigious International Skating Union’s end of year event, which brings together the six best juniors and six best senior skaters in each discipline to determine the best of the best.
Australia has never medalled at either the Junior or Senior Grand Prix Final and this win is yet again another historic milestone for the nation in the sport of figure skating.
“Our skate was great. A little tiring for me but it was great,” Alexandrovskaya said immediately after the free program.
After a strong short program on Thursday, Windsor and Alexandrovskaya were sitting in second place behind the Russian team Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov and only 1.34 points separated the top four teams. The pressure was on for the free program.
Windsor faltered on the opening triple salchow – landing the jump then falling off the edge. Undeterred, they powered to their side-by-side triple toe combo in perfect unison and completed a quality packed program scoring a total 173.85 points sneaking ahead of Panfilova and Rylov by less than one point (173.01)
“It was a little tough, at least for me,” Windsor said. “There was one big mistake but we are happy that we pushed through it and everything else was relatively OK.”
Galina Pachin, who coaches the team with her husband Andrei, was ecstatic.
“It’s amazing. It’s like a golden rain this past two years,” Pachin said. “Harley told me that winning and gold medals are like an addiction now.”
“They are already more mature and definitely dealing with pressure better. I don’t any pair who have gone from nothing to win Junior Worlds and qualify for Olympics in just two years,” Pachin said.
On their goal for the coming Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Windsor – who will be Australia’s first Indigenous Winter Olympian, was frank.
“We’re not there not to win a medal. We want to skate two of the best programs that we can and that our ultimate goal is to finish in the top 12. We will be extremely happy,” he said.
In a comprehensive victory, Kailani Craine has won her fourth consecutive national title surpassing her personal best score by nearly five points at the Australian Figure Skating Championships in Brisbane.
23-year-old Brendan Kerry made it a six-time win, coming from well behind in the short program with a fighting free program to retain his crown as Australia’s Men’s Champion.
Kailani had a spectacular national’s campaign with a clean short program that included a triple/triple combo and backing up with two triple lutzes in her free program to Moulin Rouge, achieving a PB total of 172.06 points.
“I love my short program,” she said.
In second place was the new junior national champion Amelia Jackson from Queensland who backed up by making the podium in senior ranks and in third was veterinary science student Katie Pasfield from NSW.
Struggling with multiple international flights and jet lag, Brendan Kerry skated a horror short program, missing every jump and ending up fifth on 57.17 points. He had his work cut out to catch short program leader Mark Webster who was on 65.03 points leading into the free program.
Fighting back to overhaul an eight-point lead, Kerry landed two triple axels and a triple/triple combo in the free program, earning 197.29 points, which was enough to secure the title ahead of Andrew Dodds on 190.80 and Mark Webster on 184.51, both of whom also skated strong free programs.
Kerry had been testing out the order of the quad jump elements at the recent Shanghai Trophy in China and at the national championships.
“I wanted to see if I felt comfortable with the quad salchow as the first element, so we tried it in Shanghai but I didn’t want to base a decision off one comp, so nationals was a safe testing ground,” Kerry said.
“I’m definitely now able to sort the order of elements to put out strong consistent skates from here on out.”
Kerry will return to his new training base in New Jersey next week.
“I’m looking at getting in some really solid training time without having to bounce around for comps. They were disappointing skates at nationals but I’m really happy I pulled up and won my sixth title. It’s important to me, especially heading into the Olympics.”
“At nationals I wanted a clean second half and when the loop didn’t happen, I was angry.”
Paris Stephens and Matthew Dodds took out the pairs championships and new dance team this year Chantelle Kerry and Andrew Dodds were impressive in their first championship together winning the dance.
The Australian Figure Skating Championships in Brisbane this week will provide national champions Brendan Kerry and Kailani Craine with an almost last opportunity to test their programs ahead of the PyeongChang Games next February.
Both skaters have returned from their US training bases for the senior national titles in Brisbane to be held Thursday 7 and Friday 8 December at Boondall Ice World.
Kailani Craine (19) will be going after her fourth consecutive title, while five-time Champion Brendan Kerry (22) will be seeking his sixth.
Craine intends to test out harder technical content in her short program.
“I'm really looking forward to the nationals this year. I always love competing in front of a home crowd, and I really hope to deliver a personal best performance,” she said.
“It's also an excellent opportunity to practice my routines before the Olympic Games with harder content, especially in my short program.”
“This year has been so exciting for me, so I hope to finish with my tenth overall national title (in all divisions). It's always a fun time catching up with my fellow team mates and I love to see how much everyone improves each year.”
Kerry is expected to have a smooth ride to his sixth title.
“It’s important to come home and do nationals because as Australia’s best I feel obligated to come back to defend my title and compete alongside the up and coming Australian skaters,” Kerry said.
“At this event I want to try and see what’s comfortable and what isn’t in regards to the order of elements headed into the Olympics. The new free program is going really well so far and transitioning from a thought process to more of a go to set of actions.”
Pair champions Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor will not be in Brisbane to defend their 2016 crown but competing on the same days in the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.
2016 Ice Dance Champions Matilda Friend and William Baddoui are also out of this year’s championships after William sustained a broken ankle in training a few months ago.
The Australian Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Ice Skating Queensland Facebook page.
Entry to all events are free of charge at Boondall Ice World, Sandgate Road, Boondall. The Senior Men’s short program starts at 8.40pm (AEST) Thursday, 8 December and the Ladies at 9.50pm.
The final free programs on Friday, 9 December begin at 11am (AEST).
A competition schedule can be found at http://www.isa.org.au/afsc
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