Placing 18th with 47.76 points, Kailani produced more good form to move into the final free skating program on Friday, which will decide the final standings.
Despite landing her triple lutz and triple loop jump combo, Kailani was penalised with an under-rotation and edge call that cost her just under five points and up to six places, but she wasn’t alone in a tough judging field, which claimed valuable points for many skater’s.
The seven-hour event competed by 43 skaters from over 30 countries had China scraping into the top 24 and both Canadian girls missing out on the finals.
The room for error was minimal, as USA’s third-ranked senior and top junior Karen Chen discovered when one jump mistake landed her in 12th place. Second ranked American Tyler Pierce is sitting just over one point behind Kailani on 46.77.
“I was really wanting to break 50 points again and felt like the loop was alright,” Kailani said after the short program.
Her American coach Tiffany Chin was pleased overall but says that the triple jump combinations are high on Kailani’s radar.
“Overall, Kailani did what she can do,” Tiffany explained. “In the coming season she will definitely be working on adding the triple lutz/triple toe. She is very capable and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback here.”
The night belonged to Russians, who have dominated Ladies Figure Skating in the past two seasons with their fast rotational speed and multiple triple jump combinations.
16-year-old Evgenia Medvedeva scored 68.48 points and leads her 15-year-old training partner Serafima Sakhanovich on 63.09. Both girls are coached by Eteri Tutberidze, who also coaches Julia Lipnitskaya – the 2014 Sochi Olympic Team Gold Medal winner in Ladies. Lipnitskaya did not perform at her best in the December Russian national championships and was not named to their 2015 European team or the coming World Championships.