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17-year-old Kao Miura becomes 6th Japanese skater to win men’s World Junior title

Kao Miura
via Skating ISU

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    Japan bagged its sixth International Skating Union World Junior Figure Skating Championships title after Kao Miura, 17, won gold in Canada over the weekend.

    Miura finished the men’s junior figure skating championship in Calgary on Saturday with a final score of 179.63 in the free skate discipline and a total score of 264.74

    I made mistakes but managed to pull things together. It’s great to be ‘Champion Miura’ again,” the Tokyo-born skater said, alluding to his Four Continents win in February, Kyodo News reported. “This is not my goal. I hope to raise my level of performance and keep working from next season onward.”

    Dancing to “Beauty and the Beast,” Miura pulled off several feats, including a quad toe, quad toe-triple toe and quad Salchow, named after the Danish-born Swedish figure skater Ulrich Salchow.

    Miura also managed to land two triple Axels, considered to be one of the most difficult maneuvers to pull off, at the world championship. Speaking to reporters, Miura said he gave himself about “a 70% score” for his performance, “especially in the second half of the program.”

    I was able to land the quad-triple combination in the second half,” Miura said, according to Golden Skate. “I think that combination was actually more beautiful than my triple-triple combination in the short [program].”

    Second-place winner Naoki Ross, 16, of Switzerland, whose mother is also Japanese, received a 220.68, earning him the silver medal, while fellow Japanese figure skater Nozomu Yoshioka, 19, took home bronze.

    Miura’s win on Saturday marked Japan’s sixth junior men’s world title, the first medal the country has won since 2018 Winter Olympics silver-medalist Shoma Uno bagged the title in Tallinn, Estonia, in 2015.

    Other past Japanese title holders include Daisuke Takahashi in 2002, Nobunari Oda in 2005, Takahiko Kozuka in 2006 and Yuzuru Hanyu, also known as Japan’s “Ice Prince,” in 2010. Meanwhile, the first Japanese junior figure skater to win a medal in the men’s division was Takashi Mura, who took home the silver medal at the inaugural World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Megève, France, in 1976.

    Besides Miura, female junior figure skater Mao Shimada, 14, also won gold at Saturday’s event. The last time Japan swept the gold medals at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships was during the 2010 competition at The Hague, Netherlands, when Hanyu and Kanako Murakami each won a gold medal.


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