Japanese ladies started the season

Satoko Miyahara and Kanako Murakami tried themselves at B event

U.S. International Figure Skating Classic 2015 turned to an interesting competition. I was intrigued by Japanese slaters, some of them showed almost ready programs and pretty good shape at summer shows.

I would like to start from Satoko Miyahara. After her (quite unpredictable) silver at Worlds it obvious that fans and judjes will expect a lot from her. And It won’t be easy for her to repite her success. After the return of Japanese prima of figure skating Mao Asada, Satoko can hope only to be the second number of Japanese team. And we all know that the second number gets a different size of component scores support from the Federation.

I like her short program. It’s really well choreographed. Satoko has good musicality and it’s noticeable that she works a lot in choreo class. Her lines are beautiful, arm movements are also well done. Satoko looks polished and her skating is of high quality. Unfortunately her jumps are small, and have not improved. So, she needs to be clear and consistent, because judges love consistent skaters.

I absolutely loved her free program! It’s so graceful and beautiful! So wonderful choreographed and Satoko really feels it. I think it’s a big step ahead from her least season free program. This one is lighter and more tender but looks more mature and sophisticated. As for me her Miss Saigon program was not for her age, but the new one it’s a complete fit. Nice classical music but not overused for a skater of such musicality, what can be better? But I miss her light pink sleeveless dress from the show, I think It was a perfect choice for Satoko.

I remember when I at first saw Kanako Murakami at 2011 Worlds in Moscow. Her skating was juniorish and unpolished, but it seemed that she only need some time to turn to a beautiful skater. Almost five years have passed from that moment but I still can’t say that Kanako’s skating have improved a lot.

I honestly don’t understand why did she choose El Tango de Roxanne. No, I know that maybe every skater dreams of such music and think that she/he can skate it like no one before, or want to perform some passionate character. But there are some objective reasons for some skaters not to do that. I don’t see the needed power and passion in Kanako’s skating. The performance doesn’t look conviction. And unfortunately Murakami’s “best friends” under rotations are still with her(

I’m not a fan of her free program too but it seems like Kanako feels it better. At least in lyrical program she tries to control her arms and legs and tries to make them look more refined. But I don’t understand why to chose such music that doesn’t give the ability to show her strengths! Kanako is more dynamic and powerful skater, not classical and lyrical. So, why make it even more difficult for her to shine in her programs? Maybe it’s just the beginning of the season and she will add some speed and work a bit on her choreo? I hope so.

The main competitors for the pedestal for Japanese girls will be Russians, so lets see how they are doing. Watch the new programs of Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaya at Russian test skates.

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