Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara: “When I was on the verge of losing confidence, I asked her to praise me.”

Posted on 2024-05-16 • No comments yet


Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara about past season and overcoming injuries.

original source: jbpress.ismedia.jp dd. 7th May 2024 by Takaomi Matsubara

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Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara talked about their performance at the World Championships and overcoming injuries. Here’s a translation of their comments made in the interview posted on JB Press.

“I think this was a season full of learning,” said Ryuichi Kiwahara, with Riku Miura nodding in agreement.

The team admitted that they were nervous before their free program at 2024 World Championships, Riku Miura told “The previous skaters were the Canadian pair (Stellato/Deschamps), and the audience was super supportive of them. They performed well and the venue was really excited, and that made me very nervous when it was our turn.”

In addition, Miura had suffered a subluxation of her left shoulder during the 6-minute warm-up practice. “I was able to put (my joint) back in place, but there was a lingering instability, which made me very nervous.”

On the other hand, Kihara commented, “Of course, I was anxious, but I had thoroughly prepared for what I needed to do, so I was more confident that everything would be okay. I told Riku, ‘Don’t worry, we’re okay.'” Fortunately, she felt no pain. “Probably because of the adrenaline, I really didn’t feel any pain. The pain started to appear gradually the next day,” said Miura.

Today, after a while since the competition, Miura reflects, “I wanted to perform the same way as we did at the Olympics two years ago, or better. Being able to recall what we have built up during the Olympic season in such a short period and performing our signature program makes me glad that we returned to it.”

Kihara added: “Because time was limited, we were really focused during practice and managed to build up sufficient training. We did not end well two years ago with this program, so we didn’t want to end it that way again. Our desire was to end it cleanly.”

Although they won a silver medal, they made some mistakes in the free program, and they showed their regrets after completing the performance. “Of course, it was not perfect, but the program gave us more confidence to compete at Worlds, and it is also a program that we cherish. Although it was not perfect, I think it was good,” said Kihara.

Now that the season is over, Miura Riku reflects on it, “We had a really good practice for the six weeks from the Four Continents Championships. If we can continue this practice that doesn’t waste time, we can definitely get the result. If we can continue this from the start of next season, we will get good results, so I’m glad we were able to find out what the good practice for us is in this season.”

Kihara also shares, “We had a good six weeks, so I think we learned a good way to practice for competitions. I think it was meaningful to learn that before the important Olympic season.”

They also talked about the injures prevented them from having a full season and preparation. “This season, I had a period of three months where I couldn’t move, so I struggled to get back to doing lifts and pair elements. I think this season was harder for both of us,” said Kihara.

Being naturally responsible, Kihara sometimes became negative. He then felt the need to apologize. “I was always saying ‘I’m sorry.’. To Coach (Bruno) Marcotte, and to Riku. But Bruno encouraged me saying, ‘That’s not a bother.’ and Riku also told me not to worry about it at all.”

“There were times when he apologized saying ‘I’m sorry, we couldn’t participate in the competition,'” said Miura

“I didn’t really apologize deeply but talked about it in various places. Also during the World Championships… after it ended, we talked about ‘it’s my fault that we had trouble, but let’s make up for it next season,’” added Kihara.

“I was constantly thinking about how to support him,” said Miura. “I praised him. There were many times when the timing of the lift was not in sync, for example, when we did a good lift, I told him, ‘That lift was good.’”

“When I was on the verge of losing confidence, I asked her to praise me,” Kihara admitted.

“He was saying ‘I need more praise’ (laughs)” said Riku.

“We ended up talking about how we could no longer take lifts for granted,” Kihara shared.

“So, I decided to keep praising him.”

“‘Thank you.’ was what I felt. Even after the Four Continents Championships, the lift wasn’t back in perfect condition, so I lacked confidence for a while, but we reached the point as mentioned earlier and I ended up feeling grateful for being praised,” said Kihara.

Talking about overcoming injuries Riku and Ryuichi shared that they’ve opened a new side of Riku. “I’ve often been in a position to lead, but when I was injured, Riku supported me, which made me realize she has that side too,” said Ryuichi. “I realised that rather than me pulling her up, we have to keep supporting each other. I think we can perform more frequently like we did in our free program at this World Championships if we pull each other up. I personally believe that we always come back stronger whenever we face trials. I think there must be meaning in the fact that we’ve had injuries for two consecutive years.”

“Like last season, we were able to achieve good results after recovering from the injury this season as well, so I think we will be stronger next season,” added Miura.


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