“Bringing me a song that I wouldn’t choose myself, David Wilson made me realize a new side of myself.” Sota Yamamoto about his programs for 2023/24 season and first competition
Sota Yamamoto about his new programs and first competitions of the 2023/24 season.
Sota Yamamoto (23) felt the sense of accomplishment as “New Sota.”
The silver medalist of last season’s Grand Prix (GP) Final marked 91.98 points in the Short Program (SP), his first competition of the season. He expressed his satisfaction with a bright voice, saying, “I was able to approach it just like in practice. I was able to enjoy this program.”
With the new SP “Chameleon,” he smoothly executed the opening quadruple salchow and the second quadruple-triple toe loop combination. After landing the third jump – triple axel, he made a small celebratory gesture. He also danced a little bit in the step sequence.
The words he repeated after his performance were “a new side.” While taking on “Chameleon,” a program chosen by the globally renowned choreographer David Wilson, he realized his potential for growth.
“I thought that showcasing smooth skating was my strength, but by bringing me a song that I wouldn’t choose myself, he made me realize a new side of myself. I hope to enjoy this new self and share that enjoyment with everyone.”
Last season, he stepped onto the stage of the World Championships for the first time. Building on each experience, he aims to evolve this season.
“Having experienced situations with tremendous pressure, I want to utilize those experiences and carry them into this season. Aim for further improvement and show a new grown side.”
Shoma Yamamoto finished in 3rd place at his first competition of the season with a total score of 237.40 points. He calmly reflected, “I wasn’t in perfect condition yet.”
This season, he completely revamped both his short program (SP) and free skate. In the new style of the SP set to “Chameleon,” he matched the music’s tone with dynamic movements, taking the lead with scores of 91.98 points.
On the other hand, his jumps faltered in the free skate to “Exogenesis Symphony No. 3.” While he landed the opening quadruple salchow, he experienced a fall on the subsequent quadruple toe loop and his triple axel turned into a single. Expressing self-critical words, he said, “The free program had uncertainties compared to the short. I lost focus midway.”
Last season marked his debut at the GP Final and World Championships. However, he placed 5th in the Japanese Nationals at the year-end and 15th at the World Championships. With the determination to “seek redemption in the Japanese Nationals and World Championships,” his first competition of this season revealed both accomplishments and challenges.
“From here, I want to strive for further improvement and work hard in practice. I hope to create a program that doesn’t lose its momentum.”
Speaking with a self-encouraging tone, he looked ahead to a season that is intensifying.
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