Mao Shimada aims to qualify for the Youth Olympics and defend her title at the World Junior Championships
Mao Shimada about summer training camp and plans for the season.
Fourteen-year-old Mao Shimada revealed a change in mindset after becoming the youngest in Japanese history to win the World Junior Championships in March 2023.
During the training camp where promising junior athletes from all over the country gathered, she showed her leadership by leading the group during the initial skating practice. She explained, ‘After attending senior training camps and seeing skilled athletes, I wanted to step forward as someone who participated in the senior camp and skate well.’
She also participated in the senior training camp held earlier this month. This time being conscious of her role among her peers and younger athletes. She became the world’s best junior skater, and with 224.54 points takes 3d place in the ISU last season’s list of scores, including seniors. While eagerly seeking personal growth, she also seems to be developing a sense of responsibility to lead her fellow skaters, acknowledging that ‘there are incredibly skilled athletes younger than me, which is also motivating.’
After the senior training camp, she experienced pain in her right ankle, refraining from jumping for about a week. On this day, she executed quadruple toe loops and triple axels as well. Her goal for this season is to qualify for the Youth Olympics (Olympics for Youth) to be held in Korea in January next year and defend her title at the World Junior Championships. She stated, ‘I feel like I’m gradually improving. My axel has become much more stable compared to last year.’ With confidence, she looks forward to the upcoming season.
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