Wakaba Higuchi aims for the newness is her performance skating to “Never Tear Us Apart” in the short program
Wakaba Higuchi about her short program for 2023/24 season and start of the season.
Wakaba Higuchi (22), who won a team bronze medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics and finished 5th individually, scored 75.13 points in her first SP of the season.
Last season, she missed all competitions after October and made her competitive return after 288 days at the Aqua Cup in July this year. She participated in the Aqua Cup with only the free skate, and this day marked her first SP of the season.
She started with a double axel, followed by a combination of triple lutz-double loop jumps, and successfully landed a later triple flip despite the axis tilting during the jump. She mentioned, “I’ve been noticing that I’ve been leaning in my jumps since last week.”
Her SP routine is a continuation from last season, set to “Never Tear Us Apart.” She said, “The image I have is to skate with tension from start to finish. I’m conscious of maintaining strong expression from beginning to end.” Her determined and sharp-eyed expression is striking, but during the performance, there were moments when she smiled and expressed, “Jumping made me happy, and there were parts during the steps sequence where I felt like I was losing balance. It’s a bit fun or interesting.”
Looking at photos of herself during her performance, she’s surprised by her expression and comments, “I’ve never seen this face before.” However, with the break she took, the newness is also an aspect she aims for in her performance. She aspires to create something entirely new rather than reverting to the sensation of going back.
She resumed full training on April 1st, and she mentions, “I’m feeling better than usual because I’ve had many 3-3 before September.” She’s gained confidence, and she expresses surprise at her high score, saying, “I was surprised by how much I scored!” However, she adds, “There are areas that could be improved a bit more. I want to practice while considering how I’ll be evaluated during international competitions, like the Grand Prix series or overseas events.”
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