Japanese figure skating 2020-21 season news & updates

rosewood

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Kihira's ISU bio was updated. Lambiel is listed as her coach together with Hamada. Her home town is Champery. Her musics for 2020-2021 are all the same as last season's (at this point). I'm not sure musics are just not updated or she changed her mind and will continue both of her programs. (She worked with Richaud on choreography for this season. Richaud is listed as her choreographer, but the listed musics are still the same as last season's.)
 

Gris

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Her musics for 2020-2021 are all the same as last season's (at this point). I'm not sure musics are just not updated or she changed her mind and will continue both of her programs.

She already announced her two new programs here so I guess the ISU bio hasn't been updated yet.


SP: The Fire Within by Jennifer Thomas, choreographed by Richaud (IIRC it's Junhwan Cha's FS music last season)
FS: Baby, God Bless You by Shinya Kiyozuka, choreographed by Lambiel

ETA: this Rika fan account on Twitter just said that the old music listed in ISU bio are incorrect.


Also, Satoko now only lists Lee Barkell as her coach.

 
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Sylvia

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Following the cancellation of the Internationaux de France Grand Prix, Rika Kihira has shared a positive message with her fans along with a 1-minute clip of her SP footwork to "The Fire Within" by Jennifer Thomas, choreo. by Benoit Richaud (starting with the one-hand cartwheel): https://www.instagram.com/tv/CGj_IJ5nJAq/

ETA that Kihira's FS music is listed in her ISU bio as "Baby, God Bless You" by Shinya Kiyozuka (see her tweeted clip below).
 
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Marco

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Thinking beyond the GPs, I don't know how Nationals work for all these skaters training overseas like Rika, Satoko and Shoma. Assuming Nationals go on as scheduled, do they return to Japan to compete? If so, they have to quarantine and will have to be off the ice for (supposedly) 14 days?! If they don't return to Japan, how do they detertmine the world team?!
 

Sylvia

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...They [JSF] decided to give an exceptional seeded spot for Nationals to Miyahara (4th at Nationals), who trains in Canada, based on last season's BoW that she was on Team Japan for Worlds. She got a spot for Nationals without skating at neither of Regionals and Sectionals. It means she will not be bothered by the 2 weeks quarantine restrictions for entering/leaving Japan/Canada to participate in Regionals/Sectionals.
I'm sure all the skaters training outside of Japan (Shimada is also in Switzerland and Miura/Kihara train in Canada - 2 recent clips: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGY5nkgJQqL/ ) are planning ahead for Nationals, which is scheduled for Dec. 23-27, 2020 in Nagano.

Muramoto/Takahashi (based in Florida) and Fukase/Cho (based in Montreal) have to travel home for NHK Trophy (Nov. 27-29 in Osaka) and I assume they will remain in Japan through Nationals.

Both Miura and Kihara showed off the new Kozuka blades they received earlier this month: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGi4ky3J0rs/
 

Sylvia

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JSF made a decision to hold Junior Nationals (Nov. 21-23 in Hachinohe, Aomori) and Nationals with an audience (half capacity): https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/202010210000428.html
"However, it may be reexamined depending on the status of new coronav*rus infection in the future."

The upcoming Sectionals for Senior/Junior Nationals qualification (Western is Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Kyoto & Eastern is Nov. 6-8 in Kofu, Yamanashi) will be held without spectators.

Novice Nationals will be this weekend (Oct. 23-25) in Mebashi, Gumma.
 

seabm7

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Thinking beyond the GPs, I don't know how Nationals work for all these skaters training overseas like Rika, Satoko and Shoma. Assuming Nationals go on as scheduled, do they return to Japan to compete? If so, they have to quarantine and will have to be off the ice for (supposedly) 14 days?! If they don't return to Japan, how do they detertmine the world team?!

I think JSF will negotiate with the Japanese government for the bubble for these skaters. The host should guarantee the isolation of the said people for two weeks.
 

Sylvia

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OMG what did I miss?! This already sounds amazing.
May 2018 news thread:
 

Sylvia

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Western Sectional Championships are underway & results are being posted in the Kiss & Cry thread starting here: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...estic-competitions.107441/page-2#post-5888786

West Sectionals Senior men short program, top 6
1 Kazuki Tomono 83.62
2 Sota Yamamoto 77.07
3 Keiji Tanaka 77.00
4 Ryuju Hino 71.75
5 Sumitada Moriguchi 68.55
6 Mitsuki Sumoto 66.05
All 18 skaters advance to the free skate. (Koutaro Hayakawa WD)
Senior Men SP protocols: https://www.jsfresults.com/National/2020-2021/fs_j/west/data0103.pdf

Junior Ladies SP (in progress now with Chisato Uramatsu 62.98 & Rino Matsuike 62.07 currently 1-2); Senior Ladies SP is the final event of Friday 10/30 in Japan.

Last weekend's Novice Nationals results link in English is posted in the "2020-21 Japan national qualifying & domestic competitions" thread in the Kiss & Cry section and I thought it was great that FIVE Novice ice dance teams competed! An excerpt from my post there:
Novice Ice Dance - Final Results (photo of the medalists & 4th/5th: https://www.instagram.com/p/CG1JVK-j2Vg/ )
PL Competitor Club Points
1. Nao KIDA / Masaya MORITA Kinoshita Academy 43.89
2. Sumire YOSHIDA / Ibuki OGAHARA 40.30 - coached by Cathy Reed: https://ameblo.jp/reed-icedance-blog/entry-12634143531.html
3. Kurea YAMAMOTO / Kotaro FUKUOKA 40.14
4. Carina SMITH /Rentaro MORISHITA Meijijingugaien FSC 38.03
5. Haru MATSUZAKI / Haruki MOTOMURA Meijijingugaien FSC 25.77
ETA link to tweeted summary of Western Sectional Senior Ladies SP results (top 12+): https://twitter.com/figureskatingm1/status/1322148171074596864
 
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Jeschke

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Nana Araki just finished out of the cut for nationals.
Her GP spot does not help her here either, or? (if she can hang on to it)
 
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Sylvia

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Western Sectional Senior Ladies top 6:
Kaori Sakamoto 200.23 1 2 (129.83 FS)
Mai Mihara 194.87 2 1 (130.37)
Rin Nitaya 187.82 5 3 (125.87)
Mana Kawabe 186.73 4 4 (123.63)
Yuna Shiraiwa 185.29 3 5 (121.23)
Mako Yamashita 181.46 6 6 (121.16)

Western Sectional Senior Men top 6:
Sota Yamamoto 221.22 2 1 (144.15 FS)
Kazuki Tomono 212.92 1 4 (129.30)
Keiji Tanaka 211.05 3 3 (134.05)
Mitsuki Sumoto 202.14 6 2 (136.09)
Ryuju Hino 199.45 4 5 (127.70)
Sumitada Moriguchi 190.69 5 6 (122.14)

Some articles in Japanese:

Winner Kaori Sakamoto was dissatisfied with her 2nd place FS performance:

Mai Mihara won the FS and the silver medal:

Mana Kawabe finished 4th in her first Senior season on her 16th birthday:

Rika Hongo ranked 9th and will compete at Nationals for the first time in 2 years:

Sota Yamamoto came back from 2nd in SP to win the FS and the men's title:

Kazuki Tomono won the silver (2nd in the SP, 4th in FS):

Keiji Tanaka won the bronze (still recovering from his right knee injury so did not attempt a quad):

Taichi Honda (7th overall) advances to his final Nationals and hopes he will be able to compete there with his 2 younger sisters:
The place of employment after graduating from [Kansai] university has already been decided, and the All Japan Championship will be a special big stage in the final year of active duty. Younger sisters Marin (19 = JAL) and Miyu (16 = Prince Hotel) will participate in the East Japan Championship [Senior] Women's Championship, which opens on November 6.
 

Sylvia

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I scanned the article list and didn't see one for Rin Nitaya either! :(
 

denise3lz

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An article on Rin Nitaya

Her dream is to participate NHK trophy. She thinks it will take 2 - 3 years. Therefore she won't retire soon.
 

Jeschke

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An article on Rin Nitaya

Her dream is to participate NHK trophy. She thinks it will take 2 - 3 years. Therefore she won't retire soon.
From retirement to almost another full circle :rofl:
Go girl 💪
 

kalle

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Mai Mihara won the FS and the silver medal:

I am so happy to read this ❤
 

gotoschool

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I love Mai's freeskate and have watched it quite a few times. Such a great inspiration to overcome so much as the strength of her resilient spirit carried her through her marvelous performance. I think the grace and beauty of her skating reminded me of Mao in a number of ways but in her own unique style, and I know that Mao was one of her biggest inspirations. Mai had such wonderful fluidity and grace especially in the arcing arabesque spiral and lovely smoothness and expression through her jumps, extensions, and step sequences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiFOgsrVAec&ab_channel=DHCテレビ
 

Sylvia

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Eastern Sectional Championships results are being updated in the Kiss & Cry section: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...estic-competitions.107441/page-2#post-5892872

After Day 1:

Senior Ladies top 4:
1 Wakaba Higuchi 70.71 - 2A, 3Lz+3T, 3F!
2 Shiika Yoshioka 60.23 - 3Lz+2T, 3Lo, 2A
3 Akari Matsubara 59.99 - 3Lz, 2A, 3S+3T
4 Tomoe Kawabata 58.35 - 3Lz+3T< fall, 3Lo, 2A
...
8 Marin Honda 50.41 - 3Loq+2T<, 3F (2fted, turnout), 2Aq (younger sister Miyu finished 26th and did not advance to FS)

Senior Men SP top 3:
Shun Sato 81.84 - 4T+3T, 4Lz< fall, 3A
Yuma Kagiyama 71.72 - 4S+2T, 2T (no points), 3Aq
Taichiro Yamakuma 66.35 - 3F!q, 3Lz!+3T<, 3A

Mone Chiba won Junior Ladies SP (59.55) - 3F!+3T(-), 3Lz, 2A.

For @Jeschke - "Yuka Nagai (21), who will retire from active duty only this season when she graduates from Waseda University, has vowed to make a comeback free" (in 11th after SP & top 9, minus seeds Higuchi & Kawabata, will qualify for Nationals):

Marin Honda (said her right shoulder, dislocated before Tokyo Regionals last month, is healed and she "hasn't had any pain for the past two weeks."):

Wakaba Higuchi says she plans to go for the 3A in her FS tomorrow:

Yuma Kagiyama will debut a FS to the Avatar OST, choreographed remotely by Lori Nichol, tomorrow (he had previously skated to the Lord of the Rings musical at Japan Open Dreams on Ice & Kanto Regionals):
 
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