A weekend full of competitions in Japan
Jingu Ice Messengers Senior during the short program. / Credits: Roy Ng Photography
Fifteen teams from Japan and South Korea took part in Japan National and Open Competitions this weekend in Hitachinaka (JPN). Read more to know who won the game!
It was a busy weekend for synchro teams and fans as there were many competitions happening around the world. In Japan, the 24th Japan National Synchronized Skating Championship was held in conjunction with the 2018 Japan Synchronized Skating Open Competition in Hitachinaka city of Ibaraki prefecture that weekend.
24th Japan National Synchronized Skating Championship
Two junior teams and one senior team participated in this national championship. They skated their Short Programs on the first day and Free Skating programs on the second day.
The two Junior teams of Japan National Championship were champion Kansai Synchro Lovers Junior (SP:28.26; FS: 59.32; Total: 87.58) and Team Aichi (SP:18.72; FS: 50.60; Total: 69.32). Despite skating with higher speed and smoother flow, Team Aichi, which was only formed in December 2017, was plagued by falls on both days. For their Short Program “Hit The Road Jack” during line intersection and preparation for pivotal block they had critical falls which affected the execution of the elements. The errors and deductions were too costly to catch up during Free Skating.
On the second day, Kansai Synchro Lovers Junior successfully executed more challenging elements including lifts and more sophisticated step sequence for No Hold. Although their choreography did not exactly reflect the fast tempo of the theme music “Technologic and Daft Punk”, they took home with the gold medal.
The sole entry of Senior category was Jingu Ice Messengers (SP:48.00; FS: 86.04; total: 134.04). Their Short Program “Tarzan”, which matched with intricately decorated dresses, impressed the audience well with speed and elaborated transitions. Their smooth execution continued during Free Skating with their “Forest Gump” program. Group lifts were made deceptively effortless. They are ready for Spring Cup and World Championship as they have secured qualification to attend.
2018 Japan Synchronized Skating Open Competition
Under the same roof was the 2018 Japan Synchronized Skating Open Competition where a total of 12 teams from Japan and South Korea participated in four categories. They skated their Free Skating programs only.
In the Juvenile category, the competition among the four teams was keen and the results of teams were quite close. Winner Jingu Ice Messengers Juvenile skated their “Enchanted” movie theme program. Although the runner-up Toyohashi Synchro Juvenile were skating well with no fall, Jingu’s Travelling Circle was called at one level higher and had better Program Component score.
In the Novice category, Jingu Ice Messengers Novice led the rest by a wide margin with their “Mary Poppins” program. Not only the choreography matched well with the music and the lyrics of the songs, elements were executed beautifully especially the pivotal block which tight parallel lines were maintained after successful turns. The fall at intersection did not affect their performance significantly. Silver medallist Saitama Crystal Ace also presented a pleasant program of a medley of “When Will My Life Begin” and “Mother Knows Best”. This new team formed in last April has achieved a lot.
In the Junior category, winner Team Brilliance was head and shoulders above the peers because of good skating skills and sophisticated elements such as cartwheels and death spirals. They had more than double of marks than their competitors Higashiotsu ISC. In any case, Higashiotsu ISC skaters delivered their “Avatar” program which matched their skating style.
The disparity between three Masters teams was significant both in terms of scores and ages of skaters. The winner Toyohashi Synchro Masters maintained good formation during wheel and triangle intersection. They also had big smiles which assisted to deliver the mood of the music “What Makes You Beautiful”.
The competitions end with all skaters joining hands to form a swirling circle pattern after the award ceremony. It was a fantastic occasion to see Japanese and Korean synchro teams delivering their best from months of preparation.
We would like to thank Ayumi Kirihara for her assistance in navigating the maze of Japanese and providing some background information about the teams. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the organizing committee of the competitions for their support.