2023 Japanese Champions Crowned


Jingu Ice Messengers Senior and their Free Program (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

The 2023 Japan Synchronized Skating Open Competition got more exciting on the second day as six Intermediate, two Juvenile, and five Open Age teams join Junior and Senior teams on the ice.

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The Intermediate teams took the ice first.  Champion Saitama Crystal Ace (61.35) became 12 James Bonds’ girls on ice as they skated to 007 theme music and demonstrated sit spins with good speed. 

Runner-up Yamabiko Starland (60.25), who dressed in flaming red, delivered their Warrior theme program with no major error. 

Bronze medalist Toyohashi Synchro Amuse (57.62) was a strong contender with no major error on ice.  They have elementary, as well as university students, but yet they managed to form a coherent and strong team despite the age disparity.

Saitama Crystal Ace looking fierce! (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

Intermediate team Yamabiko Starland on the ice (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

Bronze Medalist of Intermediate category Toyohashi Synchro Amuse (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

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The two Juvenile teams have very different choices of music. 

Winner Toyohashi Synchro Angels (35.48) went for original soundtracks from the musical “Annie” while Yamabiko Sunrise (28.44) selected some modern remix of Beethoven.  Both teams delivered clean programs.

Juvenile team Toyohashi Synchro Angels skating to soundtracks of Annie (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

Yamabiko Sunrise had ten skaters on the ice. (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

Open Age
The five Open Age teams also competed head on.

Shiga Synchro Team Sapphire (36.97) delivered a steady performance and slightly edged out silver medalist Ibaraki Synchro (35.88).  Bronze Winner Kyoto Uji Enjoy Synchro Open Age (30.19) pledged not just to enjoy participating in a national competition but also going for more challenging elements to get a medal.  They happily fulfilled their dream.

Shiga Synchro Team Sapphire giving it all. (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

Ibaraki Synchro Open Age team entering pivoting block. (Credits: Roy NG - 2023)

Climax of the day
Attention then turned to Junior and Senior categories and Jingu Ice Messengers were sole entries in these groups.

The Junior team improved their Pocahontas theme Free Skate and scored 87.54 which is a whopping 12 points improvement from Mozart Cup (see full results).  It is probably an encouragement for a team that could be formed only a short time ago.  Their total score is 126.63. 

The Senior team unfortunately could not get all four groups lifted successfully but they still got 120.66 for their Free Skate (total: 175.48).  At the end, both Jingu Ice Messengers teams have secured their qualifications to represent Japan at World Championships.

Jingu Ice Messengers Junior team up in the air. (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

Jingu Ice Messengers Senior team (Credits: Roy Ng - 2023)

Although 2023 edition of the competition saw fewer teams than 2022 (15 vs 17), and this year there was only one entry respectively in the Junior and Senior categories, it is pleasing to see synchro is growing in different parts of Japan and some regions have competitive skaters ready for higher challenge. 

Let's hope synchro continue growing in this part of the world and more people get to know this uniquely amazing team sport.