Aussies book two more figure skating berths for PyeongChang
October 1, 2017

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Australia has secured two more Figure Skating qualification spots at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games with an individual gold medal from Kailani Craine and a Pairs bronze medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany. 

19-year-old Craine skated to gold on Saturday night, securing not only the Ladies title but an Olympic berth for Australia. 

After dominating the Short Program the night before, Craine continued her strong form impressing judges with her Free Skate to ‘Moulin Rouge’.

The routine featured five triple jumps, three level-four spins and level-four footwork, skills that picked up the Newcastle native 109.43 points.

A combined total of 167.45 points from both skates saw Craine take the gold by only 0.44 points. 

“I felt really good in my free program today. I felt really prepared for this competition. It wasn’t the best free program that I’ve done, but it was enough to get me first place and to qualify an Olympic spot,” Craine said. 

“I don’t think anything really can compare with what the Olympic Games are going to be like. It’s been a dream since I started skating, so I really just want to be able to skate my best, but I want to soak up every single moment.”

Rounding out the podium was Matilda Algotsson of Sweden and Alexia Paganini of Switzerland who earned the silver and bronze medals respectively, as well as 2018 qualification spots for their countries. 

In Friday night’s Pairs event, World silver medallists Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia took out the top spot on the podium ahead of Germany’s European Champions Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot.

Harley Windsor and Katia Alexandrovskaya of Australia stunned the world with a performance of a lifetime to take the bronze. The Australians and four more couples earned an Olympic spot each for their country.

Skating to ‘The Mask’, the pair executed a perfect triple twist, side by side triple Salchow and triple toe-double toe-double toe as well a throw triple flip and Salchow. 

The Junior World Champions secured a huge personal best, scoring 125.80 points for the Free Skating and 190.31 points overall, securing a ticket to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics for Australia. 
“Obviously it is very exciting for us. We skated really, really well and we also qualified (an Olympic spot) for Australia. So that was a huge step for us,” 20-year-old Windsor said.

With pairs from Russia, Germany, Canada and USA having already booked their spot to the Games, the Australians will be joined by new pairs from Austria, Czech Republic, Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea and Israel on the Olympic program.

Australia is now qualified in three figure skating disciplines with Men, Pairs and Ladies, also resulting in eligibility into the Olympic Team Event for the top ten nations in the world.
Australian Men’s champion Brendan Kerry earned Australia the men’s spot with his 15th palce at the 2017 World Championships in March.

For the Olympic Team Event, Australia would unofficially currently be ranked 12th. The top ten nations will be determined on a points basis after the Grand Prix and Junior Grand Prix series has been completed in early December. 


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