Figure skaters to take on Taipei before PyeongChang
January 23, 2018
Article from www.owia.org.au. Reported by David Barden.
Australia’s figure skaters are preparing for their last opportunity to test their programs ahead of the PyeongChang Games at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei, Taiwan this week.
Among the first to be selected for the Olympic Team, wonder pair Harley Windsor and Katia Alexandrovskaya capped off 2017 winning the Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.
The current Junior World Champions, who have now won a total of five international victories and one third place podium result, said that they we’re feeling “ready for the competition”.
“Our session just now was relatively good and in the morning it wasn’t bad either,” Windsor said.
“We normally skate really well if we do a comp and then another not long after. It’s worked alright for us this season so I guess this will just be like a practice for us for PyeongChang.
“We had a big gap in between the Junior Grand Prix Final and this so we felt like this was sort of necessary to do before the Games.”
The pair, who will make their first Olympic debut in February, are unsure of how to feel about the looming Winter Games.
“We’ve never been and we don’t know how to feel because everyone’s told me that it’s not like a normal Junior or Senior World Championships … it’s the Games,” Alexandrovskaya said.
“There’s certainly a lot more hype around it but it’s our first one so I don’t really know what I’m meant to feel or how I’m meant to react to it,” Windsor added.
Fellow Aussie Kailani Craine, who wrapped up 2017 by winning her fourth consecutive national title at the Australian Figure Skating Championships in December, said Four Continents is her ideal Olympic test run.
“This competition for me is just a practice for the Olympics so hopefully I’m not really changing anything between the two competitions,” she said.
“I plan on doing my triple-triple combo in the Olympics so I really want to try and get that out there one more time, I’ve done it in the past two competitions but getting one more run at it will be good and just practicing the programs another time.
“I’m so excited, I could go tomorrow. It feels like it’s coming so slow but I’m sure it’ll come right around the corner. I’m really excited and I Want to do well at this competition so I can go back to Australia, back home, and have a few days before I leave for Korea.”
Sochi Olympian Brendan Kerry, who previously said that “being selected for the Olympic team again is a huge motivation” for championship events, will also compete in Taipei.
"4CC isn't so much a practice run for the Games as it is a testing event," he said.
"I really want to see what's ready and what needs work before the Games so I can go out and do two clean skates come PyeongChang.
"My biggest focus at this event is for the Short Program to go out with 2 quads. The Free I'm focusing a lot more on being strong the whole way through rather than trying to save myself for the ending."
The large Australian team also includes 2014 Sochi Olympian Brooklee Han in Ladies, dancers Matilda Friend and William Baddoui plus Chantelle Kerry and Andrew Dodds. Joing Brendan Kerry in the men's are Andrew Dodds (competing dance and mens) and Mark Webster.