Japan’s pair Miura/Kihara make history to win ISU GP of Figure Skating Final gold

Kyodo News

Xinhua News

10th December 2022 – (Beijing) Japanese pair Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara made history by winning gold at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Torino on Friday. It was Japan’s first pairs medal in ISU GP Final.

The 2022 ISU World silver medalists produced a triple twist, throw triple Lutz and loop as well as level-four lifts. However, Miura doubled the toeloop while Kihara touched down on the triple Salchow. The NHK Trophy champions earned 136.50 points in free skating for a total of 214.58 to take the title.

“Today’s performance was not our best but we are really happy to win the first Grand Prix Final as a Japanese team. And we were saved by the power of the audience, thank you,” Kihira said. “We both made some mistakes so we are upset about that. Overall we think it is a great experience for us heading into the World Championships in March in Japan.”

Skate American champions Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier of the United States came second with 213.28 points overall, while Sara Conti/Niccolo Macii of Italy also gave their country a first Pairs medal at this event with 187.02 points.

Japanese skaters almost dominated the opening day of the GP Final as world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Mai Mihara took a 1-2 Finish in the women’s short program, while Olympic bronze medallist Shoma Uno and former Youth Olympic champion Sota Yamamoto led the men’s short program.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier of Canada captured the lead in the rhythm dance.

The competition continues on Saturday with men’s and women’s free skating as well as free dance.