Olympics – Figure skating – Russia takes control of the team, Yuma Kagiyama and Kamila Valieva sparkling

The Russians took control of the team event on Sunday thanks in particular to Kamila Valieva. The Japanese Yuma Kagiyama showed him in men that he could claim the podium, even Olympic gold. Russia took the lead in the team event on Sunday. In this Team Event, on the Olympic program since 2014, points are awarded in each program of each category (10 pts for the first, 9 for the second etc.). After five events, the Russian Olympic Committee totals 45 pts, ahead of the United States (42) and Japan (39). read also All the news from the Beijing Games After those for men, pairs and dance on Friday, the women’s short program opened on the second day of the team competition, led by the United States after three trials. highly anticipated, Russian European champion Kamila Valieva made a brilliant Olympic debut. Eteri Tutberidze’s student approached her short program world record (90.18 pts against 90.45 pts in Tallinn at the European Championships) and became the fourth woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics after Midori Ito (1992), Mao Asada (2010) and Mirai Nagasu (2018). The Japanese Wakaba Higuchi took second place in this short program (74.73 pts) while the poor performance of Karen Chen (5th with 65.20 pts), who fell on a triple loop, cost precious points in the USA. At the end of these four programs, only the five nations with the most points were qualified for the free programs: the Russian Olympic Committee (36 pts), the United States (34), Japan (29), Canada (24) and China (22). For the free programs, each country had the right to make two changes. Best score of the season for Kagiyama
The last program of the day was the men’s free program. In the absence of the two favorites for the Olympic title, the three-time American world champion Nathan Chen (winner of the team short program on Friday) and the two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu (not yet seen on the Beijing ice), Yuma Kagiyama showed that it really should not be forgotten. The Japanese, world silver medalist in 2021, was dazzling in a four-quadruple free program (salchow, loop, toe-loop and toe-loop-euler-triple salchow). The skater flew over the event, improving his personal best by 11.45 points and signing the best international score of the season (208.94 pts), far ahead of the Russian Mark Kondratiuk (181.65 pts) and the American Vincent Zhou (171.44). Qualified in only two categories (dance with Papadakis Cizeron, men with Aymoz et Siao Him Fa), France is not participating in this Team Event. The last three free programs (couples, men and dance) take place overnight from Sunday to Monday in France. Unless there is a big surprise, Russia should win its second team title after that of 2014. read also Beijing Games program

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