Ando on comeback trail, takes Kanto Championship

Kyodo

Former two-time world champion Miki Ando, who is aiming to appear at next year’s Sochi Olympics after giving birth to a baby girl in April, continued on the road to a successful comeback after winning a regional competition on Monday.

A day after leading in the short program, Ando began to show signs of fatigue with a number of miscues on her jumps, but her overall performance was enough to win the Kanto Championships, which served as a preliminary event for the national championships in December.

The 25-year-old Ando, who scored a total of 147.30 points, will next appear at a regional competition in eastern Japan in November to qualify for a shot in the nationals.

She touched a hand to the ice on a double toe loop and her spins lacked their usual crispness. Ando was competing domestically for the first time in almost two years following a silver-medal performance at the Nebelhorn Trophy two weeks ago in Germany.

“I was feeling the fatigue of my first international competition in a long (in Nebelhorn) while so there were things that I saw these two days that I need to work on,” said Ando. “Even so, I know clearly what I am lacking,” she commented later.

The Japan Skating Federation appears keen to consider reinstating Ando as one of its top figure skaters at a board meeting on Wednesday, although Yoshiko Kobayashi, head of team development, stopped short of giving her a concrete evaluation.