Murakami fourth after Cup of China short program


Japan’s Kanako Murakami placed fourth in the women’s short program on Friday at the Cup of China, the third of six events in the Grand Prix series.

Murakami, the 2013 Four Continents bronze medalist, scored 57.33 points, 8.70 behind leader Adelina Sotnikova of Russia.

“When I think about the mistakes I made in practice it went well,” said Murakami, who under-rotated two jumps.

“I landed my jumps and that has given me confidence and something to build on.”

Seventeen-year-old Sotnikova scored 66.03 for top spot and was followed by Italian world silver medalist Carolina Kostner (62.75) and 15-year-old Russian Anna Pogorilaya (60.24). Japan’s Haruka Imai scored 54.79 for fifth place.

“I was nervous but I was able to keep mistakes to a minimum,” said Imai. “Last year nothing went right in the short program and I think I have put that behind me. I have confidence in my free program and will just do what I have to do.”

In the men’s short program, Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka, who struggled to sixth place at Skate America, was third with 81.62 points behind China’s Han Yan, who had a personal-best 90.14 and Russia’s Maxim Kovtun, who scored 81.84. World silver medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan was fourth with 77.05.

“It wasn’t perfect,” Kozuka said of his performance, despite landing his opening quad.

“The mistakes I made on my jumps in Skate America ran through my mind. Still, I was able to skate well until the end.