Murakami struggles in women’s SP at Cup of Russia


Kanako Murakami got off to a nightmare start and languished in last place after the women’s short program Friday at the Cup of Russia, the sixth and final event of the Grand Prix series.

Murakami, the biggest name of the three Japanese competing in the women’s event, had 49.24 points. Haruka Imai was eighth with 49.55 and 15-year-old Satoko Miyahara was sixth with 56.57.

“I don’t even know myself if it was a case losing my focus or losing my intensity,” said Murakami.

Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaia was top with 72.24 and was followed in second by Italy’s Carolina Kostner (67.74). American Agnes Zawadzki (60.45) was third.

Tatsuki Machida, who won the GP season-opening Skate America, is entered in the men’s program. Fourth place or better will secure Machida a place at the Grand Prix Final to be held in Fukuoka in December.