Turin, Italy – Yuma Kagiyama, skating to “Gladiator,” surged from seventh place overnight to win the Turin Grand Prix on Saturday.
Mikhail Kolyada of Russia took second from from fourth spot while Daniel Grassl delighted the home crowd with bronze, his first medal at this level.
Kagiyama, the 2021 world silver medalist, was a lowly seventh after an error-strewn short program but hit back in style on Saturday.
“After the short program I couldn’t change my mindset and even this morning I was feeling low in practice,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do about the situation.”
Kagiyama said a pep talk from his father and coach Masakazu helped put him in the right frame of mind after his disappointing start to the competition.
“I was feeling down after the short program, but my father just told me to do my best at what I had practiced, which made me feel better,” Kagiyama said. “I looked to fight as a challenger.”Aiming for the podium at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Kagiyama said he needed to iron out his mistakes to make an impact on the sport’s biggest stage.
“At the Olympics, you can’t have a come-from-behind win like today if you don’t put together both a good short program and free skate,” he said.
In the women’s competition, Mai Mihara turned in a personal best of 214.95 to finish fourth, with Russia’s world champion Anna Shcherbakova climbing from third in the short program to win with a score of 236.78.
Russia’s Maiia Khromykh and Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx rounded out the podium, while Japan’s Satoko Miyahara finished one spot behind Mihara with 209.57.
Coming off a fourth-place finish at Skate Canada, Mihara renewed her personal best for the second meet in a row, pumping her fists after completing her free skate and again after hearing her score.
“I had confidence I could skate without mistakes,” said the 22-year-old, who boosted her scoring potential by adding triple-triple combinations to her routine.
Having battled a form of juvenile arthritis since 2015, along with other injuries, Mihara said she had gotten on top of her health issues.
“I rest when I’m tired and get proper nutrition. I’ve got better at controlling (health conditions),” said Mihara, who hopes to book her ticket to Beijing at Japan’s national championships in December.
“I’ll aim for an even better performance,” she said.
Miyahara, aiming for her second straight Olympic berth, made a roughly nine-point improvement on her total score from Skate America, her first meet of the season, but continued to under-rotate jumps.
In ice dance, France’s four-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron claimed gold.World silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States were second ahead of Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin.
Papadakis and Cizeron impressed the judges with their elegant performance to Faure’s “Elegie.”
China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong skated to the pairs gold ahead of teammates Peng Cheng and Jin Yang with Russia’s Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev settling for bronze.
Two-time world champions Sui and Han skated to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and collected 144.48 points for the free program with an overall total of 224.55.
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