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After Short Program at World Junior Championships, Jia Shin Holds Slim Edge Over Mao Shimada

Reigning champion Shimada, who battled nerves, is less than a point behind her South Korean rival at the World Junior Championships in Taipei.

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World Junior Championships
Jia Shin of South Korea competes in the women's short program at the 2024 World Junior Figure Skating Championships on February 28 in Taipei. (©ISU)

Read the full story on SportsLook - After Short Program at World Junior Championships, Jia Shin Holds Slim Edge Over Mao Shimada

South Korea's Jia Shin grabbed the lead in the women's short program at the World Junior Championships at Taipei Arena on Wednesday night, February 28 with an elegant performance. That put her less than one point ahead of defending world junior titlist Mao Shimada.

Shin, who has been a perennial runner-up to Shimada the past two seasons, is on top with a score of 73.48 points, while Shimada tallied 72.60 in second. Ikura Kushida, Shimada's teammate, is third on 66.61.

Finland's Iida Karhunen stands in fourth with 64.64, while Rena Uezono is in eighth at 61.96.

Shin, who has been the silver medalist at the world juniors the past two years, will try to win her first world crown in Friday's free skate. There she will have the daunting task of finding a way to hold off Shimada and her triple axel and quadruple toe loop.

The 15-year-old Shin skated to "Fascination" and displayed exquisite line and edge throughout her program on the way to a new personal best. Shin opened with a big triple flip/triple toe loop combination jump, then hit a double axel, and went on to land a nice triple lutz. The Busan native earned level fours on all of her spins and step sequence.

"I am very happy. This is the first time I managed to get first place on such an occasion," Shin stated. "I rate my performance today at around 80-90 percent of my capability and give myself bonus points for my feeling right now."

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Added Shin, "I was a bit more calm than in the past, so I think this is what made the difference today."

World Junior Championships
Mao Shimada skates to "Americano" in the women's short program at the World Junior Championships. (KYODO)

Shimada Copes with Nerves at World Junior Championships

Shimada is in good shape despite battling nerves

Trying to become just the third woman ever to repeat as the world junior champion, Shimada looked sharp in her skate to "Americano." But she was hit with an edge call on the front end of her triple flip/triple toe loop combo.

She landed her double axel and triple lutz without any issues and notched level fours on all of her spins and step sequence, but looked surprised that she did not receive a higher score when it was announced.

"I thought I wasn't very nervous when I came to the venue, but when it was time for the actual performance, I was very nervous," Shimada declared. "Despite all that, although it wasn't my season's best, I'm very happy that I was able to have a good performance."

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

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Author: Jack Gallagher

The author is a veteran sports journalist and one of the world's foremost figure skating experts. Find articles and podcasts by Jack on his author page, and find him on X (formerly Twitter) @sportsjapan.

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