This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.
The mark of a great athlete is one that can deliver a flawless performance under intense pressure when a single mistake would result in defeat. And that is what Mai Mihara accomplished on Sunday, November 13. She won the Grand Prix event in Sheffield, England, in what may have been her finest hour.
The 23-year-old Mihara took the ice in her free skate following an outstanding effort by defending world junior champion Isabeau Levito of the United States. Levito's big score meant that Mihara would have to post almost a personal-best mark to retain the narrow lead she held after the short program.
Mihara never blinked in her skate to "El Amor Brujo" and notched the first GP victory of her long career with a total score of 217.43 points. The 15-year-old Levito finished second with 215.74, while Georgia's Anastasiia Gubanova took third on 193.11.
"Receiving a gold medal today might be the biggest result, the biggest achievement of my life," Mihara stated after her stirring triumph. "I still can't believe it!"
In eight previous career senior GPs, Mihara had finished fourth six times.
Read the full story on SportsLook.
Author: Jack Gallagher