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[ICE TIME] Mie Hamada and Hana Yoshida Honored at the ISU Skating Awards Ceremony

Choreographer Benoit Richaud and coach Brian Orser, who have both worked with top Japanese skaters, also received accolades at the annual skating awards gala.



skating awards
Hana Yoshida, winner of the Top Newcomer award at the ISU Skating Awards show on February 11, in a January 2024 photo. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - [ICE TIME] Mie Hamada and Hana Yoshida Honored at the ISU Skating Awards Ceremony

Japan has had great success on the ice during the 2023-24 season. It continued that run off the ice on Sunday, February 11 when it came away with two trophies at the annual ISU Skating Awards.

Veteran mentor Mie Hamada was voted the Best Coach, while Hana Yoshida was selected as the Top Newcomer.

The gala ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual Art On Ice skating show before a live audience in Zurich. Other winners included Ilia Malinin (Most Valuable Skater), Benoit Richaud (Best Choreographer), Adam Siao Him Fa (Most Entertaining Program), Loena Hendrickx (Best Costume), Deanna Stellato-Dudek (Special Achievement Award) and Brian Orser (Lifetime Achievement Award).

Hamada, who currently coaches Yoshida, world junior champion Mao Shimada and Four Continents titlist Mone Chiba, among others, beat out Sonoko Nakano and Stephane Lambiel for the honor. The 64-year-old Hamada was not able to attend the ceremony but sent a video message of gratitude.

"I never expected to be chosen," Hamada stated in English. "It is a great honor to be awarded Best Coach. I'm thankful to everyone who has supported me. My dream didn't come through as a skater, but my students make my dreams come true."

Added Hamada, "I hope to keep improving myself as a coach and as a person. Thank you."

skating awards
In her successful season, Hana Yoshida claimed the bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final in Beijing on December 9, 2023. (KYODO)

Yoshida's Budding Talent Recognized at Skating Awards Show

The 18-year-old Yoshida, the bronze medalist at this season's Grand Prix Final, edged out Belgium's Nina Pinzarrone and Switzerland's Kimmy Repond for the newcomer honor. She skated her routine to "Firebird" during the gala and was asked by show co-host Kurt Browning in an interview afterward how she feels on the ice.

"Both the short program and long program characteristics are so different," Yoshida remarked in English. "It was difficult for me. But I concentrated in practice and now I am able to perform from my heart and feel the music."

Browning questioned Yoshida about her ability to communicate with her eyes while performing.

"I like competitions more than practice, so I like to be seen by the judges and audience," Yoshida commented. "Really enjoy the competition with the audience."

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


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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