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Mao Shimada Achieves Historic First with Second Straight Victory at the JGP Final

Landing both the triple axel and quadruple toe loop in her free skate, Mao Shimada came from behind and claimed the gold in Beijing.



Mao Shimada
Mao Shimada in her free skate routine at the Junior Grand Prix Final on December 8, 2023, in Beijing. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Mao Shimada Achieves Historic First with Second Straight Victory at the JGP Final

World junior champion Mao Shimada made history by becoming the first woman ever to win the Junior Grand Prix Final two years in a row. She had a resounding performance in Beijing on Friday night, December 8. 

The 15-year-old star landed both her triple axel and quadruple toe loop in her free skate to come from behind and claim the gold.

It was yet another stunning performance by Shimada, who seems to do her best when she is under the most pressure. She has had trouble landing the quad toe loop all season, but when she needed it most, she came through.

Shimada's winning total score was 206.33 points, giving her a solid margin over South Korea's Jia Shin, who finished second with 200.75. Shin led Shimada by less than a point after the short program, but without a triple axel or a quad, was unable to hold off her rival.

Junior Grand Prix Final women's champion Mao Shimada (center), silver medalist Jia Shin (right) and third-place finisher Rena Uezono display their medals after the competition. (KYODO)

Rena Uezono, the 13-year-old from Nagoya, captured the bronze with 196.46 in another impressive outing. South Korea's Yuseong Kim was fourth at 190.48, while Ami Nakai came in fifth on 187.04.

Kim's compatriot Minsol Kwon ended up sixth with 183.06.

Mao Shimada
Mao Shimada glides across the ice during her rendition of "Benedictus." (KYODO)

Clutch Outing Gives Shimada Another Gold

Shimada skated to "Benedictus" and opened with a solid triple axel and followed that with a nice quad toe loop. She landed five clean triples in the triumph while earning level fours on all of her spins.

The Tokyo native's only major issues came when she under-rotated the front half of a triple lutz/triple toe loop combo and singled a triple loop in the second half of her program.

"I am very happy to win the Junior Grand Prix Final for the second time," Shimada stated. "Today I wanted to give it my all. That was the biggest thing. My performance was bad yesterday and at the official practice this morning as well."

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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