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Mao Shimada, Ami Nakai Aiming for Glory at the World Junior Championships

Shimada, the women's title favorite at the World Junior Championships, looked especially fluid as she skated to her short program of "Lion King."

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Mao Shimada in a December 2022 file photo. (ⒸSANKEI)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Mao Shimada, Ami Nakai Aiming for Glory at the World Junior Championships

CALGARY, Canada ― Junior Grand Prix Final champion Mao Shimada and Japan junior bronze medalist Ami Nakai continued practicing on Tuesday morning, February 28 ahead of the women's short program at the World Junior Championships on Wednesday.

The pair trained in the main rink at WinSport Arena, going through their final preparations before the competition gets underway. Shimada and Nakai both came through the official session unscathed.

Some 47 skaters will take the ice for the short program in the Canadian province of Alberta, with Shimada favored to take the gold and Nakai, who won a Junior Grand Prix this season, having a legitimate chance for a medal.

Shimada, who will be the final skater in the seventh group on Wednesday night, looked especially fluid as she skated to her short program of "Lion King." She popped her opening double axel, but moved seamlessly through the rest of the program.

"I am improving each day, but not in perfect condition yet," Shimada stated.

Mao Shimada (JACK GALLAGHER)

The 14-year-old star has achieved the goals she set forth before the season began.

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"I wanted to make both the Grand Prix Final and the World Junior Championships," Shimada commented. "My goal here is to make the podium and win the gold."

Added Shimada, "I want to land my triple axel and my quadruple toe loop. That is what I am striving for."

Continuing 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 Twitter @sportsjapan.

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