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Sakamoto, Mihara Aim High in First Workouts at World Championships

Japanese women take to the ice in practice sessions ahead of the 2023 world championships at Saitama Super Arena. Will one of them be crowned the world's best?



world championships
Kaori Sakamoto in a January 2023 file photo. (KYODO)

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SAITAMA ― World champion Kaori Sakamoto and Grand Prix Final titlist Mai Mihara began practice on Monday, March 20 at the world championships ahead of Wednesday's women's short program.

Sakamoto, Mihara and Rinka Watanabe all took to the ice for the first time in the early afternoon at Saitama Super Arena. Kaori Sakamoto will seek to become the first Japanese woman ever to win consecutive world crowns this week. She became the sixth woman from Japan to win the world title last year in Montpellier, France, joining the ranks of Midori Ito, Yuka Sato, Shizuka Arakawa, Miki Ando and Mao Asada.

But none of the aforementioned were crowned the world's best two years in a row.

world championships
Kaori Sakamoto trains at Saitama Super Arena on March 20. (KYODO)

The 22-year-old Sakamoto worked on her free skate to "Elastic Heart" during the 35-minute training session. For the Kobe native, the practice seemed to go fairly smoothly, although she did fall on a triple flip/triple toe loop combination jump during her run through.

"I hope I can perform better than last year and get good results," Sakamoto stated.

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 Twitter @sportsjapan.