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Shoma Uno Returns to Form with a Smooth Short Program at the Japan Championships

Opening with his patented quadruple flip at the Japan Championships in Nagano, Uno delivered a stellar performance to build a commanding lead.



Japan Championships
Shoma Uno competes in the men's short program at the Japan Championships in Nagano on December 21, 2023. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Shoma Uno Returns to Form with a Smooth Short Program at the Japan Championships

Two-time world champion Shoma Uno is halfway to winning his sixth national title after taking a commanding lead in the Japan Championships short program on Thursday night, December 21 at Big Hat Ice Arena in Nagano. 

Uno put forth a sublime performance and will take a huge margin of 10 points into Saturday's free skate.

The star, who has struggled with under-rotations in his past two competitions, was in form this night and is in first place with 104.69 points. Sota Yamamoto is in second with 94.58, while Beijing Olympic silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama is third at 93.94.

World junior champion Kao Miura, who struggled with illness at the Grand Prix Final earlier this month, stands in fourth on 93.91. Shun Sato is fifth with 89.90.

The 26-year-old Uno, a three-time Olympic medalist, skated to "I Love You Kung Fu" and "Clair de Lune." He opened with his patented quadruple flip, followed by a quad toe loop/double toe loop combination jump. Then he went on to hit a beautiful triple axel and earned level fours on all of his spins and step sequence.

Having finished second at all three of his GP events this campaign, Uno is looking for redemption this week and hopes to do it with a victory that would pull him even with Yuzuru Hanyu for the total number of Japan Championships won.

Japan Championships
Shoma Uno (KYODO)

Uno Shares Thoughts About On-Ice Frustration

"I have worked on my jumps very hard, and to be honest, the practice has not been fun since the NHK Trophy," Uno was quoted as saying. "When you have a certain image in mind and you can't pull it off, it's a little frustrating, but I really wanted to fight."

Uno said that competing in the Japan Championships brings with it a certain level of anxiety.

"I have competed at all kinds of competitions, the Olympics included, but the nationals stress the most," Uno admitted.

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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