The transformation of Sakamoto and Uno from talented, successful performers on the global stage into world champions has been a thrill to watch, the columnist writes.
The Japanese partners proceeded through their elements relatively smoothly until Takahashi lost his balance and stumbled on a twizzle in the middle of their program.
The 18-year-old, who placed second at the Beijing Olympics, is the favorite to win the world title this week.
Daisuke Takahashi and Mao Asada were the first two skaters to sweep both singles titles for Japan, doing so at the 2010 world championships.
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Mai Mihara claimed the Four Continents women’s title for the second time, while Kazuki Tomono placed second in the men’s event. Hana Yoshida and Tatsuya Tsuboi...
The five-time reigning American champion returns to the ice after a long layoff due to the cancellation of the Grand Prix Final.
“The Olympics are not a recital,” Hanyu said. “It's a place you must win. For that reason, I'll be strongly determined.”
Sakamoto landed six clean triple jumps in her skate to “No More Fight Left in Me” and earned level fours on her spins and step sequence.
The 2018 Olympian skated to “Now We Are Free” and showed her veteran poise as she calmly and smoothly moved through her program.
The top-tier skaters are well known, but exciting quests are right behind as young athletes aim to earn their own spots on the national team.