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.
They became the first all-Japanese pairs team to medal at the world championships, finishing in second place.
Uno skated beautifully to “Oboe Concerto” and surpassed his previous high short program mark of 105.90 at the Beijing Games.
Daisuke Takahashi and Mao Asada were the first two skaters to sweep both singles titles for Japan, doing so at the 2010 world championships.
Twenty years after leaving the Salt Lake City Games without a single figure skating medal, Japan captured half of the singles medals in Beijing through Yuma...
Sui and Han skated to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and opened with a quadruple twist that may have proved decisive in the end.
“We want everybody to see the splendor, the beauty of figure skating, and also to show the style of Chinese skaters,” Sui said.
Strong performances by Kaori Sakamoto in the women’s free skate and Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara in the pairs free skate secured the historic medal.
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.
Both champions won by wide margins over the second-place finishers.
American Vincent Zhou and Japanese teenager Mana Kawabe are both in second place heading into the free skate.
“Everything is improving now and technically spiritual,” Uno said. “The most important thing I have practiced is the quadruple salchow.”