Japan’s Kao Miura put in a commanding performance to win the men’s singles short program at the 2022 Skate America event outside Boston on 21 October. His overall excellence on the night, and a massive quadruple salchow, saw the former Japanese junior national champion within touching distance of the first major title on offer this year.

Miura (94.96), who won bronze in this year’s Four Continents Championships, will aim to keep up the form in Saturday’s men’s free skate. But Junhwan Cha of South Korea (94.44) and Daniel Grassl of Italy (88.43) – in second and third respectively after outstanding short programs – are within striking distance.

Team USA’s Ilia Malinin, who earlier this season became the first skater to land a quad Axel in competition, fell on his quad toe loop and finished fourth with 86.06 points.

“Today was very good. I was in top shape and my body was moving as I wished it would,” said the 17-year-old Miura, surprise winner on the night. “I’m asking myself how am I sitting here [as the short-program winner], but I did everything I should have done and the results were there.”

“I’m happy with my performance today,” said second-place finisher Cha, who just barely missed out on top spot. “I made some mistakes on my jumps but I tried my best and I worked hard until my program finished. After a good rest, I’ll be braver for tomorrow [for the free skate].”

Knierim/Frazier soar in pairs short

The American team of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier were dominant earlier in the night as they swept the competition away in the pairs short program with a score of 75.19

The defending world champions put in a powerful performance and brought the crowd at the Tenley E. Albright Performance Center of the Skating Club of Boston to its feet. It was a showing that proved, once again, why they are the premier pairs figure skating team with the Winter Games in Milano Cortina 2026 looming on a distant horizon.

“We’re so happy to be back on competitive ice. It’s been a while since I felt that high sensitivity of competing and it was a fun and cool experience,” said a smiling Knierim. Her partner was in full agreement – and equally enthusiastic: “There was a lot of positivity out there tonight,” said Frazier. “It was a bit of a fight but there was a lot of good to take from our short program.”

The Canadian team of Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps (73.05) head into the pairs free skate in second after a short program that also inspired a standing ovation. Letizia Roscher and Luis Schuster of Germany (54.87) are in distant third at the halfway mark of the pairs competition.

Starting Gate for Grand Prix Series

The 2022 Skate America event continues through the weekend with a busy schedule on Saturday 22 October that sees the rhythm dance and women’s short programs followed by the pairs and men’s free skate.

The Boston-area event, which marks the start of the major competition calendar as the first of six Grand Prix Series of Figure Skating events in October and November, concludes on Sunday 23 October with the free dance and women’s free skate.

Winners will be crowned in four disciplines – men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs and ice dance.

Skate America, a fixture on the scene since the inaugural go-round in 1979 in Lake Placid, kicks off the traditional Olympic four-year cycle that will culminate in northern Italy in the winter of 2026.

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