Mao Asada’s quest for the Winter Olympic gold ended when she fell on a triple Axel jump in the team event short program on Wednesday in Sochi. While the 2010 silver-medalist was the only one who attempted the difficult 3.5 revolution jump, she failed to land flawlessly costing her deductions.
Her 2-minute and 40-second routine also lacked technicality when she traded a triple loop for a double loop and excluded combination jumps. She ended at the 16th spot after scoring a low 55.51 points, which was 20 points below her personal best. Asada said that she was unable to do what she visualized while on the skating rink. “My timing was off. I couldn’t move the way I wanted to out there,” described the 23-year old. This is the last Olympics for Asada and she only hopes to perform better on the free skate program to move their standings up. “I couldn’t do any of the things I’ve been working on in training. Once I started the program, I couldn’t control my emotions and my body. My only option is to skate the free to the best of my ability,” she said.
Asada’s idol is the 1992 Olympic silver medalist Midori Ito, who was the first woman to land a triple Axel in competition. She noted that, “There is some risk involved with the Axel but I want to do it. I don’t consider the triple to be a burden at all. It actually gives me something to shoot for and it defines me.” While her fellow teammates also suffered setbacks in their performance with Akiko Suzuki ending at eighth and Kanako Murakami at fifteenth spot, all three are determined to do better at the free skate event and move up the rankings. They were hoping to add another figure skating gold medal to Japan’s tally after Yuzuru Hanyu won the country’s first gold medal in both figure skating and the 2014 Winter Olympics.
[via Global Post]