Japan’s figure skating phenom Mao Asada took home the women’s title of the ISU Grand Prix meet on Saturday night at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Gym, her sixth straight Grand Prix win. The 24-year-old figure skating sensation season now has 13 Grand Prix titles for her career, tying her with five-time world champion Michelle Kwan of the United States and clinching a spot in the Grand Prix Finals in December. This certainly gives her a boost in confidence as the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics approaches, and the possibility of competing with her archrival, South Korean Kim Yu-Na in February.
Asada, who took the silver medal behind her South Korean nemesis at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, won the Grand Prix title in Tokyo despite some problems with her trademark 3.5-revolution triple axel. “Since Vancouver I have repeatedly re-adjusted my jumps from scratch,” the 2008 and 2010 world champion said, saying she now felt more confident as a result. “Now I’m finally beginning to feel the effect of what I have gained in the three years since Vancouver.” Asada is definitely confident about the improvement in her routines, especially now that she doesn’t fall as much. “I could show during the Sochi Olympics that I’ve taken a step or two forward in my development since my last competition,” Asada added.
For Asada, February may be near but she still sees room for improvement. “I still have to get better from a technical aspect,” she said. Even though she had some bobbles and problems in her jumps during her routine, she still managed to draw a high score because of the level of difficulty. Asada is willing to push for a higher level of difficulty. Her silver medal in Vancouver owed much to three triple axels she landed in two routines, the only woman to have done so. Asada said she might repeat the same feat in Sochi. “I have come to believe I can land two triple axels in the free skate.”
[via Business Recorder]