Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov are crowned pairs world champions; Hanyu Yuzuru takes the lead in the men’s singles. Follow along with all the news, action, and updates from Stockholm.
Hello and welcome to the second day of competition at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 in Stockholm on Thursday, 25 March.
Olympic Channel is live blogging the event all week, and today we’ll be bringing you all the action, updates, and news from the men’s singles short program and pairs free skate.
In case you missed it, here’s how Thursday’s results shook out.
Pairs – Final result (See full results here)
GOLD – Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov (FSR) – 227.59
SILVER – Sui Wenjing and Han Cong (CHN) – 225.71
BRONZE – Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii (FSR) – 217.63
Fourth – Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (FSR) – 212.76
Fifth – Peng Cheng and Jin Yang (CHN) – 201.18
Men’s – Short program (See full results here)
First – Hanyu Yuzuru (JPN) – 106.98
Second – Kagiyama Yuma (JPN) – 100.96
Third – Nathan Chen (USA) – 98.85
Fourth – Mikhail Kolyada (FSR) – 93.52
Fifth – Keegan Messing (CAN) – 93.51
Sixth – Uno Shoma (JPN) – 92.62
Seventh – Jason Brown (USA) – 91.25
Eighth – Cha Junhwan (KOR) – 91.15
You can re-live all the action below.
All times are local to host country Sweden (Central European Time/CET).
Please refresh the page for latest updates. Most recent updates first.
10:53pm – Reaction from medallists
After an interminable wait, here’s what the podium finishers have to say.
“After the short program, we didn’t have any pressure. We did it almost clean so we were happy about our short program and we just prepared for our free, we didn’t feel nervous or anything,” Mishina says.
“This was our first competition of the season so we didn’t have a lot of pressure; this made us improve in the free program,” Han Cong responds.
“We didn’t have any pressure or more motivation. We just tried to concentrate on our work and tried to do our best, but okay, [today] happened. I think places are not the main thing that we have [in our mind],” Boikova adds.
That was such a dramatic end to a dramatic day of skating. The men’s short program, of course, in which Hanyu Yuzuru was impervious but Nathan Chen suffered his first fall in nearly three years, then this evening’s late shock in the pairs.
Tomorrow, we’ll have the ice dance rhythm dance and ladies’ free skate.
Do join us from around 10:50 am local time.
10:25pm – Press conference
While we wait for the press conference to start, you can check out Nick’s report of the pairs final here.
10:09pm – Victory ceremony
The victory ceremony is underway.
With the Covid protocols in place, the skaters are meant to put their medals on themselves. Boikova and Kozlovskii opt to put each other’s on. That’s a nice touch.
Here come Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, who do the same after a handshake. Then a hug. A well-deserved silver medal.
And the new world champions, being introduced as such for the first time.
The 2021 world pairs skating champions, Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov.
They, too, award each other’s medals.
Now, the FSR “anthem”, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, as Galliamov nods his head along to the opening bars.
10:01pm – Here are your champions
“We’re really surprised to come in first, I don’t know what to say for the moment because we don’t understand it yet,” Mishina says in English.
“First of all thanks to everybody who supported us, maybe we didn’t have anyone here but we know a lot of people watched on television and we felt the support.”
How will they celebrate?
“We will go to sleep!”
So, the pair that skated to We Are The Champions are the new world champions!
They are the fifth pair representing the Soviet Union, Russia, or the Russian Figure Skating Federation to win the title in their senior Worlds debut.
Time for the victory ceremony, and for the first time, we will hear Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
9:56pm – It’s only bronze! Mishina/Galliamov are champions!
So, here we go. The short program leaders, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii.
Having watched lots of the Russians this season covering the Russian Cup and Channel One Cup events for Olympic Channel, I’ve always been impressed by them.
What do they have for us today with this James Bond-themed skate?
Triple Salchow to open, lovely.
Oh no! A fall from Boikova on the combination! It was meant to be a triple toe, double toe, double toe but Boikova falls on the triple. An opening for Mishina and Galliamov?
No problem on the triple twist, scored a level four.
Uh oh, the throw triple flip sees Boikova end up on her knee. She didn’t put her hands down – not sure if that’s going to be scored a second fall.
But the door is well and truly open for Mishina and Galliamov now.
Nicely recovered on the throw triple loop.
They finish out the routine well, but what a shame! This was theirs for the taking and they may well find themselves down to third, perhaps even behind Sui and Han.
Let’s see. It’s 137.47, fourth in the free and 217.63, bronze overall. Mishina and Galliamov share a hug in the winner’s circle as Boikova shrugs her shoulders.
So: GOLD to Mishina/Galliamov, SILVER to Sui/Han, BRONZE to Boikova/Kozlovskii
9:48pm – Second at best for Sui/Han
The defending champions, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong. They need to score some 149 points to take the overall lead.
No issues with the triple twist lift, graded a level four, that was sublime.
Triple toe, double toe, double toe. Looked like Sui might have had the triple marked down.
The first throw jump, a triple Salchow, is nicely done. But the pair triple Salchow isn’t clean – Han had to use his free foot for balance; Sui’s jump looked under.
Throw triple flip to round out the jumps and that’s beautifully done.
This is such an emotive skate, it works really nicely with their choice of music, Rain, In Your Black Eyes.
For a pair that haven’t been able to skate for over a year, that was still very good. A huge hug from Sui for Han as their routine ends.
They need 149.98 to overtake the Russians. It is a… 148.09, second in the free skate, and second behind Mishina and Galliamov!
9:40pm – Mishina and Galliamov impress
Here come Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, skating to Queen.
Love a good routine to Bohemian Rhapsody.
They open with a triple Sal, single Euler, triple Sal combination – but the synchro was way off on that.
Nice triple twist lift, followed by a clean throw triple Lutz. Triple toe loop side by side, much better on the timing of the synchronisation there.
Now the music segues into We Are the Champions as they complete their pair spin.
The last jump element, the throw triple loop, is clean. Superb control from Galliamov on the Group 4 Lift, and then the pair are superb in their final choreo sequence.
That was beautiful. What a way to end their senior Worlds debut. Lots of cheers from the other skaters in the stands. I certainly enjoyed that; not sure if you’d find anyone who didn’t.
This will be a podium finish for Mishina and Galliamov as Tarasova and Morozov look at each other nervously in the winner’s circle. I think the latter pair know they’re about to be toppled here.
A slight delay in announcing the scores. The judges are clearly looking something over.
It’s a 151.80 for the segment; 227.59 total. A huge new personal best for the pair!
9:30pm – Still no jump combinations landed…
The first of our three FSR pairs is the experienced Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.
Lovely clean triple Salchow to open, then the triple twist lift which is beautifully executed.
But problems on the combination! Tarasova turns out of the triple toeloop – downgraded? – so Morozov’s attempted double toe after doesn’t matter. That’s four pairs in a row now that have failed to complete their combination.
The first throw is not clean either, as Tarasova puts her hands down on the triple loop for balance; the landing of the second – a triple Salchow – is held on to.
The technical quality of their routine is strong enough here to see them into first for now but I’m sure they will be bitterly disappointed as they’re facing a non-podium finish.
Sochi 2014 pairs champion Maxim Trankov, their coach, looks nonplussed as he greets them off the ice.
141.30 for the free skate, which is first for the segment; that’s a total of 212.76 which is provisional first place.
Here’s what Morozov had to say in the mixed zone, with thanks to our Olympic Channel Russian language colleagues for the translation:
“We were calm as at the practice, without nerves. May be we were excited a little bit because of judges and the level of competition; at this competition it makes sense.
“We made the same mistake as in short. In general we skated not bad, we could skate better but it was okay.”
9:15pm – The jumping woes don’t stop
China’s Peng Cheng and Jin Yang, skating to the Cloud Atlas soundtrack. They’re coached by Zhao Hongbo, the 2010 Olympic pairs champion.
Can they stop this unfortunate run of jumping issues?
What should be a triple Salchow to open is doubled.
Then a triple toe, double toe combination is landed by Jin but not Peng, who falls on the triple.
They recover with their first clean element, the triple twist; then the throw triple loop is good. Their final jump, a throw triple Sal, is clean too.
Everything else, so good. The music and choreography works. Such a shame on the first two jumps.
You know what they say about “cursed ice”. Let’s hope that’s not the case for the remaining four pairs as all four teams in Group 4 faced problems with their jumps.
129.86 for second in the free; 201.18 overall does see them past Moore-Towers and Marinaro.
9:07pm – More jumping problems
Here’s the other USA pair, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc.
The triple twist lift catch looked late and pretty low. Triple loop, albeit perhaps LeDuc was ahead on the synchronisation there. Or did Cain-Gribble pop it?
The first throw jump, a triple Lutz, is landed as Cain-Gribble holds on.
Uh-oh, more jumping issues. What was meant to be a triple Sal, double toe, double loop combination turns into a double Salchow as Cain-Gribble popped the first jump and then stepped out of the landing.
They recover with a throw triple Salchow landed nicely.
Problems for both American teams.
It’s 120.37, fourth in the free; an overall total of 185.31, fourth for now. I suspect they will have hoped for better.
8:59pm – Jump issues continue
The first American pair on the ice is Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier.
Their triple twist is fine, but the triple toe loop goes wrong. That was meant to be in combination with a double toe.
Throw triple loop isn’t clean either – looks like Knierim’s free foot hit the ice.
Struggles on the triple Salchow too as Knierim turns out of it.
One jump left to salvage something from this. And they nail it! Lovely throw triple flip.
No complaints with any of the lifts or spins, they’ve been solid. The music worked nicely too. Unfortunately the jumps today just weren’t there.
I’m sure the pair will take something out of their first Worlds together though.
127.43 for the free; that gives them a total of 192.10, second for now.
Here’s what Knierim had to say in the mixed zone afterwards:
“I feel like I let down the team. I made too many mistakes. I’ve never been more prepared for a skating event in my skating career.
“I went into the program… I didn’t really feel like the Alexa that I am when I usually compete, I wasn’t dialled in.”
8:51pm – Miura struggles with jumps
Here we go with the first of the top eight pairs after yesterday, Japan’s Miura Riku and Kihara Ryuichi.
They are coached, in part, by two-time world champion Meagan Duhamel of Canada.
The opening triple twist lift looks good. No complaints.
A pair triple toe, double toe, double toe. But Miura doubles the triple.
The first throw jump, a triple Lutz, looks wobbly. Triple Salchow, side by side. Miura looked shaky again.
Miura falls on the second throw jump, a triple loop.
Kihara looks completely spent at the end of that routine. I’m sure Duhamel and their other coach Bruno Marcotte, who greets them coming off the ice, will have things to work on. But they looked decent this week, and given pairs is a weak spot for Japan, a top-10 here would be impressive.
It’s 120.04 for the free skate, Kihara looks very happy with that. It’s 184.41 total. With seven pairs left, this is a top 10 finish.
8:23pm – Canada’s Moore-Towers/Marinaro lead through 12 pairs
Redemption for Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro after yesterday’s disappointing short program, as they go into the overall lead with 195.29 points through three groups.
They are followed by Italy’s Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise, who put together two decent skates here this week and will be pleased with their efforts.
Now time for the ice to be resurfaced, and we’ll be back with routine-by-routine coverage of the medal hopefuls when Group 4 hits the ice.
7:45pm – Germans Hocke/Kunkel lead through first two groups
A quick check on the pairs final with eight of our 20 final pairs having already skated.
Germany’s Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel, who were 13th in yesterday’s short program, currently lead the overall with 162.81 points.
Hungary’s Ioulia Chtchetina and Mark Magyar lead the free skating segment scores with 106.66 points.
7:30pm – Olympic qualifier
Don’t forget, these World Championships serve as an Olympic qualifying event for the Beijing 2022 Games next winter.
Today’s pairs final, therefore, will see the first potentially 16 spots secured by the respective countries and federations.
Pairs will earn Olympic spots for their country, not for themselves by name.
6:45pm – Welcome back
Welcome back to Stockholm!
The pairs’ free skating is now underway. As a reminder, as part of Covid-19 protocols, there was no draw for the skating order in the free program.
Instead, the pairs will skate in reverse order of their finish in yesterday’s short program.
What that means is this is how the top two groups shape up to go:
Miura Riku / Kihara Ryuichi, JPN, skating to Woman by Shaun Phillips
Alex Knierim / Brandon Frazier, USA, skating to Fall on Me by Andrea Bocelli and Immersive Light of Love by Karl Hugo
Ashley Cain-Gribble / Timothy LeDuc, USA, skating to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2
Peng Cheng / Jin Yang, CHN, skating to the soundtrack from Cloud Atlas
Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov, FSR, skating to Adagio in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni
Anastasia Mishina / Aleksandr Galliamov, FSR, skating to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Defending champions Sui Wenjing / Han Cong, CHN, skating to Rain, In Your Black Eyes by Ezio Bosso
Aleksandra Boikova / Dmitrii Kozlovskii, FSR, skating to a James Bond soundtrack musical medley
5:15pm – Press conference reaction
Hanyu has been speaking in the press conference about his routine, set to Let Me Entertain You, as well as his reaction to his performance.
“It’s something that we wanted everybody to enjoy. It would have been an even better program if we had a live audience clapping. But everybody’s tuning in on the Internet and on TV, and I can feel that.
“Of course, I thought about a piano piece first, but I know I am very good at expressing piano music. This rock music brings out the pulse that I feel and the breath I take and I enjoy expressing all of that.”
Answering a question from our own Nick McCarvel, Hanyu said:
“I was more relaxed compared to nationals [but] I was more focused and more nervous, too.
“This is the World Championships after all. All skaters are going to bring out their best skating. I knew that I had to skate my best, which is what I wanted to achieve.”
Time for a quick break now but we’ll be back later around 6:15 pm for the pairs free program.
4:43pm – Chen reacts
Nick McCarvel reports:
Nathan Chen spoke in the mixed zone to reporters: “I’m glad I had this opportunities to learn from mistakes and the things I did well, too. [The fall is] disappointing. I made a big mistake right off of the bat. I had to figure out how to regroup. Mistakes happen. I’m glad I had this opportunity to learn from and move forward.”
How did he recover after his fall? “My second jump was a planned combo, which helped. You sort of lose your rhythm. In a clean program, the rest of the program goes on autopilot, but after a fall you have to analyze quickly.”
Does he like ‘skating from behind’ to start the free? “Medals are things that are out of my control. I feel like I am putting myself in the wrong mental state if I focus on that. I’m going to take some time to analyze what happened with the quad Lutz and do it better… to succeed at the jump. It’s in the free skate, too. Whatever the results are, I want to skate better, be better.”
4:23pm – Hanyu leads after short program
So, last up – Eteri Tutberidze’s one student in this competition, Morisi Kvitelashvili.
Quad Sal, triple toe attempt to open but he spins out of the Salchow. Gets the toeloop off though.
Steps out of his triple Axel, too. Not going well here.
And the quad toe to end sees him put his hands down. It’s all gone wrong.
Is this the opening Vincent Zhou needed? To qualify for the free skate, the Kvitelashvili needs to better 70.74; if he scores less than 70.51, Zhou will squeak in.
It’s 74.66, so the Georgian does qualify for the free skate and the USA will only have two in the free!
Hanyu, Kagiyama, and Chen the top three.
Our report is here.
4:16pm – Chen falls!
Daniel Grassl slots into provisional 13th after putting his free foot down on his triple Axel and hanging on to his triple Lutz.
His compatriot Matteo Rizzo has better luck; despite struggling on his opening quad toe, he’ll slot into 10th.
Two left, starting with Nathan Chen.
A Spanish-inspired routine here for the American, who falls on his quad Lutz!
That was meant to be his combo, too. Recovers with a solid triple Axel.
Chen had a quad toe planned for later in his skate, which he’ll now need to make the combination.
And he switches things up, going for a quad flip, triple toe. +3.14 GOE on that, very nicely done. Good recovery.
That’s such an impressive routine but that throws a huge spanner in the works for Chen to defend his title now!
Hands on his head.
It’s 98.85, third below the two Japanese.
3:58pm – Hanyu entertains into the lead
Time for Hanyu Yuzuru. Coach Brian Orser has a Pooh bear holding a yuzu fruit (a Japanese citrus) by the boards.
He’s skating to Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You, in a black outfit.
Quad Sal to open. Lovely.
Quad toe, triple toe combination. No complaints, nailed it.
Wow, that triple Axel is nearly perfect! 3.4+ on the live GOE from the judges.
He ends on his knees with his arms outstretched. What a routine! A big grin on his face, he looks delighted.
A standing ovation from some of the other skaters sitting in the stands. That’s when you know you’ve nailed it.
Watching the replay now and Orser could not contain himself on the boards!
This should see him past Kagiyama into the lead.
It’s 106.98 points, six points clear of Kagiyama.
3:52pm – Brown leads off final group
Jason Brown up first.
He’s skating to Sinnerman by Nina Simone, choreo’d by Rohene Ward.
Nice triple flip to start, and he lands the triple Axel without difficulty.
The combination – triple Lutz, triple toe – is nailed.
Good stuff from the American. Coach Tracy Wilson is happy!
Brown blows kisses to his teammates watching in the crowd.
91.25 points, Brown nods contentedly.
3:42pm – No fans, still lots of Pooh bears
There may not be any fans in attendance in Stockholm this year, but the Winnie the Pooh bears will still be there for Hanyu Yuzuru.
A fan of his in Switzerland has started an online campaign for her fellow “Fanyus” to buy a Pooh bear online and donate it on Hanyu’s behalf to Stockholm’s Astrid Lindgrens Children’s Hospital.
The hospital says it has started to receive the gifts from across the world.
What a lovely touch.
3:37pm – Last group up
A hug from Stéphane Lambiel as Deniss Vasiljevs comes off the ice.
Not the cleanest skate but no major errors.
No quads, however, so this won’t place in the upper reaches.
It’s 81.22 for 10th with six left to skate.
Up next, the final group, featuring both Hanyu Yuzuru and defending champion Nathan Chen.
3:31pm – Messing pleased
Quad toe, triple toe beautifully executed from Canada’s Keegan Messing to open his skate, set to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect.
Triple Axel. No complaints, solid landing.
And a brilliant triple Lutz. This is such a composed skate from Messing, the Alaskan representing his mother’s birth country.
Loved it. So elegant. A smile, a high-five, and a hug as he comes off the ice from coach Ralph Burghart.
93.51 points, just off his personal best, and he’s happy with that.
3:25pm – Aymoz bemused
Kévin Aymoz opens with a quad toe, albeit not in combination as originally listed.
He’s decided to add the triple toe to a triple Lutz, having originally been down for a quad Sal.
Triple Axel, lands off balance and he spins out of it but prevents the fall.
Lots of energy in that, and Aymoz loves it! Jumps up and down on the ice in delight after the music ends. He’s pleased!
It’s 88.24, fifth currently, and he looks slightly bemused.
Still, not bad for his first major competition since he struggled at last year’s Europeans.
“I’m really happy with what I did because I took my revenge over the European Championships,” he said after his skate. “I’m not really happy with the scores, but I messed things up in the program, so those are fair. I’ve got to fight in the free skate to stay in the top ten.”
3:20pm – No luck for Jin
So here we go, Jin Boyang, the fourth-place finisher at PyeongChang 2018.
Let’s see what working with Orser and Wilson has done for him.
Falls on his opening quad Lutz, which was meant to be in a combination with a triple toe. So he’ll have to adjust, which he does by performing a quad toe, double toe. Not cleanly, however.
He gets the triple Axel off cleanly, at least.
What a shame for the Chinese who has had a tough couple of years since the last Olympic Games.
It’s 77.95, good for 11th at the moment.
3:12pm – Orser happy with Cha; Uno falls
First up to skate, Korean national champion Junhwan Cha.
Opens with the quad Salchow, nicely done.
Triple Lutz with a triple loop to follow although the judges weren’t overly convinced by something, judging by the lower – although positive – GOEs that received.
Clean triple Axel closes Cha’s jumping passes. Coach Brian Orser looks pretty pleased as he greets Cha coming off the ice.
91.15 slots him into a provisional third.
So, up next, Uno Shoma, now training with Stéphane Lambiel.
Quad flip. Lands clean, held on. Lovely quad toe, double toe combination, although he was originally listed for a quad-triple combo.
Unfortunately, Uno falls on his triple Axel. So, that fall probably cost him around five points at least.
However that 92.62 still puts him ahead of Cha.
“Honestly when I looked at my last triple Axel in the replay, I think I could have landed that. So I really feel regretful,” Uno told the media afterwards.
“But overall, the short program was really fun to skate. And I think I was well grounded overall. So I have nothing to complain about.
“I couldn’t land jumps since I got here. I wasn’t so frustrated or agitated, but I was wondering what was going on. And all of a sudden during the six-minute warmup, I was able to land them miraculously. So I really didn’t know what was happening and just performed the short program.”
2:52 pm – Last two groups
The ice has been resurfaced and we’re ready to go with warm-ups for Group 5.
In this group: Cha Jun-hwan, Uno Shoma, Jin Boyang, Kévin Aymoz, Keegan Messing, and Deniss Vasiljevs.
Intriguingly, Jin’s ISU profile now shows him being coached jointly by his Chinese-based coaches Fu Caishu and Xu Zhaoxiao, but also Toronto-based Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson.
2:38pm – Zhou falters
So, here he is, the final skater of Group 4: Vincent Zhou.
He’s skating to Vincent (Starry Starry Night).
Uh oh, an attempted Rippon quad Lutz and he falls. That’s going to be a downgrade on the Lutz.
Quad Sal, triple toe combination is marked down too. Underrotated on the Sal? He looks nervous after that fall.
And a second fall on his triple Axel. Zhou is going to be in serious trouble here.
He gives a wave in the kiss and cry.
70.51 points, currently outside of the free skate cutoff.
Here’s what he’s had to say in the virtual mixed zone:
“It’s always better to talk about it than drown in my own misery. I felt strong and grounded in the warm-up.
“When I went out onto the ice [to skate], I was really nervous. My legs… I had stomach butterflies, but in my whole body. I felt stiff. My mental script was saying, ‘Shut up, you’re here to do your job.’
“Sometimes it’s not your day… probably the worst day for that to happen [to me]. I’m going to use today to grow from and come back stronger next time.”
If he doesn’t make the free skate?
“Clearly that’s not a result that I even wanted to consider coming into this competition. It’s disappointing.
“To me, it feels like I let down my teammates and myself, but dwelling on those things is only going to make me feel worse. I’m probably going to be miserable and then not dwell on it. I can’t let today get to my head.”
2:21pm – Vincent Zhou looks for more hardware
Nick McCarvel reports:
Two years after American Vincent Zhou won his first world medal in 2019, the skater isn’t shying away from saying he’d like another, as he declared earlier this week in Stockholm ahead of competition.
He also told Olympic Channel in January that he’d like to win a medal in Beijing next year at the Winter Olympics. Beijing is a place he has close connections to, with all four of his grandparents living there.
“I know that I have what it takes to medal on a world stage, and if I can medal [there], why can’t I medal on an Olympic stage?” He said ahead of the U.S. Championships, where he went on to win silver. “I know that the stakes are higher, and people are going to be more well trained, but … I’m really trying my best to make sure everything comes together for that one moment in time, that one chance to put everything out there.”
He is the final skater in this group.
2:12pm – Kagiyama flawless on debut
Kagiyama Yuma, the Youth Olympic champion from 2020 and NHK Trophy winner this season, is up next.
He has two quads planned.
The first is neatly done, a quad Sal in combination with a triple toe. Over +3 on the GOE there.
A stunning quad toe, again scoring high GOEs.
And a triple Axel too! Superb stuff.
Kagiyama’s Vocussion program is beautiful. Lots of energy in it, completely clean. This will lead, in his first senior Worlds. Wow!
It’s over 100 points! A double first pump from Kagiyama! 100.96 points!
You’d never know, then, that he felt uncomfortable before skating.
“During the practice, I was having a hard time adjusting my speed and jump planning. Coming into the real competition, I didn’t really think about it. I just went out to put everything I had on the skating rink,” he told media afterwards.
“I thought coming into the World Championships, I’d be nervous and tense. But it turned out I wasn’t that nervous. Rather than being nervous, I was looking forward to skating and performing on the rink.
“I was able to do everything as I did at the practice. So I was glad. My score was 100. So there is nothing to say there and I am very happy. And before and after my performance, I spoke with my father. And before going onto the rink we said, ‘We came this far. So let’s make sure we’ll not regret anything.’
“And after my performance, I told him I am a little wobbly at my Axel, but I was able to overcome this. And my dad said I did good and there were no mistakes.”
1:45pm – Kolyada recovers from error to lead
Here comes Kolyada.
Quad toe, triple toe to open was not clean. Looked like he turned out of the quad and there was no real connection with the triple. That said, he did well to save the combination.
Recovers with a triple Axel, which he lands nicely. The live Grade of Execution was over 2 points for that, so no repeat of the troubles he had in The Hague.
Triple Lutz is clean.
The opening element has let Kolyada down here but the rest of that skate was pretty flawless.
I wonder what’s going through his mind right now?
It’s still a 93.52, very impressive, but that could have got closer to the 100 mark.
1:33pm – Semenenko into the lead
Semenenko, the big surprise winner of the Russian Cup Final to book his spot in Stockholm, opens with a great quad toe, triple toe combination.
He hangs on to the quad Salchow that follows but find himself marked down on his spin.
The triple Axel is held on too as well. Didn’t look the cleanest.
Not bad, all things considered, for the Russian junior national champion making his first real international appearance (not counting a sixth place at this year’s regionalised Rostelecom Cup).
He gets a handshake from coach Alexei Mishin as he comes off the ice.
That’s going to move him above Britschgi into first.
86.86, that will go down as his official senior personal best – and more than eight points clear of the Swiss.
1:20pm – Eyes on Kolyada
Good afternoon skating fans! It’s time for Group 3 of the men’s singles short program.
In this group, both men representing the Figure Skating Federation of Russia – Evgeni Semenenko and Mikhail Kolyada.
Kolyada is the Russian champion and has been in good form this year, but at his last outing at the Hague Challenge Cup struggled on his triple Axel in both programs.
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1:08pm – Lukas Britschgi leads after two groups
Two groups down, four to go. It’s time for an ice resurface and for a handover on the blog to ZK Goh. But first, here’s where we stand as of now:
Having been 34th at worlds in 2019 and failing to make the free skate, Switzerland’s Lukas Britschgi has confirmed his place in the final, skating to a career best by some 10 (!) points. He leads after two groups with a 78.27.
Veteran Alexei Bychenko, fourth at worlds in 2018, is second at 78.05, while home hope Nikolaj Majorov is third with an inspiring skate in front of an empty arena, scoring a 75.59. See my sentiments on what this meant for the Swede below.
OK, ZK, all Y-O-U!
12:44pm – Donovan Carrillo aims to inspire a nation
Mexico’s Donovan Carrillo is back at worlds for the third time, the lone skater representing the Latin American nation. He looks to be an inspiration for his country, which he says has no Olympic-sized skating rinks and only about 15-20 large-size sheets of ice.
He spoke to reporters after a personal best short program, which he scored a 73.91 for.
On his performance in the short program: “I’m happy to be back at worlds. It was hard to skate in the last year, but I’m happy to be able to get back to competitions. I want to do my best to qualify for the Olympics.”
On the Covid-19 restrictions he faced in Mexico: “We couldn’t skate from March to June because there were no rinks, they were all closed. They started to re-open the rinks in Monterrey, in the north. I trained there for one month, then went to Mexico City for two months. Then I was able to go back home in September.”
On trying the quad in the free: “I hopefully can try to do the quad – it will be my first time to do it in competition. [In practice], I’m working on the quad toe and Salchow, and I’ve been preparing before coming here. I wanted to be clean in the short. Hopefully I will try the toe.”
On wanting to be an inspiration for his country: “It’s one of my biggest goals, to help my country to make this sport bigger. I want to have more kids in the junior and senior levels competing for Mexico. Every time I’m here, it’s inspiring knowing kids are watching me from home on TV. We don’t have much ice [at home], but I want to do my best to show that you can achieve [this].
On who inspires him: “Javier Fernandez … What he has done for his country. He made skating so popular.”
12:29pm – Hanyu, Chen, Uno, Zhou and more set for fireworks
I said this on our Instagram live preview of worlds a few days ago with Meryl Davis, but I think the men’s field might be the deepest and most competitive of the four disciplines this year. That’s no disrespect to the others, but gosh… what a lineup!
Here are (some of) the big names to watch today:
Group 3 (1:20pm local): Yan Han, Kolyada
Group 4 (2pm): Kagiyama Yuma, Vincent Zhou
Group 5 (3pm): Cha Junhwan, Uno Shoma, Jin Boyang, Kevin Aymoz, Keegan Messing, Deniss Vasiljevs
Group 6 (3:45pm): Jason Brown, Hanyu Yuzuru, Daniel Grassl, Matteo Rizzo, Nathan Chen, Morisi Kvitelashvili
You can find the full starting list here, which also features updated scores and placement from the ISU.
11:53am – Day 2 kicks off with men’s short program
Did someone say, ‘More skating, please?’
Well if no one else did, I sure will after what was a thrilling Day 1 in Stockholm for worlds. How great is it to see top-level international figure skating at an event of this caliber after what has been such a tough season?
Nick McCarvel here to start Day 2 with all of you. Hi, hello and greetings from my kitchen table to wherever you’re watching from. Thanks for being along for the ride, and don’t hesitate to be in touch – I’m on Twitter here. Shout me a question or two and let me know where you’re watching from. ZK Goh will take over the blog later today.
Day 2 features the men’s short program and the pairs free later on, after the ladies and pairs kicked things off on Wednesday. What’d you miss yesterday? Anna Shcherbakova has a slim lead over Kihira Rika in the ladies’; while Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii are a free skate away from their first world title.
Thirty-three men to skate in the short, with 24 qualifying for the long program. Things will get interesting early and stay that way – Mikhail Kolyada, the skater from the Figure Skating Federation of Russia (FSR) slotted in to skate 14th.
That’s it for now – time to skate!