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Sakamoto Kaori Wins Japan’s Skater of the Year for Third Time

Japan Best Skater 2024

The Japan Skating Federation honored the first woman in 56 years to win three consecutive figure skating world championships for her outstanding achievements during the 2023-24 season.

Sakamoto Kaori capped her outstanding 2023-24 season by winning the Skater of the Year award at the Japan Skating Federation awards ceremony on Wednesday (24 April).

Sakamoto is the first woman since Peggy Fleming in 1968 to clinch the World Figure Skating Championships three years in a row, matching Asada Mao for the most wins by a Japanese woman.

The 24-year-old also won her first Grand Prix Final in December in Beijing and earned her third consecutive Japanese national title.

Kaori Sakamoto Grand Prix

Sakamoto’s victory in Montreal last month marked her seventh win in seven competitions this season, and the award on Wednesday topped off her achievements.

“My goal this season was to win both the World championships and the nationals for the third consecutive year, and I did it,” Sakamoto said. “I’m really happy it was acknowledged.

“I started the season strong and maintained my performance. Before the nationals, I won the Grand Prix Final for the first time and entered the nationals with momentum.”

Sakamoto noted that the 2024-25 season will be critical as it is the second last before the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026.

“I want next season to be a foundation for the Olympics, rather than just aiming for a fourth consecutive win. That’s where the focus will be.

“The season before the Olympics is incredibly crucial. I have to train harder than before and refine my skills.”

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