After being sidelined for the entire second half of last season, Japan’s reigning national champion Satoko Miyahara came roaring back to claim the gold medal at 2015 Skate America in late November.
Performing to ″Memoirs of a Geisha″ and wearing a pink dress, reminiscent of the famous Japanese sakura (cherry blossom trees), Miyahara hit a triple loop, double Axel, level-four spins and footwork, but stepped out of the back end of her triple Lutz-triple toe combination.
The 2015 world silver medalist earned a season high score of 70.72. ″I am very happy to get these points, but I am not really satisfied with today’s performance. I still have a lot of things to do and I want to work on them more,″ the 19-year-old said. ″My condition and my feeling of skating is getting better and better day by day.″
Miyahara went on to win the event with a strong long program performance to “Madame Butterfly,” reeling off seven clean triple jumps, including a triple Lutz-triple toe combination as well as Level 4 spins and footwork. The Japanese champion posted a new season’s best of 143.31 points for a total of 214.03.
″I am very happy and satisfied with today’s performance and to get my best scores,″ said Miyahara. ″After the injury, this is the first big step. The most important event, the Japanese nationals, are coming next month. I’ll keep working hard to be able to do my best.″
Miyahara went on to win NHK Trophy a few weeks later and headed to her first senior Grand Prix Final ranked third overall. Though she executed an almost clean short, her program component scores had her in fourth by a slim margin of 0.37 behind third-place finisher Mao Asada.
Miyahara stepped it up in the free, executing a flawless performance that included seven triple jumps. She earned a new personal best score and moved up to second with 208.85 points. “I could have done better in the short, but I did better today,” the 17-year-old Kyoto native said. “I was nervous at first, but when I got the first jump, I thought, ‘OK, I can do this.’”