Reigning ISU World Champion Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) won her first Skate America title in style, taking gold with 11 points to spare. ISU World Junior Champion Isabeau Levito (USA) celebrated a successful debut at the senior Grand Prix level with the silver medal while Amber Glenn (USA) earned the bronze, which is the first Grand Prix medal of her career.
Skating to “Elastic Heart” by Sia, Sakamoto reeled off six clean triple jumps including a triple flip-triple toe combination in the second half of the program as well as three level four spins. She only under-rotated a triple toe loop in combination with a double Axel. The 2018 ISU Four Continents Champion set a season’s best score of 145.89 points to total 217.61 points.
“This is actually my fifth time to come to Skate America and the first time to win a gold medal,” Sakamoto said.
“So I’m truly delighted about that. After the Short Program I was very determined to make sure I could to my triple-triple combination and I focused on that.”
Levito’s performance to “My Sweet and Tender Beast” included four strong triples, but her opening triple Lutz was somewhat shaky and she slightly underrotated a triple toe. The reigning World Junior Champion picked up 135.36 points, a new season’s best, which gave her 206.66 points overall.
“It is my first Grand Prix and it was really cool it was here in front of a home crowd in America,” the 15-year-old noted.
“I feel like I did pretty good in my Short Program. My long program definitely was not as good in my opinion, I definitely made mistakes here. But I’m still happy with the experience.”
Glenn went for a triple Axel in her routine to “Without You”, but under-rotated and stepped out of it. She went on to complete six clean triple jumps and set a personal Free Skate best of 129.19 points; overall she had 197.61 points.
“The Short Program was pretty good but I feel like left a lot on the table in the Free Skate. There were some obvious mistakes and some not so obvious ones. I felt like I held back and played it safe. But I’m very happy with the result and proud to have my first Grand Prix medal,” Glenn told the post-event press conference.
2022 ISU Four Continents silver medalist Haein Lee (KOR) remained in fourth place (179.50 points) followed by Ekaterina Kurakova (POL) on 178.68 points and former US Champion Gracie Gold (174.09 points).
Skate America in Norwood (USA) October 21-23 is the first of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.
More than 150 Skaters/Couples representing 29 ISU Members have been invited. The maximum number of entries for each event is 12 Ladies, 12 Men, 8 Pairs and 10 Ice Dance couples.
The Skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2022. Skaters/Couples who have placed 1 to 6 in each of the four categories are seeded and assigned to two events. Skaters/Couples who have placed 7-12 at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships are selected for two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events, and Skaters with a top 24 Seasonal Best Scores (from the 2021/22 season) as well as those placed in the top 24 of the ISU World Standings can also be invited. If available, medalists from the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships can also be selected.
In order for a Skater/Couple to be eligible to compete at an ISU Grand Prix event, a minimum total score must have been achieved in the 2021/22 or current 2022/23 season in an ISU event (Grand Prix, Junior Grand Prix, Championships) or a Challenger Series event. Exceptions apply to host country Skaters, previously ranked Skaters or split ranked Couples who return with new partners. The minimum total score is 3/5 of highest score per discipline at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2022 and are as follows: Women: 141.65, Men: 187.49, Pairs: 132.65, Ice Dance: 137.89.
Following the IOC recommendation and in order to protect the integrity of ice skating competitions and for the safety of all the participants of international ice skating competitions, the ISU Council based on Article 17.1.q)i) of the ISU Constitution, agreed that with immediate effect and until further notice, no Skaters belonging to the ISU Members in Russia (Russian Skating Union and the Figure Skating Federation of Russia) and Belarus (Skating Union of Belarus) shall be invited or allowed to participate in International ice skating competitions including ISU Championships and other ISU Events. The same applies to Officials listed in the respective ISU Communications and/or Regulations under Russia and Belarus.