Figure skater Nicole Schott: in seventh place in the flow – sport
Nicole Schott was stunned by herself and her fabulous jumps. You could see that after the final pirouette of her “Bohemian Rhapsody”. She had been working towards such a feat all her life, then in front of a big crowd at Saitama Stadium in Japan, she made her sixth World Championship appearance: two flawless programs in short and free skating, flawless landings on a runner after seven free skating and combinations, from the triple -Rittberger to triple flip. Finally, ratings from the judges who did justice to their maturity, elegance and expressiveness on the ice. “I’ve never run so perfectly,” she said later, still a little surprised: “I was in full flow.”
It is Nicole Schott’s greatest success to date, the seven-time German champion. She finished the championship in Japan as the seventh best figure skater in the world and raised her peak performance on points to a personal record of 197.76. As the numbers lit up as she sat in the kiss-and-cry corner, she fell into the arms of her Oberstdorf coach, Michael Huth.
Kaori Sakamoto, 22, is crowned world champion again
The second best European was Nicole Schott in Japan, and that cannot be overestimated for a 26-year-old athlete competing in the figure skating must have sometimes felt like in children’s sports in recent years. That’s why she saw the placement as a reward for her perseverance, her consistency over the years: “When you’re of a certain age, you show that you can still achieve a lot.”
In the absence of the three best Russians, including Anna Shcherbakowa, who became Olympic champion in Beijing at the age of 17, Kaori Sakamoto, 22, became world champion like last year. The Olympic bronze medalist from Japan had already been ahead in the short program by a large margin and delighted her compatriots in the stands. On Friday, second-placed Lee Haein, 17, from South Korea showed the best freestyle ahead of 23-year-old Loena Hendrickx from Belgium, who came second at the European Championships. The European Champion, Anastassia Gubanova from Georgia, slid far behind Nicole Schott in fourteenth place in the ranking.
Previously, the German ice dance champions Jennifer Janse van Rensburg and Benjamin Steffan, who like Schott train in Oberstdorf, qualified for the freestyle finals on Saturday (4.30 a.m.) with a lively rhythm dance at their World Championship debut. “We got through the program happy and well,” said Steffan. Last year, the ice dancing couple had to give up the World Cup for a short time due to a corona infection. The Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who were third at the World Championships, have taken the lead ahead of the Italians Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri and Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier from Canada.