Figure skating: Mihara edges Kihira for lead in women’s SP in France

Japan’s Mai Mihara seized top spot in the women’s short program on Friday at the Internationaux de France, edging out compatriot Rika Kihira to take a narrow lead in the sixth and final leg of this season’s Grand Prix series.

Mihara scored 67.95 points ahead of Kihira in second spot with 67.64. Russian two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva was third with 67.55 and Japan’s Marin Honda had a personal-best short program score of 65.37 for fourth.

Skating to «It’s Magic», Mihara nailed a triple flip and a double axel but under-rotated her triple lutz-triple toeloop.

(Mai Mihara)

«I am disappointed that I under-rotated my triple combination jump. My target was to score at least 70 points and I wasn’t able to reach it,» said Mihara.

«Hopefully I will be able to produce my best-ever performance in the free skate.»

Skating to «Clair de Lune,» 16-year-old Kihira, who won the NHK Trophy earlier this month on her Grand Prix debut, had a triple flip-triple toe and a triple lutz but singled her planned triple axel.

«I was in a good state mentally so it (the triple axel miss) was a technical issue. I really want to try to turn things around in the free skate,» said Kihira.

(Rika Kihira)

Jason Brown of the United States took the lead in the men’s short program with 96.41 while Japan’s Keiji Tanaka was eighth with 79.35.

(Keiji Tanaka)

All — Kyodo News+

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