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Kao Miura Going for Gold at World Junior Championships, 2026 Olympics

Miura made it clear that he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Yuzuru Hanyu, the superstar he looked up to as a young boy, and win the Olympic gold medal.

CALGARY, Canada ― It has been a coming-of-age season for Kao Miura, so to speak, yet he is still only 17 years old. The young boy who came up as a powerful jumper has blossomed into a polished and talented all-around skater.

Following practice in the main rink on Tuesday afternoon, February 28, Miura spoke to JAPAN Forward in an exclusive interview and discussed his goals for this season and the future, and cited the skating legend whom he admired as a youth.

Miura enters the World Junior Championships having won the Four Continents Championships in Colorado in mid-February in impressive fashion. He said he is slowly rounding into shape here.

"Yesterday's practice was good, but today the performance was not so good," Miura stated in the Canadian province of Alberta. "But my condition is not bad. I still have two more days to train and I am confident."

The men's short program will be held on Thursday afternoon.

I asked the Tokyo native what were the keys to his success this campaign.

"At the beginning of the season, I came down with the [COVID-19] infection," Miura recalled. "While I was sick, my fellow competitors got good results. Their performance and results motivated me.

"In the Grand Prix series (Skate America, Skate Canada) I was able to get second place at both," Miura continued. "These results inspired me even more."

Yamamoto Provides Motivation for Miura

Miura noted that he drew further motivation from training with Grand Prix Final silver medalist Sota Yamamoto earlier this season.

"I practiced with Sota at the National Training Center in Kansai and competed with him in a local competition," Miura remarked. "We were able to train together for a while and he encouraged me to skate without mistakes.

"I was able to compete in the Grand Prix Final for the first time and also the Four Continents Championships, where everything was good."

Miura Highlights His 2022-23 Objectives

Miura talked about his goals prior to the start of the season.

"At the outset of the season, my goals were to be on the podium during the Grand Prix series and to qualify for the Final," Miura noted. "I was able to achieve that (he finished fifth at the GP Final)."

He then said, "I also wanted to get a spot on the team for the world championships, but didn't get that (he was named as an alternate). However, I was able to go to the Four Continents and win there.

"I am proud of winning at the Four Continents," Miura continued before adding, "I will compete here as a champion of the Four Continents."

Miura made clear what his mission is at the world juniors in Alberta.

"My goal is to win the gold medal here," Miura said.

One amazing fact, that is a result of the pandemic, is that in his career Miura has competed in just one Junior Grand Prix event. That was the JGP in Riga, Latvia, back in 2019 where he finished seventh.

Once the coronavirus spread, the 2020 JGP series was canceled, and the Japan Skating Federation chose not to have its skaters compete in the 2021 JGP events. Then during this GP season, he competed as a senior.

It's just a shoe!

Miura Sets Sights on Olympic Glory

With the 2026 Milan Olympics now less than three years away, the ambitious Miura already has his eyes on a big prize there.

"I have to make the team for the Milan Olympics," Miura stated decisively. "We have many good skaters, so it won't be easy. I want to get a place on the team and win the gold there."

Miura made it clear that he hopes to follow in the footsteps of the superstar he looked up to as a young boy and become the second Japanese man to win the Olympic gold medal.

"When I was a child, my idol was Yuzuru Hanyu," Miura commented. "Not just his results, but also the performances that he showed to all of the world."


Author: Jack Gallagher

The author is a veteran sports journalist and one of the world's foremost figure skating experts. Find articles and podcasts by Jack on his author page, and find him on Twitter @sportsjapan.


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