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Muramoto, Takahashi Well off Lead in Ice Dance at World Championships

The Japanese partners proceeded through their elements relatively smoothly until Takahashi lost his balance and stumbled on a twizzle in the middle of their program.

Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi are in 15th place after the rhythm dance at the world championships in Montpellier, France, on Friday afternoon, March 25.

Muramoto and Takahashi skated to “Soran Bushi” and “Koto” and started off well. They proceeded through their elements relatively smoothly until Takahashi lost his balance and stumbled on a twizzle in the middle of their program. The mistake was costly, as the duo ended up with a score of 67.77 points, well off their season’s best of 75.87.

France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the gold medalists at the Beijing Olympics, are in the lead with 92.73, with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States second at 89.72, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the US third on 87.51.

Despite the miscue, Muramoto and Takahashi did advance to Saturday’s free skate.

“We were confident and calm although there was that mistake. We put our soul into it,” Takahashi stated. “Aside from my twizzle, after seeing the score sheet, there were some things where we missed our levels. The mental aspect affected the mistake. In the five-minute warmup it didn’t go well and the second twizzle was always a concern, so my bad. That’s my weakness.”

Takahashi’s appearance at the worlds was his first in nine years, since he finished sixth in singles at the worlds in London, Ontario, in 2013.

“It has been some time since I have been back at the worlds, but my first as an ice dancer, so it feels funny because it’s something I am familiar with, but also something completely new,” Takahashi commented.

Muramoto admitted that she felt the impact of skating with the 2010 world champion and Olympic bronze medalist.

“In the warmup, when our name was called and when the audience heard the name ‘Daisuke Takahashi,’ I really felt that I am skating with a legendary skater and we were able to skate in the second half among the top skaters,” Muramoto remarked.

“I am really happy we are able to be here and can skate our free dance. We are not there yet, but will focus on performing with everything we’ve got.”

The women’s free skate is set for Friday night.

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, here, and find him on Twitter @sportsjapan.

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