- Grand Prix (series)
- 国際スケート連盟( International Skating Union )が公認する国際大会のシリーズ戦（後出 Grand Prix Final はシリーズ戦上位者６人で競う最終戦、NHK Trophy は同ＮＨＫ杯、Japan Figure ... Championships は全日本フィギュアスケート選手権大会）
- breakout star
- win (a title)
- 優勝する（後出 claim victory も同意、victory は優勝）
- top ～
- grade ～
- 試合（後出 event もここでは同意）
- native of ～
- fall short of ～
- age requirement
- drop out of ～
Grand Prix Princess
Japan's breakout figure skating star Kihira Rika won the Grand Prix Final women's title in Vancouver, Canada, on Dec. 8. A Japanese skater has not claimed victory in the Final during their debut season since the first, Asada Mao, in 2005.
The 16-year-old had a combined score of 233.12, despite stumbling on a jump in her free skate. The score topped her career best of 224.31, set last month when she won the NHK Trophy in Japan. Kihira dominated the women's short program with 82.51 points, the highest women's score this season.
In an interview at Narita International Airport on Dec. 11, Kihira said, "I once again feel the weight of my victory in the Grand Prix Final." She graded her efforts at 85 points out of 100. "It wasn't that my performances were perfect in all competitions," she commented.
Kihira is a native of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. Making use of her spectacular triple axel, she placed third in the Japan Figure Skating Championships in 2017. However, she fell short of the International Skating Union's age requirements for participating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February 2018 by only three weeks. After qualifying for the Grand Prix series, which began this autumn, she won both the Japanese and French rounds.
Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia, also 16, was second at 226.53 points. "The first major season is easier than the second," Zagitova said via an interpreter. "When you go the first time, there are no expectations -- No one expects anything and you can just go and skate."
The top six skaters of the season competed in the final round. The women's competition was entirely skaters from Japan or Russia. Fellow Japanese athlete Sakamoto Kaori finished fourth, while Miyahara Satoko was in sixth.
American Nathan Chen won the men's event with 282.42 points. Olympic silver medalist Uno Shoma placed second with 275.10 points and was disappointed with his program.
"It was not really a great performance today," he said. "I just couldn't perform my jumps properly."
Two-time Olympic champion Hanyu Yuzuru dropped out of the event due to an ankle injury.
(Compiled from AP and Mainichi reports)
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