World Championships 2024: Women’s Recap

© International Skating Union (ISU)

The women’s event in Montreal saw Kaori Sakamoto win the World title for the third time. Isabeau Levito and Chaeyeon Kim both delivered strong programs and phenomenal free skates to win the silver and bronze medals, and many other memorable performances were shown from other skaters. Here is a closer look at just some of the key moments from the competition!

Results

🥇 Kaori Sakamoto (Japan)
🥈 Isabeau Levito (USA)
🥉 Chaeyeon Kim (Republic of Korea)

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Becoming three-time World Champion was Kaori Sakamoto of Japan with a total of 222.96 points. She wasn’t able to put out a clean SP, finishing fourth after day 1. She has opted for a more lyrical, instrumental piece this year. She received an edge call for her lutz, and hung onto the landing, but delivered a huge triple flip-triple toe combination after. The climax of the music accompanied the step sequence, and the big scale of her skating works well with it, although she had a slight loss of balance in one moment of the element. Heading into the free skate with work to do, she delivered a near-perfect program apart from an edge call again on the lutz. Her opening double axel received 4s and 5s from almost all judges, and the step sequence saw her express the music with skill. Heading into the second half of the program, Sakamoto landed the triple flip-triple toe securely, and nailed the signature triple loop as the penultimate element of her skate: a testament to her incredible stamina and athleticism. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Isabeau Levito of the USA was second in both the short and free programs to win the silver medal with 212.16 points. Her lyrical short program had positive GOEs on all elements. Levito uses her whole body fully in each movement, and transitional content was evident across the whole program. Her spins, as always, were a highlight, and were all level four quality: they were beautifully centred and demonstrated her flexibility. She had a spiral going into the triple flip, and the expansive and flowing step sequence accompanied the vocals of the music. Her lines and balletic elegance are highlighted in the ‘White Crow’ free skate this season, and she opened the program with a sustained attitude position: she is a skater who extends and commits to each position and movement. She secured good grades of execution for the majority of her jumping passes, although both lutzes were called for takeoff edges. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Chaeyeon Kim of the Republic of Korea won the bronze medal in Montreal with 203.59 points. She was sixth after the short program, where she delivered a neat double axel, but underrotated the triple toe in her jump combination. She is strong in her spins and footwork, and paid attention to details of movement. The step sequence was a moment where she projected more to spectators and connected more closely to music: areas where she will no doubt continue to grow. She was third in the free skate, with confidence in her jumps and tight in-air positions. Kim displayed fast rotations in her spins as well, and they were all given level fours. She built up the intensity of the ‘Le Bal des Folles’ music with her choreo sequence. 

Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx was first after the short program but had a difficult free skate and dropped to fourth place overall. In her short program, she executed the opening triple flip-triple toe combination with power and received +1.44 GOE for the element. Her combination spin was excellent in terms of both speed of rotation and positions. She put out a quality triple lutz before heading into a dynamic step sequence, securing level fours on all spins and the sequence. She started off with just a double toe in the opening combination and had a double lutz triple toe (downgraded) and a fall from the following triple flip, making for a repeated element. She did well to fight for her other elements but placed eighth in the free skate.

© International Skating Union (ISU)

In fifth place in Montreal was Kimmy Repond, who was twelfth after the SP but delivered the fourth-highest free skate. She showed vast improvements from her breakthrough season last year, and although she had a fall from the triple lutz in the short program, she had fast spins with well-sustained positions, and connected well to ‘Voila’, timing the intricacies of the step sequence to musical cues. Skating to ‘Freya’ for the free skate, she earned positive GOEs for all jumps, and the transitions into and out of her jumping passes were noteworthy. Repond covers the ice with speed, and really committed to expressing the music in her skating: she constructed intensity through the footwork and spins to round off a successful skate. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Haein Lee of the Republic of Korea finished sixth to round off a difficult season. She was third in the short program, where she put out a great triple lutz-triple toe and double axel, and carried the momentum through into the triple flip. The step sequence was the final element, and was a section where the music became more dramatic; Lee changed the expression of her movements to reflect this. She had a tough free skate with multiple jumping errors including popped jumps and jumps landed on the quarter; nonetheless, she was given level fours for all of her spins. 

Mone Chiba of Japan was thirteenth in the short program but rose to seventh overall. She popped the lutz into a single in her short program, making it an invalid element and costing her points heading into the FS. In the free skate, she nailed the first three jumping passes, but fell on and underrotated the triple loop. Nonetheless, she regathered for the following three jumps, landing them all with positive grades of execution; the triple lutz was timed with the climax of the music. Her combination spin had fluidity between the different positions; she is a skater who holds herself and performs with poise. 

Compatriot Hana Yoshida was one place behind Chiba. Her short program to ‘Koo Koo Fun’ is a memorable one this season, and she brings a lot of personality to it. She had a strong double axel, but put a foot down on the triple lutz-triple toe combination. The fun step sequence highlighted the nuances of the music, and she pulled off the difficult choreography. She landed the triple axel, albeit on the quarter, in the opening of her free skate. She fell on the triple lutz, but came back stronger afterwards, landing two jump combinations. 

Amber Glenn of the USA also landed the triple axel in the free skate with +1.60 GOE, and retained focus for the next two jumping passes, but struggled thereafter to remain clean. She popped several jumps, and had problems with rotations on a couple of others: nonetheless, her improving consistency with the triple axel is an exciting trajectory to follow. 

Young You had a phenomenal short program, skating to Piazzolla. She opened up well with a triple lutz-triple toe and nailed the following two jumping passes as well. She showcased fast spins in time with the music and interacted with the audience heading into the intricate step sequence. She performed to music from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in her free skate but had a difficult performance and dropped to twelfth place. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Niina Petrokina similarly had a great short program but dropped after the free skate. Coming back from injury, she nailed the double axel and triple lutz in her short program and received level fours on all spins. The step sequence was a highlight of the skate, varying from large-scale, fast movements to slower moments and emphatic pauses, all done to express the music to the max.

Click here to watch our recap livestream with Corey Circelli!

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