Daisuke takahashi, the first Japanese to win an Olympic figure skating medal and a world championship, narrowly missed his return to the Olympics in ice dance.
Takahashi and partner Kana Muramoto finished second in the Japanese championships on Saturday, 1.86 points behind Misato komatsubara and Tim Koleto. Japan have only one Olympic ice dance spot, and the coaches have gone with the national champions over Takahashi and Muramoto, who have had better international results recently.
The Olympic team was announced on Sunday.
The Japanese Olympic criteria include both domestic results and recent international performances, in the same way the United States selects their Olympic figure skating team.
Takahashi, 35, was trying to become the first figure skater to compete in the Olympics in his career in singles and ice dance as medal-winning events, according to Olympedia.org. Instead, he and Muramoto were named as Japan’s ice dance couple for the world championships in France after the Olympics.
Eleven years ago, Takahashi clinched a bronze breakthrough at the Vancouver Winter Games. He won the world title a month later. He retired after placing sixth at his third Olympics in 2014.
Then, in 2018, Takahashi announced a return to singles skating, for domestic competitions only. He placed second and 12th at the Japan Championships in December 2018 and December 2019 and stunned the world by switching to ice dancing from 2020.
“I didn’t think about the Olympics, actually,” Takahashi said earlier this month from their training base in Florida, where they are coached by the legendary Russian. Marina zoueva, who nicknamed him “Zeus”. “I just wanted to know more [about] figure skating, ice skating techniques. After quitting as a competitor, I still wanted to skate and perform.
He teamed up with Muramoto, a solo skater in her teens who became a 2018 Olympian in dance with Chris Roseau. Reed retired in 2019. In March 2020, Reed died of a sudden heart problem at the age of 30.
Muramoto and Takahashi competed together for the first time in November 2020. In November 2021, they recorded the highest score ever for a Japanese ice dance couple and became the favorites to win the Olympic spot.
But in their national rhythm dance on Thursday, both fell and were down 4.81 points. They had the best free dance, but not enough to fill the gap. This left the Olympic decision in the hands of the coaches.
Neither Muramoto and Takahashi, nor Komatsubara and Koleto were considered Olympic medal contenders in the ice dance event. But Japan shot for a medal in the Olympic team event, encompassing all disciplines, for two reasons.
Canada’s decline since winning in 2018 – its best skaters in all disciplines are gone. And the rise of pair skaters Riku miura and Ryuichi kihara, giving Japan its strength in all disciplines apart from dance.
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Daisuke Takahashi narrowly misses ice dance Olympics originally appeared on NBCSports.com