Really looking forward to seeing Kana & Dai's FD again at the WTT. Like many others, I'm sick and tired of POTO but they interpreted the music so beautifully that it didn't matter. That means gold in my book!
Sorry for having not posted for some time. I've been so busy because March is the end of a fiscal year in Japan.
I got to watch FD at Saitama Super Arena, and it wasn't good for your heart! The atmosphere got so intense while Kana and Dai were on the ice, but the audience was also very respectable to other skaters.
POTO was a very difficult program with both step sequences placed in the second half and packed with transitions, but they finally skated it clean! I could tell Dai's skating improved a lot since Nationals when they entered OFT. The performance was so beautiful and emotional from the beginning to the end.
Dai has been asked about his future plan by the Japanese media a lot, and did not deny that he wants to go to Milan, but also said his will alone won't be enough considering his age and right knee.
They have been trying new physical training since Worlds. I think they gained new confidence and are motivated than ever.
I will go to Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium this Friday to see FD one more time
Daisuke Takahashi to perform Phantom of the Opera at the place of his memories for the first time in 16 years.
Compiled by Yushi Shimizu 12 Apr 2023, 16:09
The World Team Trophy will open on 13 April. On the 12th, the day before, the athletes got a feel for the ice at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, the venue of the competition. The ice dance team of Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi (Kansai University) carefully adjusted their steps and lifts of the Rhythm Dance (RD) and the Free Dance.
The main exchanges with the press after practice were as follows.
--It's been about two weeks since the World Championships ended. How have you spent your time so far?
Muramoto: "Well, we stayed in Japan and practised, but Coach Marina (Zueva) went back to the USA, so she gave us a training plan and we practised every day according to the plan.
Takahashi: "That's right. But it was really just the two of us, so it was quite hard in terms of motivation, but finally, I feel like this day has arrived.
--What are your thoughts on the final competition of the season?
Muramoto: "The World Championships was a really great competition, so we really practised what we could do and came to the rink to see how we would spend the next two weeks before the World Team Trophy. Competing as a team is something that you don't get at other competitions, and the Japanese team is full of top talent, so we hope to do our best so that ice dance can contribute as much as possible."
Takahashi: "Yes, that's right. I think it's really difficult for ice dance to be at the top, but I hope we can contribute as much as possible."
-- If Japan wins gold at the WTT, it would be the third time after 2012 when Takahashi competed in men's singles and 2017 when Muramoto competed in ice dance.
Takahashi: "It seems like they both were won when we were team captains."
-- "It seems so, right?
Takahashi: "Too long ago (laughs). I'm the oldest, though."
Muramoto: "That's right. We are the oldest team (laughs).
Takahashi: "We'll do our best on the ice."
--Takahashi-san, what do you think of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium?
Takahashi: "The first time I won a World Championship medal (silver in men's singles at the 2007 World Championships) was at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, and that was also with Phantom of the Opera, so I didn't expect to come back to Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium after 16 years, and to skate Phantom of the Opera again. I didn't expect it, I think it's a miracle, but I hope I can give a performance that will make you think that there is a connection between these events. I wasn't 100% at the World Championships [due to the mistake in the RD]. I hope I can put together a good performance (in RD and free skate)."
-What are you looking forward to in the team competition?
Muramoto: "What am I looking forward to: ....... Eh, what is it?"
Takahashi: "I always look forward to seeing how the other teams make their 'do-you-do' faces.
Muramoto: "I'm really looking forward to the different ways of raising excitement in each country, decorating the booths and so on."
Takahashi: "We didn't have a coach. I thought Nagamitsu-sensei might refuse, but I asked her if she would stand in, and she said she would be happy to do so. So we’re doing it together. I've changed disciplines, but I'm very happy to be able to compete together like this."
--After gaining confidence at the World Championships, you are now going to compete in the World Team Trophy. Have your feelings changed?
Muramoto: "After the World Championships, we've been training for the past two weeks with a lot of confidence, and I've really enjoyed it. I have no worries, I have the savings from the World Championships, so I think I'll be able to enjoy the competition.
Takahashi: "I feel like, in a good way, I've got a lot of power, and the atmosphere is good. I feel like I'm skating with my heart and it's reflected in my body, so I'm practising with a good feeling.
BEST Conga ever!!
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"I think it was a great performance for us. I'm very happy! It was a happy four minutes.
Our performance is over, but we will use all the energy we have left to support the team!"
Kirsten: I wanna mention Kana and Daisuke. Their free especially I thought…we’ve seen them be amazing and have lots of potential, but we’ve also seen them make a lot of mistakes and I don’t know how much of that comes from changing disciplines, especially such a huge change. Like singles to pairs is one thing…very difficult, but singles to ice dance is a totally different realm and of course Daisuke was pretty much a solo ice dancer when he did free skate anyway, but I don’t know if it comes from that or from still learning each other or dealing with the pressure of competition. But it was really nice to see, especially after their Four Continents free dance, to have this moment at home and for sure he’s had many moments at home, but maybe the first or the biggest in ice dance and achieving a huge personal best score…that was fun to watch for me.
Anna: As in the preview I wanted them to get in whatever spot would convince them to keep going. I was like, yes, I want them to have this wonderful moment and also wanted them to fuel to…I hope that they decide…in the past they’ve said that it’s kind of just how ever long he wants to keep going and I really hope he wants to keep pushing, because he keeps getting better.
Kirsten: He really is improving so much.
Daphne: “We have to talk about how incredible he is now as a dancer, like going from singles to compete in ice dance. I wish he had started it sooner, because I think…I’m not sure how long he’s going to stay in it, because he’s 37, but they have accomplished a lot. I mean 11th…I was hoping for them to maybe break into the top 10, so they could get two spots for Japan. But it was fantastic to see that result for them and also to see the crowd’s reaction at home. I mean Takahashi is used to that from his singles days, so this had to be a little bit different.”
Gina: “I think his personality has come more alive as an ice dancer…Daisuke…I don’t remember him just being so…I mean he was happy as a singles skater, I’m not saying he wasn’t, but he just seems to really enjoy ice dance and it’s so contagious. Cause watching him you just get so excited and happy for them, so I was glad they had a moment. Yeah, I wish they had made it into the top 10, so that Japan could have gotten two spots, because we know there are two teams in Japan, but hopefully we’ll continue to see Kana and Daisuke. If Deanna can keep going at 39 in pairs, Daisuke can keep going in dance at 37. I think they can push each other to see who can go the furthest and the longest. But yeah, I really enjoyed that.”
Dai: "Good evening, everyone."
Kana: "I am Kana Muramoto."
Dai: "This is Daisuke Takahashi. This time, we have something to report to you all. We've been asked by many people about our future career, but we were looking for the right time to make an announcement."
Dai: "We have decided to retire from competition at the end of this season."
Kana: "We decided on this after talking about it a lot, and we will hold a press conference for the press tomorrow."
Dai: "And for the fans, after the press conference, at 20:00, we hope to tell you all. If you have time, we would be happy if you could watch it."