Japan 1 - 2 in figure skating spectacle
Official 2007 AYOF Website
20 January 2007


The last day of competition is a good time to leave a lasting impression and that was the case when the figure skating girls completed their free program at the Sydney Ice Arena to finalise the placings at the Australian Youth Olympics Festival.

After having around 1,100 people watch the beginning of the short program last night, where spectators were so loud that the fire alarm in the Arena was set off by the commotion, the free program didn’t disappoint. It was a fantastic display with each girl putting in a tremendous effort with every jump, spin and twirl they produced.

Japan’s Yuka Ishikawa who led after the short program maintained her position with her beautiful interpretation of Disney classic Mulan. In her beautiful red costume trimmed in gold, delicate skating and a clean program won over not only the spectators but the judges.

Her team-mate Nanoha Sato moved from fourth to second with her fantastic free program. Vanessa James of Great Britain faultered with her performance and dropped from second to fourth today.

Tina Wang made the most of the opportunity and stamped herself on the international stage delighting the vocal crowd with her clean program.

Wang, 15, was extremely happy with her performance today and couldn’t comprehend she was being asked to sign autographs not only for young children but for older people as well.

“I would never have thought of it – it’s just amazing and so fun,” said the Chinese-born Brisbane resident. Wang said the experience of the AYOF is beyond words, “being able to see athletes again is just awesome.”

The crowd went into hysteria when they witnessed a triple jump from 13-year-old Australian skater Cheltzie Lee. She is one of Australia’s brightest future stars maintaining her position and placing sixth.