If you’re a male skater, the last national championships you’d want to be competing in is Japan Nationals. Here’s a stat for you – five of the contenders won a Grand Prix gold this season, and there were only seven golds to be won. Getting on the Four Continents or World teams as a Japanese male skater is about as difficult as it gets anywhere.
And really, thank goodness for video sharing technology, because without it, we wouldn’t have been able to witness these championships, especially Daisuke Takahashi’s free skate, which featured a clean quad and seven clean triples, two of them axels. And that’s not to discount the fact that there was a second quad that he landed, though it was called underrotated. It was one of the most technically-difficult programs he has ever done in his career.
There was a moment during the Grand Prix when Takahashi looked like he was unsure with his jumps again, but starting with the Grand Prix Final, which he won, and then with the Japan Nationals, he proved that he is hungry and more than ready to regain that World title in March.
(By the way, was that a feather that fell off his costume at the very end? He actually got a one-point deduction for that costume issue.)
For me, this is the best free skate on the men’s side so far this season.