Gracie Gold improves at Four Continents, misses podium
U.S. champion Gracie Gold rebounded from her worst short program in three years, jumping four places to finish fifth at the Four Continents Championships in Taiwan on Saturday.
“I feel OK about it,” Gold said. “It was a respectable performance, and at least the quality of what I did was nice.”
Japanese World silver medalist Satoko Miyahara won the competition, a World Championships tune-up absent of the top Russians, with 214.91 points, a personal best.
Gold scored 178.39 points, staying on her feet in the free skate after falling twice in her short program Thursday.
“Knowing that I can skate a free program at least that well, after what happened in the short, I feel hopeful about Worlds,” Gold said. “I think anyone has a chance at that World podium, you just have to go two clean skates. This was just a trial run for me, to get the bad luck out.”
Mirai Nagasu, a 2010 Olympian who won’t compete at Worlds in Boston next month, beat Gold and finished second with a personal-best 193.86 points, her best result in a top-level international event since November 2011.
Nagasu was fourth at the U.S. Championships in January, missing the three-woman Worlds team.
Gold, 20, has never made the individual podium at an Olympics, Worlds, Grand Prix Final or Four Continents, but has eight times placed between fourth and sixth at those competitions.
On Thursday, Gold posted her lowest short-program score in more than three years, falling on her first two of three jumps and placing ninth.
“I made a goal not to pop anything,” Gold said of her jumps. “I didn’t exactly achieve that in the sense that I wanted to, but there’s something to be said for what I did here.”
Gold’s teammates for this year’s Worlds -- Wagner and Polina Edmunds -- opted not to compete at Four Continents.
“I came into this competition knowing that I’ve had a lot of struggles with the event,” said Gold, who took fourth at the 2015 Four Continents, with a lower total score. “I don’t feel as comfortable with this event as I do for a lot of the other competitions, with the amount of time between competing at Nationals and competing here. I came here knowing I feel this way, and I wanted to see how I could do with that.”