2010 U.S. Olympic figure skating team member Mirai Nagasu increased her legitimacy as a candidate by claiming bronze at the 2013 Rostelecom Cup Nov. 23 in Moscow.
Nagasu’s Nov. 22 short program left her in fourth place, just one one-hundredth of a point behind teammate and reigning U.S. national bronze medalist Agnes Zawadzki. While the 19-year old Zawadzki’s long program lacked the technical rigor to remain in the medal hunt, Nagasu’s effort was the third best of the pack, and the 20-year old edged Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva for the bronze, 175.37 to 171.87. Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaia narrowly beat out Italian Carolina Kostner for the gold after falling on her opening jump.
The full outcome of the ladies’ competition is as follows:
Julia Lipnitskaia, Russia
Carolina Costner, Italy
Mirai Nagasu, United States
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Russia
Satoko Miyahara, Japan
Agnes Zawadzki, United States
Kanako Murakami, Japan
Nikol Gosviani, Russia
Haruka Imai, Japan
Despite her Olympic experience and good performance at the Rostelecom Cup, Nagasu may still face an uphill battle to claim a berth in Sochi. Reigning U.S. national champion Ashley Wagner has performed consistently well and barring a major meltdown at nationals, is a virtual lock to represent the nation. Also very likely to claim one of the three available Olympic berths is Gracie Gold, the U.S. national silver medalist who took 2013 NHK Trophy bronze.
Ladies vying for what will likely be just a single spot on the team include Nagasu, Zawadzki, Courtney Hicks, Samantha Cesario and Christina Gao.
The 2013-14 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating concludes Dec. 5-6 with the Grand Prix Final, which will feature the series’ most successful competitors.