Thanks to Knierim and Frazier, USA has the title of sports partner after 43 years

Update: 24.03.2022 22:35

Montpellier (France) – Figure skaters Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier won the world title in pair sports for the USA after 43 years. At the championships in Montpellier, they took advantage of the absence of the strong pair Russia and China, who occupy the first five places at the February Olympics. After a short event, the manager was confirmed with a free ride.

They came here after an awkward situation when second-time compatriots Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc did not finish their program. His partner fell during the opening solo and jump throw, and when the next carrom came after the triple salchow solo, he remained lying on the ice, pointing at his head. It is not clear if he was hit by a fall or if he had any previous problems. He looked shaken and couldn’t continue.

Thirty-year-old Knierimová, who Michal Březina has assisted with solo jumps this season, and one-year-old Frazier are the biggest favorites for gold after sixth place at the Olympics on a thin starting court. The couple, who, after a successful career with the previous partner, got together in the spring of 2020, have psychological stress. In free riding they arrange a combination of triple and double toeloop, solo triple salchow and both triple throws. With the exception of the opening round, they had all the elements at the highest level and improved their record for free riding from the Olympics by nearly six points.

Even when they finish their program, they know they are world champions. They did so as the third American couple in history. “I didn’t want a better way to end the season. To end the season with a program like that, I’ve dreamed of it many times. But it’s even better,” Frazier rejoiced.

In the end, they won by more than twenty-one points over Rika Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan. They didn’t do well, they made a mistake in a solo jump and their partner fell after Rittberger’s triple was thrown out. They managed Japan’s biggest success with silver and only the second Japanese medal in this category at the World Championships.

James, who was born in England but has long represented France with Morgan Cipres, has returned home. Together, they won a bronze medal at the World Championships four years ago. A year later, they won the European Championship and ended their career. Last year, during a television show in Canada, James met another retired skater, Radford, who won the 2015 and 2016 World Cups. They tried to skate together and decided to come back. They didn’t make it to the Olympics and finished twelfth, but they did in the World Cup.

They showed a free ride in the opening combination after a stylistic error and graced the new collaboration with a bronze medal. “I felt everything was done when it was needed. We fought until the end, but we didn’t think about the elements, we just rode and we felt very comfortable on the ice, like at home,” James rejoiced. Only unpleasant circumstances spoiled his luck a little. “We love being on stage but we want to be there in better shape. Our thoughts are with Ashley, she is hurt,” he added.

Czech representatives Jelizaveta uková and Martin Bidař did not travel to the World Cup due to injury.

Britney Kirk

"Infuriatingly humble coffee guru. Travel practitioner. Freelance zombie fanatic. Certified problem solver. Food scholar. Student."

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