Newcastle figure skater Kailani Craine scored a personal best in the short program of the Winter Olympics test event in South Korea but wants more in the free skate on Saturday night.
The 18-year-old was 13th after the short program at the Four Continents championships in Gangneung with a score of 54.70, three places in front of countrywoman Brooklee Han (48.44).
Craine has been the dominant figure in women’s skating in Australia for three years and is contesting the Four Continents and next week’s Asian Games in Japan before the world championships in Finland in late March.
The three-time national champion’s target is a top-17 spot at the world titles in Helsinki, which would guarantee Australia a place in the Olympic event in 2018.
“I made a few minor errors, and it did not show my full potential as a skater,” Craine said after the short program. “I am looking forward to the free skate as it is usually my stronger program, jam packed with triple jumps.”
Craine landed her triple flip-double toe combination cleanly but knows she has more to give. She plans to become the first Australian skater to perform a triple-triple combination at an international event but will save it for the Asian Games.
Kailani just finished her short program pic.twitter.com/29fx7ZjVOw— IceSkatingAustralia (@IceSkatingAUS) February 16, 2017
“I am very confident as I have been training extremely hard since nationals. I’ve had a little bit of a rough time with it at these practices, but other than that at home it’s been going really great.
“I just needed to do what I had to do for this competition and feel good for myself and my skating. For the Asian Winter Games I really want to try it out.”
Gangneung Ice Arena will host to the Pyeonchang Winter Games in 2018 and, on first inspection, the Olympic hopeful was full of praise.
“The stadium arena is fantastic. The crowd was very supportive and the atmosphere was electric. I'm looking forward to getting back out there after a day off.”