Four-time national champion Satoko Miyahara delivered a solid skate in the women's short program to help Japan qualify for the final round of the figure skating team event at the Pyeongchang Games on Sunday.
Former world silver medalist Miyahara came through her program without making any major errors to finish fourth with 68.95 points at Gangneung Ice Arena. Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed had earlier placed fifth in the ice dance short dance with 62.15.
After the five finalists from the 10-team competition were determined, the pairs free program was also held Sunday.
Canada holds the overall lead after the first phase of the final with 45 points, followed by the Olympic Athletes from Russia team (39), United States (36), Italy (35) and Japan (32).
The 19-year-old Miyahara said she was pleased with her first competitive skate on her Olympic debut, but not so much the score.
"I thought my performance itself was really good and although I am disappointed with the score, I think I have got off to an okay start," she said.
"I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would and I didn't tense up. It hit me when I took to the rink that I am at the Olympics and I was both happy and excited."
World champion Evgenia Medvedeva from OAR topped the women's short program with a world record score of 81.06 points, followed by Italy's Sochi Olympic singles bronze medalist Carolina Kostner (75.10) and world silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada (71.38).
"At this point, I am happy with my result, but the performance was a bit tough, probably because it was my first time on the Olympic ice," said Medvedeva.
"I know what I can do better. On a scale of five, I'd give myself a four, maybe a bit less, a four minus a quarter."
The 18-year-old added, "I know how I can skate in practice and I know that I can be more confident in myself. I think that is why I went out on the ice today, to feel myself and now I know the whole set-up and know for what to prepare."
In the ice dance, Muramoto, who is competing in her first Winter Games, and three-time Olympian Reed produced a sharp, energetic performance.
"It was five minutes full of emotion at the realization of being at the Olympics. I got a taste of both the nerves and excitement," said Muramoto.
"It was a good start and although there were certain aspects of our performance that didn't go well I think we can be satisfied."
Reed said, "We were focused and skated well. It's an honor to be competing (in my third Olympics)."
Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir led with 80.51 points. Miu Suzaki and Ryuichi Kihara placed last in the pairs free program with 97.67 to get Japan off to a difficult start in the final. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada topped the standings with 148.51.
The men's and women's free skates and ice dance free dance are scheduled for Monday.
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