Japan's Satoko Miyahara said she was pleased to set a personal best score in the women's figure skating short program at the Pyeongchang Winter Games on Wednesday, but was reluctant to talk about her chances of making the medals podium.
The four-time defending national champion scored 75.94 points at Gangneung Ice Arena to sit in fourth place going into Friday's free skate 2.93 points behind third-place Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada.
"I've finally scored 75 points," said Miyahara, whose previous best was 74.64. "I was waiting for the score to come up thinking 'come on, please be 75 or above.'"
"Obviously, I would be very happy if I get a medal but I am not thinking about that," said Miyahara. "What is more important to me is to show in my performance how hard I have been working."
Skating to the soundtrack from Memoirs of a Geisha, Miyahara nailed a triple lutz-triple toeloop and also cleanly landed a triple loop and a double axel.
"I was nervous right until the end of the skate and I am relieved that I got through it without making any big mistakes," said the 2015 world silver medalist.
"I wanted to show how hard I have been working and took care not to have any little spills on my spins and steps."
Miyahara said it was too early to be celebrating her personal best score with the free skate still to come.
Asked why she did not pump her fists at the end of her program, the diminutive 19-year-old replied, "The real battle is in the free program, so I skated with that in mind."
Miyahara's compatriot Kaori Sakamoto also had a personal best score of 73.18 and was one place further back in fifth.
"I think the score shows how hard I have worked," said Four Continents champion Sakamoto, who was realistic about her outside chances of making the podium.
"I reckon only about 20 percent," said the 17-year-old. "I am not really at the level yet where I can take on the skaters at the top and it is all I can do to win the battle with myself."
Olympic Athlete from Russia Alina Zagitova set a world record of 82.92 to break the previous mark that had been set just minutes earlier by compatriot and world champion Evgenia Medvedeva.
Medvedeva is in second place behind her 15-year-old training partner with 81.61.
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