The Yomiuri ShimbunAiko Uemura finished fourth in the women’s moguls at the Sochi Games on Saturday, failing to earn the Olympic medal she has sought for so long.
Uemura had 20.66 points in the final, trailing 0.83 points behind defending champion Hannah Kearney, who finished third. Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Canada won gold, while her older sister, Chloe, earned silver.
The 34-year-old Uemura made her Olympic debut at the 1998 Nagano Games, finishing seventh. Since then, she has improved her results one step at a time, like climbing a ladder—she was sixth at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, fifth at the 2006 Turin Olympics and fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Hopes were high that she would finally win a medal in Sochi.
“At one point I thought I might have clinched a medal, but yes, it’s fourth again,” Uemura said.
Uemura said she was pleased with herself despite the result. “I have two goals in skiing—to be confident with myself at the start line and finish with my best skiing. I fulfilled those goals today.”
Meanwhile, Japan entered the final day of the figure-skating team event in fifth. Mao Asada placed third in the women’s short program, while Cathy Reed and her brother Chris finished eighth in the ice dancing short program. Narumi Takahashi and Ryuichi Kihara were fifth in the pairs free program.
After finishing five of the eight events in the team competition, Japan had 30 points, trailing fourth-place Italy by one point and the third-place United States by four points. Leader Russia has 47 points, followed by Canada with 41 points.
Akiko Suzuki was scheduled to skate the women’s free program on Sunday, while Tatsuki Machida was set to skate the men’s free program. The Reeds were to appear again for the ice dancing free program.
In men’s slopestyle finals, teenager Yuki Kadono finished eighth.
The Japanese ski jumping trio of Reruhi Shimizu, Taku Takeuchi and Yuta Watase qualified for the normal hill final to be held Sunday. Noriaki Kasai, who serves as captain of the Japanese delegation, prequalified.