The Yomiuri Shimbun SOCHI—As Japan captain in the team figure skating competition, Akiko Suzuki acknowledges she didn’t pull her weight when called into action.
Suzuki put on a disappointing performance in the women’s free skate Sunday that all but ended Japan’s chances of winning a medal in the event, which was making its Olympic debut at the Sochi Games.
Japan finished fifth out of the five teams that advanced to the final round.
Misfiring on almost all of her jumps, Suzuki’s score was more than 15 points lower than her personal best.
“I didn’t add anything to the team,” a dejected Suzuki said.
Of her seven jumps, only the final triple was up to her usual level. The others were either under-rotated or had problems with the takeoff. Even her step sequence, normally a strong portion of her program, was below par.
Suzuki said it was difficult to balance the unique atmosphere of the Olympics and that of a team competition.
Suzuki will now head to the team’s practice base in Armenia to regroup ahead of the individual competition starting Feb. 19.
“My preparation went well,” Suzuki said. “Even if I’m not skating well, I know I can put it behind me and be relaxed when I take the ice.”