Elisa Tsuji from Indonesia finished third in the Junior ladies category.
All eyes were focused on the Sunway Pyramid ice rink as competitors took turns to impress the judges during the 9th Malaysian Open National Figure Skating Championships.
Julian Yee Zhi Jie, 17, Malaysia’s only International Skating Union (ISU)-ranked skater, was just back from Junior Worlds in Bulgaria and competing with skaters who participated in the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in the Four Continents Championship in Taiwan.
The defending champion’s performance in the senior men’s short programme earned him 149.25 points, a convincing win over second-placed Chew Kai Xiang’s 92.59 and his older brother Ryan Yee Zhi Jwen’s 84.28 points.
“It is tougher this year compared to the last, especially with (Chew) Kai Xiang who just came in to the senior category from the juniors, the year before.” he said.
His routine for the free skate event was executed to the music of Unstoppable by Gregson and Mullen and transitioned into the faster-paced theme song from the Mission Impossible movie.
The 102-ranked skater in the world collected three trophies during the event after coming out tops in the men’s senior and receiving two special awards for the Most Promising Skater and Most Outstanding Skater for the season 2013/2014.
In the junior mens, Bryan Christopher Tan earned 80.35 to beat Loh Chang Chern’s 74.35.
In her speech, ISAM president Datin Laila Abdullah spoke of the advancing level of skill in figure skating thanks to the current crop of skaters.
“Over these few years, we have seen tremendous improvement in our skaters and better results in international competitions.” she said.
“We now have four male skaters in Senior level (highest level in International Skating Union), two male Junior skaters and four female Junior skaters.
“ISAM is striving to bring out the best in our skaters and our vision is to have our skaters qualify for both disciplines (figure skating and short track speed skating) at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea.” she added.
The two-day event, organised by the Ice Skating Association of Malaysia (ISAM), was renamed from just the Malaysian Nationals to reflect the growing number of guest skaters who compete every year.
Meanwhile, two Malaysian names were entered into the Malaysia Book of Records for their achievements on the international level.
The Malaysia Book of Records certificates was presented by Sunway Group executive director, strategy and corporate development Serena Cheah and witnessed by MBR official Helilia Juana.
Dione Tan Shu Yen, 11, was recognised as the first Malaysian woman to win a medal in an International Short Track Speed Skating Competition in Dongguan, China, last October while Aneeta Lingam, 14, is the first Malaysian woman to win a bronze medal in an International Figure Skating Competition in Taipei, Taiwan last August.
A total of 69 skaters from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India took part in the championships.