James takes a tumble in Japan
Bermuda’s Vanessa James endured a tough opening day to the World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan, yesterday.
James and her partner Morgan Ciprčs, representing France, started as the competition favourites but a fall left them in seventh place.
James and Cipres, undefeated this season and the first French pair to win the European Championship in over 80 years, went down when James botched the landing on their throw triple flip and fell to the ice.
James later said a collision with Italy’s Matteo Guarise during the warm-up before their performance had rattled her.
“I didn’t see Matteo, Matteo didn’t see me so we crashed and I fell,” she said. “It took me off a little and I was not very comfortable after. I felt a little dizzy, so I tried to stay focused.
“It was a bad skate for us today, and with the fall it was very tiring after.”
Russian pair Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov have taken a commanding lead in the short programme.
James and Ciprčs caused an upset at the European championships in Minsk, Belarus, in January by claiming the title ahead of two-times champions Tarasova and Morozov.
James, whose father Kevin is Bermudian, was born in Ontario, Canada, but lived in Bermuda until aged ten when she moved to the United States.
Before becoming a French citizen, she made history in 2006 as the first black skater to win the British National Championships in singles and won silver at the same event the following year.
James’s twin sister, Melyssa, is also a figure skater. Some 167 skaters from 43 ISU members have entered the competition at the Saitama Super Arena.