Winter Olympics: Waratah figure skater Kailani Craine edges closer to Games debut in PyeongChang

TIME: Waratah figure skater Kailani Craine at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium earlier this month. Picture: Jonathan CarrollWinter Olympics debutante Khalani Craine has a triple-loop, triple-loop combination in her figure skating kit bag, but the Waratah 19-year-old won’t decide whether or not to use it until competition day.

The Hunter Ice Skating Stadium product takes to the PyeongChang stage from midday on Wednesday (ADST), almost a fortnight after participating in the opening ceremony, hoping to impress in hershort program and progress toFriday’s event-ending freestyle finale.

“My short is technically really difficult, with a triple-loop triple-loop in the second half of the program,”Craine toldtheNewcastle Heraldat her homeWarners Bay venue earlier this month.

“Thatcombo is harder than a toe-loop combo. A lot of girls do triple something triple toe, but I’mbetter at loop which is why I’ve decided to have it in the second half of my program because you score morepoints.

“It’s going really well at the moment, but I always have the option not too do it. I can make that decision when I get there. The main thing is to have a solid program at the Olympics.”

After a few self-confessed “shaky” practice runs Craine, who will be one of 30 international competitors in the preliminary round,has been recently joined in South Korea by US-based coach Tiffany Chin.

“I’m so happy to have Tiffany with me now, and just having her on the barriers to remind me of little things to help my technique,” Craine told n Olympic Committee (AOC) media.

“Everything is feeling a lot better.”

Craine’s parents and grandparents are also set to be supporting the nine-time n champion, including juniors and seniors, from the grandstand.

“I really feel like it’s all of us out there competing, not just me,” she told the AOC.

“My family has sacrificed so much for me to do this and they’ve been on this journey every step of the way, so it won’t be just me out there on the ice, it will be all of us.”

Craine’s relatives will also deliver a new custom-made dress from Adelaide for her free program, which goes for four minutes and 10 seconds.

The short program is two minutes and 50 seconds in duration and performed to classicsong Dream A Little Dream Of Me.

“I’vebeen doing my short program for two years now,” she said.

“I usually do a new routine each season, but I love my short program so much from the2016-2017 season that Ihad to keep it again for this one.

“My free program remains the same from thisseason.”

Craine said it was always important to“stay in the moment andfocus on what I’m doing at that time”.

The former Hamilton SFXstudent hasn’t set a result-based target, rather she wants to “skate clean andhave a really solid performance”.

Elsewhere at the Games and Eleebana 28-year-old aerial skiier Samantha Wells finished 17thin Thursday’s qualifiers whileUniversity of Newcastle student Matt Graham became ’s first medallist at PyeongChang with silver in the men’s moguls.

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